Agent’s Voice the

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the
Agent’s
Voice
October 2010
Vol. XXXVII, No. 8
How to Avoid Being Left Behind in 2011
pg 12-13
Introduction to the Agent’s Guide to social Media
pg14-15
Recent Changes to HIPPA Rules Could Be Costly To You
pg 19
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Inside This Issue
The Agent’s Voice
Published by the Professional
Insurance Agents of Louisiana, Inc.
DEPARTMENTS
President’s Message………………………………...........4
Commissioner’s Column.........................................6
No material may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of PIA of Louisiana, Inc.
Statements of fact and opinion in The Agent’s Voice are
the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply
an opinion on the part of the officers or the members of
the Professional Insurance Agents.
Participation in PIA events, activities and/or publications is available on a non-discriminatory basis and
does not reflect PIA endorsement of the products and/
or services.
The Agent’s Voice is published ten times a year by the
Professional Insurance Agents of Louisiana, Inc. Free
subscription is included in PIA membership. Non-member subscription is $2.50 per copy, $25 per year. Contact the Editor for more details.
All communications for publications, including news,
features, advertising copy, cuts, etc. must reach publisher by 1st of month prior to month of publication. Advertising rates furnished upon request.
Address inquiries to:
EDITOR, THE AGENT’S VOICE
8064 Summa Avenue, Suite C
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Phone: (225) 766-7770
Watts: (800) 349-3434
Fax: (225) 766-1601
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.piaoflouisiana.com
Passing It On..........…………….………….........…..........8
Legislative Update.…………….………….........…..........9
Errors & Omissions…………….………….........….........10
FEATURES
How to Avoid Being Left Behind in 2011................12-13
Introduction to the Agent’s Guide
to Social Media........................................................14-15
Customer Service: The Time for Thinkers Has
Come for the Insurance Industry............................17-18
Recent Changes to HIPPA Rules
Could Be Costly To You...........................................19
Workplace Violence Can Put
Your Company at Risk.............................................20
IN EVERY ISSUE
2010 CISR Schedule....................……………............11
Index of Advertisers………….………….…....................26
Member Benefit in Focus.……...………….……...........26
Mission Statement
Promoting the professional insurance agency
system, leading through support,
representation and fellowship.
OFFICERS
President’s
Message
Duane Dimattia, Baton Rouge
President
Gene Galligan, Monroe
President-Elect
Manuel DePascual, Metairie
Secretary/Treasurer
Brian Prejean, Brusly
Immediate Past President
Richie Clements, Chalmette
PIA National Director
DIRECTORS
Karen Bryant, Denham Springs
David “Moose” Bulloch, Hammond
Lisa Donlon, Lafayette
Dawn Duhé, Hammond
John Erny, Lafayette
Darryl Frank, Metairie
Chad Joffrion, Bunkie
Patrick LeBoeuf, Westwego
Joe Lohman, Baton Rouge
Jim Moore, Destrehan
Kevin Woods, Monroe
PIA OF LOUISIANA STAFF
Jody M. Boudreaux
Executive Vice President & Editor
Caroline Gregory Adams
Director of Marketing
Natalie S. Cooper
Director of Industry Affairs
Peggy Grace
Director of Education
Brittany Davis
Administrative Assistant
Page 4 • October 2010
T
he PIA National Fall Governance Condustry. As agency owners and principals,
ference was held in Traverse City,
one can easily get complacent waiting on
Michigan the first weekend of October
clients to phone our office or walk in our
2010 and the PIA of Louisiana Execudoor as this approach may have worked in
tive Committee attended this year. First,
the past. But, this approach is likely to fail
before I provide details about the conferwith the younger segment of our populaence, I wanted to state what an honor it
tion. The growth and survival of our agenis to attend a PIA National event and recies depend on our ability to adapt and
ceive such recognition and respect from
change in today’s electronic world. Agenthe other states. Louisicy Web sites and the use of
President,
ana is recognized as one
social media are HERE and
PIA of Louisiana
of the premier states in
for those who are reluctant
the PIA system and the
to embrace (including myDimattia Insurance Agency
Louisiana
contingency
self), we need to wake up.
definitely has a presence. [email protected]
The high recognition can
More and more agencies
only be contributed to our
are utilizing non-traditional
predecessors: Our past executive commitforms of advertising and experiencing
tee members along with Jody Boudreaux,
positive impacts to their business. In
our executive vice-president, set the path
fact, PIA awarded for the first time, The
for our current respect. Need I remind,
PIA National Excellence in Social Media,
Robert Page from Houma was a recent
an award honoring an agency that uses
national president and Richie Clements
social media outlets, like Facebook, to
from Chalmette is our current national dipromote and introduce products and serrector who is highly respected and more
vices. The recipient of this award spoke
importantly, liked. Richie’s knowledge of
of how much his agency has grown due
our industry, including his ability to grasp
to the implementation of next generation
the details of a topic and still see the big
advertising during a time when his compicture, is recognized by his peers.
petitor’s agencies remained flat.
Attending a national conference with
national focus and meeting fellow insurance agents throughout the country with
the same desire to be better leaders for
our affiliate state stirred excitement in my
middle-aged body. The PIA staff, together
with the committees and state leadership,
focus so much of their attention on member services and how we, as your state
leaders, can bring back that knowledge to
the members of our home state.
The PIA can help with these efforts.
Check out what PIA has to offer and utilize
the services to become more accessible
to the younger generation and those who
want their insurance at their fingertips.
Reaching Gen Y, with the assistance of PIA,
is just one of the member services that
are getting the attention of many in our in-
Continued on page 19
The next big member benefit: PIAPRO, a
PIA Captive E & O Program for PIA Members should be operational in the first part
of 2011. The creation of PIAPRO will assist our association to take control
October 2010 • Page 5
Commissioner’s Column
By James J. Donelon
H.R. 4173 Dodd-Frank
Wall Street Reform and
Consumer Protection Act
T
financial stability, to prohe Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform
mote market discipline by
and Consumer Protection Act, Pubeliminating expectations
lic Law 111-203, enacted in July of this
of a federal intervention
year made many changes to the regulato shield others from
tion of financial services including insurlosses when an institution is in finanance. Federal recognition of insurance
cial trouble, and to respond to systemic
in this legislation is in large part a realthreats to financial stability. Both the diization of the size of the financial assets
rector of the new Federal Insurance Ofunder the control of insurers, the imporfice (FIO) and a state intance of insurance in
personal and business
Commissioner of Insurance surance commissioner
will be non-voting memfinancial planning and
bers
of the FSOC. There
risk management, and,
Louisiana Department of
will be “an independent
like banking services,
Insurance
member appointed by
the presence of [email protected]
the President, by and
ance throughout the
with the advice and coneconomy. Although prisent of the Senate, havmarily directed to Wall
ing insurance expertise” who will have a
Street and the banking industry in revote on the FSOC. State insurance comsponse to the financial meltdown resultmissioners have written the President
ing from the subprime mortgage crisis
asking that he appoint someone with
and related credit default swaps in the
regulatory experience to the voting seat
Fall of 2008, only a few revisions were
and have named John Huff, the Missouri
made to the insurance industry. The Act
Insurance Director, as the non-voting
preserves the authority of state regulamember.
tors over the insurance industry since
state regulators have a proven track
Title V of the Dodd-Frank Act is devoted
record of maintaining insurer solvency
to insurance. The Federal Insurance Ofand protecting consumers. However,
fice Act of 2010, the first subtitle, crethe Act includes representation of inates the Federal Insurance Office, which
surance, a traditionally state-regulated
among other mandates has the authority
business, on the newly created Financial
“to monitor all aspects of the insurance
Stability Oversight Council (FSOC). The
industry, including identifying issues or
Dodd-Frank Act also makes important
gaps in the regulation of insurers that
changes to the regulation of insurance
could contribute to a systemic crisis in
by creating a new federal agency for inthe insurance industry or the United
surance matters, by mandating changes
States financial system.” The scope of
in the fields of nonadmitted insurance
the FIO excludes health, long-term care
and reinsurance, and by affirming state
insurance without a life or annuity cominsurance jurisdiction over fixed-indexed
ponent, and crop insurance.
variable annuities.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council
has a broad mandate to identify risks to
The FIO is largely an information gathering entity and it has the power to require
the production of
information from insurers that insure or
reinsure risks in more
than one state except
for small insurers as defined by the FIO
itself. By law, the information gathering
will require coordination with other relevant federal agencies and with state
insurance regulators. There are other
provisions relating to confidentiality and
information sharing agreements.
The substantive authority of the FIO is
mostly limited to international matters.
The FIO can preempt state insurance
regulation to the extent that the regulation is inconsistent with certain international agreements and that the regulation results in less favorable treatment
of the non-US insurer than a domestic
insurer would receive.
The second subtitle of Title V is the Nonadmitted and Reinsurance Reform Act
of 2010 (NRRA). The president’s signing
Dodd-Frank enacted financial reform on
July 21, 2010, and began “the 12-month
period” after which the NRRA shall take
effect.
One should not confuse the effective
date of the NRRA with the very real effects that it is having on the business
and regulation of insurance today. Efforts
are underway to implement an interstate
system of requiring, collecting, and allocating premium taxes for surplus lines
and independently procured insurance.
The NRRA gives only the home state of
the insured as defined in the NRRA the
authority to regulate the placement of
Continued on page 22
Contact the Louisiana Department of Insurance at
www.ldi.state.la.us
or call 1-800-259-5300
Page 6 • October 2010
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5/21/10 5:42:21 PM
October 2010 • Page 7
Passing It On!
By Jody M. Boudreaux
T
Other articles, such
his issue of the Agent’s Voice, we
as How to Avoid
provide you with several articles
Being Left Behind in
that are geared toward helping you with
2011 and Customer
agency management issues. First, our
Service: The Time for
feature article, Introduction to the Agent’s
Thinkers Has Come
Guide to Social Media, provides you with a
for the Insurance
teaser. We’ve written about it before and
Industry, provide you
you should have received a copy of it: PIA
some helpful tips you can apply to your
National’s 2010 Agency Marketing Guide.
agency. If you read something that you
If so, I sure hope you’ve had a chance to
find interesting, be sure to pass it on to
read it, because it provides a wealth of
your employees.
knowledge. If not, check
out this article to whet
Executive Vice President,
Our hope is that we
your
appetite…you’ll
can provide you with
want to read more! If you
PIA of Louisiana
beneficial tools that aid you
can’t find your copy that
with agency management
PIA National mailed you,
[email protected]
issues.
If
you
have
just call me and I’ll be
specific issues that you’re
happy to provide you with
struggling with, please be sure to pass
another copy.
those on to us, so we can work on getting
solutions for you. Often, someone else has
Just this week one of our company
experienced a similar struggle and found
members emailed me to ask, “Do you
an answer that could be shared with
have any perspective of how agents are
you. No sense in reinventing the wheel!
using social media? I was so excited
to send him a copy of this PIA National
We’re often told that what we do best is
publication, because it really does have
provide networking opportunities. Our
some great information in it. Just some
members are wonderful about sharing
of the articles include: Social Networking
information with their colleagues. We
(Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and
do this well at local chapter meetings,
LinkedIn) Demystified, Blend Social and
convention and other face-to-face
Traditional Media to Grow Your Agency,
meetings. But, we can also do this through
PIA Members Embracing the Internet and
Social Media – Making it Your Own, A New
Era for Marketing, and on and on…
As PIA National Immediate Past President
Jon Spalding wrote, “In 2010, few
marketing topics elicit as much excitement,
confusion and anxiety as social media.
And that’s from the same person!” Even
if you’ve just figured out how to use the
fax machine, you should be a little curious
about what all the fuss is about, right?
Well, this is the publication for you!”
Also, in this issue, we give you some meaty
information about changes in HIPAA rules.
While many of our P&C agents feel this is
just an issue for those in health care, you
may be surprised these changes can affect
you as well. Not only is there information
about it, but the author provides a
solution for how you can address the new
challenges in privacy issues. Check it out!
Page 8 • October 2010
other channels…like through
our Web site, publications,
etc. We just need you to
make the call or send us an
email with your concerns.
We can be your research
specialist…and then we can
pass on the information
we’ve gained to other members as well.
Again, I’d like to remind you that we keep
archived issues of this publication on our
Web site now at www.piaoflouisiana.com.
We realize that it’s difficult to keep up with
all the different magazines and general
mail that you get. But now each and every
issue of the Agent’s Voice is just a few
clicks away!
Lastly, I want to let you know that we’ll be
sending out a member survey shortly. We
hope that you’ll take the time to complete
it. We need to hear from you in order to
best know how to serve you. We are
working on the questions now and you
have our commitment that we’ll keep it
short, sweet and to the point. It will be an
on-line survey, so it should be very easy
and take hardly no time at all to complete.
We’ll use your input to help develop our
agenda for this year’s Board Retreat. We
want to know what issues are important to
you, so let us hear from you!
Mark your calandar for
PIA of Louisiana’s
68th Annual
Convention
July 16-19, 2011
Bay Point Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, Panama City Beach, FL
Check out this year’s convention photos at
www.piaoflouisiana.com
Legislative Update
By J. Robert Wooley
Passage of Bill Highlights Power
of Consumers; Grants Policy
Holders More Choice
E
very year hundreds of bills are policy. After hearing
introduced in the legislature the frustrations of
resulting in scores of new laws and the everyday
citizens,
repeal or revision of countless existing Campbell worked with
laws. It often comes as a surprise to Senator McPherson to revise the law.
many people that a good percentage Campbell argued before the Senate
of the laws passed each year do Insurance Committee that during hard
not originate in the
economic times, citizens
offices of individual
and businesses should
PIA Lobbyist
legislators, but rather
not be penalized for trying
represent the ideas
to lower their cost of
Adams & Reese, LLP
and opinions of a wide
insurance. McPherson
[email protected]
variety of citizens.
framed the debate on his
Whether at work or
bill as a revision to the
while enjoying weekend activities, law that helps Louisiana consumers.
individual citizens often identify Speaking before the House Insurance
current laws that make little practical Committee, McPherson argued that
sense. Similarly, individuals frequently policy holders should only be charged
recognize the need for new laws to for the services they utilized without
correct problems in their communities. penalty.
Most great elected officials will seek
out and encourage their constituents Although the bill faced some opposition
to bring these ideas and concerns to from insurance carriers, the legislation
them. Such is the case with recently passed through both the House and
enacted Senate Bill 246 by Senator Joe Senate Insurance Committees and
McPherson and Representative Major through both Houses of the Legislature
Thibaut.
unanimously and was signed by the
Governor.
Prior to the enactment of Senate Bill
246, Louisiana law allowed an insurance As a result of this new law, which
company to charge a policy holder a applies to personal or commercial
fee for the early cancellation of their line insurance policies, (surplus line
policy. According to testimony provided insures are exempt from this change)
by Public Service Commissioner Foster if an agent is able to identify a cheaper
Campbell, an independent agent in policy for an insured with another
Bossier City, clients of independent carrier, they can suggest that the policy
agents were penalized anytime their holder migrate to the less costly policy
agent was able to find a policy that without having to worry about the
was less costly than their current customer being hit with a penalty.
Not a day goes by
during the legislative
session when I do not
hear friends, family,
or colleagues remark about their
desire to see changes made to our
state laws to improve the quality of life
for our citizens. The introduction and
passage of this legislation by Senator
McPherson
and
Representative
Thibaut is a stirring reminder that each
and every citizen has a representative
and a senator that goes to Baton Rouge
to change laws that affect all of us.
Having been around the legislature for
decades, I have seen firsthand that the
vast majority of legislators are eager to
take ideas from their constituents and
turn them into positive changes in the
law.
Advertise
Today!
Contact Jody
at the PIA office
at
(800) 349-3434.
October 2010 • Page 9
PIA Errors & Omissions
By Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA
Writing Professional Liability:
make sure you know the language!
W
Regarding the coverage
hile traditional lines of business
form, most (but not all)
(Auto, Homeowners, BOP, WorkProfessional
Liability
ers Compensation) require a solid
carriers provide this
understanding of the coverage forms, in
coverage on a claims-made basis, which
many respects Professional Liability is in
means that claims reported during the
a class by itself. To begin, the coverage
policy period are covered provided the
is traditionally written on a claims-made
actual error (which could have occurred
form, as opposed to the occurrence form
months or years ago) was after any
used on most other lines of business.
applicable retro date (more on this shortly).
In addition, it is widely acknowledged
On the other hand, an
that no two forms are
occurrence policy (your
the same; this makes
Special Consultant
traditional GL coverage)
coverage comparisons
Utica Nat’l E&O Program
covers claims that occur
very detailed. Moreover,
the
terminology
is
Utica Mutual Insurance Co. during the policy period.
Therefore, the difference
unique, with terms like
is that one form factors
“retro date,” “full prior
in when the claim was reported, while
acts,” “extended reporting period” and
the other form deals with when the
“consent to settle,” just to name a few. As
claim actually occurred.
you will note in the claim discussed below,
mistakes can occur and they can be big!
Retro Date vs. Full Prior Acts – This is
an extremely important concept that
When one thinks of Professional Liability,
will have a huge impact on whether the
oftentimes the following classes of
claim is valid. Using Agents E&O in our
professional business come to mind:
example, for a claim to be valid, the error
Real Estate Agents, Lawyers, Medical
committed by the agency (example: failure
Professionals, Accountants and Insurance
to put collision on a vehicle) must be after
Agents. While these are some of the
the retro date. If it was before the retro
more common, there are more than 100
date, no coverage would be provided.
additional professional occupations
The retro date is typically shown on the
–including
Appraisers,
Engineers,
face of the policy. If the declarations
Pharmacists, Court Reporters, Speech
sheet states “Full Prior Acts” or “None”
Pathologists, Consultants, Therapists
in the area where a retro date would be
and Teachers – that have a Professional
noted, this essentially means there is no
Liability exposure. With many of these
retro date and the insured is protected
classes, the General Liability carrier will
for errors made regardless of when they
include a Professional Liability exclusion
were committed. The following E&O claim
as it is not their intent to protect that
illustrates this well:
segment of the client’s business.
Need E&O?
Call Caroline at (800) 349-3434
TODAY!
Page 10 • October 2010
The agency’s client, a
real estate agent, had
a claims-made Real
Estate
Professional
Liability policy which was non-renewed
based on loss history. The real estate
agent made a conscious decision not
to replace the coverage due to pricing
concerns, as the premium would have
been 4 times higher with a new carrier.
He later changed his mind and procured a
new claims-made policy with a retro date
even with the new policy’s inception date.
The client was sued for a loss where the
alleged wrongful act occurred during the
period covered by the expired policy and
prior to the new policy’s retro date. The
new carrier disclaimed based on the retro
date, and the client was forced to spend
$211,000 defending himself. The agent
never advised the client to purchase a
“tail” for the old policy, which would have
covered the loss had a tail been in place.
In addition, the agent did not fully explain
how the “newer” retro date would affect
claims based on older wrongful acts. The
claim against the agent was settled for
$200,000.
As this claim also points out, defense
costs in this line of business can be
significant. A word of caution: if your client
states they want to reduce their premium
and would be willing to take a “current”
retro date,” this should be emphatically
discouraged as this leaves a significant
gap in protection. This is also strictly
prohibited in many states.
Some other issues/differences to be
aware of:
Virtually all of the policy forms are
different, even within the same class
of business. Therefore, a Lawyers
Professional Liability policy with Company
A may be significantly different than a
Lawyers Professional Liability policy with
Company B. If you are looking to move
your client to a different carrier, analyze
Continued on page 21
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November 03: Houma
November 04: New Orleans
November 09: Baton Rouge
November 10: Shreveport
November 11: Lafayette
Register today at
www.piaoflouisiana.com
or call (800) 349-3434.
October 2010 • Page 11
How to Avoid Being Left Behind in 2011
by
John Graham
E
ven after three years of economic
gloom, the predictions about 2011
range from optimistic to less so. In some
industries, the landscape remains
desperately arid, while for others, the
green shoots that poked their way to
the light are actually growing stronger.
Speculating about the year
ahead is an interesting exercise,
but one that may not have
much value. What may be more
useful are certain guideposts
that can help point the way for
a beneficial 2011.
1. Get your employment record
straight. Anyone who reviewed
resumes over the last decade
recognized one fact stood out
like the proverbial sore thumb:
job-hopping. Employees often
moved from one job to the next in a
matter of months, let alone a year. For
many, this was the plan.
While the “plan” may have brought pay
hikes, it also created an interesting
unintended consequence. Once the
recession hit, performance became an
employee’s most valuable asset, not a
string of jobs on a resume.
It takes time to master an
understanding of a company, along
with its products or services and most
importantly, its customers. This is what
has value to employers today.
2. Job security depends on strategic
thinking. We might also call this “goal
thinking” or recognizing the objective
and then pushing aside anything that
doesn’t bring value to reaching it.
Needless to say, strategic thinking is
Page 12 • October 2010
a rare commodity in the workplace.
“Total immersion is the best way
to learn a new language,” says
Michael Watkins of Genesis Advisers.
“Immersion is important because
people need significant ‘soak time’ in a
milieu in order to build powerful mental
models.”
answer. It appeared that students
didn’t make a connection between
“scholastic success and information
and communication technology.” In
fact, the belief in the value of such
competence was low compared with
the use of technology in other areas of
their lives.
It seems doubtful that the
John R. Graham is president of Graham
workplace is very much
Communications, a marketing services and
different, particularly when
sales consulting firm. He writes for a variety of
a substantial percentage of
business publications and speaks on business,
those who are unemployed are
marketing and sales issues.
technologically incompetent.
Contact: 40 Oval Road, Quincy, MA 02170
617-328-0069
[email protected]
Blog: grahamcomm.com/wordpress
Website: grahamcomm.com
It’s fun to sit around and dream up
clever “stuff,” whether it is a product
promotion, a new smart phone app or
a sales campaign. But it’s something
quite different to come up with
solutions that contribute to making
that app of value to users or a sales
campaign more than a glitzy gimmick.
In effect, the ability to think strategically
is significant because it focuses on the
consequences of an action or an idea.
And that’s a valuable commodity in the
workplace.
3. The necessity of technological
competence.
Although
society
appears to place importance on
technological competence, how much
of a connection is there, for example,
between such competence and success
in school? The results of a large,
recently reported survey of secondary
students in England revealed the
4. It’s not what we do
but how we think. “There
is a fundamental shift
in rules from manualbased work (where you
follow instructions and an
increase in productivity means doing
the steps faster),” blogs author Seth
Godin, “to project-based work (where
the instructions are unknown, and
visualizing outcomes and then getting
things done is what counts).”
The latter requires grasping the task,
thinking through the implications,
developing a plan, implementing it and
evaluating the results. Ironically, such
initiative is as necessary behind the
counter at McDonald’s as it is in the
c-suite, and every place in between. It
is often missing in both.
Continued on page 13
Continued from page 12
(How to Avoid Being Left Behind in 2011)
5. Jump at small opportunities. It’s
popular today to talk about “less is
more,” although there are indications
that we don’t believe it. Salespeople
are often impatient for the moment
they can move up and go after the
“really big accounts.” In the same way,
national attention takes precedence
over local stardom. We grab every
“Top 100” list we can find and add the
names to our prospect list.
A marketing executive took a call from
a company president for a small order
of a particular promotional product,
but over the next 30 years, that first
order grew into a steady flow of very
good business.
No one wants to get burned today.
It’s too costly. Buyers want to see how
we perform. Do we take small orders
seriously? If we do, they are more likely
to give us more of their business.
6. Look at the long term. The last
time Marc Buoniconti moved his arms
and legs was when he made a tackle
for The Citadel in 1985. Although
a quadriplegic since that fateful
moment, he has become a mover and
shaker, having raised $350 million to
find a cure for paralysis.
Almost hidden in the last part of a USA
Today story about this determined
man, Marc reports that his medical
care runs from $500,000 to $600,000
a year. Who pays for it? All his medical
expenses are covered by a “catastrophic
insurance policy” his father had taken
out. That’s serious long-term thinking.
The issue is not about having objectives
in life or on the job, but creating the
personal infrastructure to make sure
we get there. Without that, we become
like so many people, subject to forces
well beyond our control.
7. Put yourself on the line. My wife
and I play a game as we walk through
Newport, RI, on weekends. We guess
which stores and restaurants will make
it and which won’t and we speculate
about the outcome, one way or the
other.
This is no different than placing an ad
for a job and using your name as the
headline and the name of the town
where you live as the sub-head. What
would that attract? Not much; just a
few people who say, “I saw your name
on a website.”
One example is the attractive Gelato
shop that opened in a good location
on a high-traffic street. As soon as we
tried it, we gave it a “doomed” rating
because of tiny portions and high
prices. It closed at season’s end.
The college might have stated, “93% of
our graduates land a job fast,” followed
by, “Get the details here.” Start with the
benefit, not the name of the school.
A retail store opened on the same
main street, but in something of a
less desirable location. It featured
interesting and fun, non-clothing items
for the home (such as the “Gone to
Newport” sign we have at home).
It seemed to have a plan to make it,
particularly since it was friendly and
owner-managed. Before long, it was
gone––across the street to a larger
space.
It’s a productive game for figuring out
who has a winning concept and why
and whose idea is problematic. It’s a
good exercise in testing one’s business
acumen.
In the same way, a person looking for a
job in advertising might use the same
space this way, “My ad sold 342 pairs of
jeans. Check it out here.” Now, visitors
are ready to listen to your story.
A name of a person, a product or a
company doesn’t become important
until someone is hooked. It’s the same
with everything we do.
The year ahead will be pushed one way
and then another by an endless series
of events beyond our control. The eight
tools may help move our prospects for
success several notches, which might
just make it a very good year.
8. Focus on what’s important.
Surprisingly, this doesn’t include
your own name or the name of your
company, whether you’re an employee
or own it. If this seems a little crazy, it
isn’t.
Take the ad, for example, that a college
in Boston ran on boston.com. Attracting
the attention of prospective students
seemed to be the objective. Yet, the
headline was the name of the school
and the sub-head was its location. It
was a missed opportunity and a costly
mistake.
October 2010 • Page 13
Introduction to
the Agent’s Guide
to Social Media
By Alexi Papandon, CAE
O
ver the past year I’ve had many social networking for that very reason. stand to get out of it. Indeed, you had
agents ask me about social media. Social media is merely a new venue for better have a compelling reason to use
During that time, the most often asked networking. It’s like a cocktail party on social media or there is a good chance
question has changed from “ What is your computer, but without the olives you will give up on it before it’s done
anything other than steal your precious
social media?” to some variation of an ice.
time.
“What should I be doing with social
media?” The latter question
The electronic social networks
is often accompanied by
Alexi Papandon is assistant vice president
(i.e. the social media) are
some anxiety. These agents
of communications for the National
where increasing numbers of
want to take advantage
Association
of
Professional
Insurance
consumers are forming trusted
of this new medium but
relationships. They are taking
Agents.
Over
the
years
he
has
worked
aren’t quite sure how . This
control of the medium, in
on the association’s print and electronic
anxiety is not just a result
contrast to the past in which
communications, the PIA Branding Program
of the brand new platforms
companies pushed out the
and the marketing of PIA member benefits
that have emerged, but the
message en masse. It may not
among other responsibilities
fact that each is based in
be a stretch to say that agents
computer technology. The
who don’t embrace social
sheer number of platforms
media risk being left behind.
involved and the speed with which they Why Social Media?
Many of your customers and prospects
have been adopted further compounds So why should you care about social are already there, and may even be
the angst. When viewed as a whole, media? Why not stick with the tried talking about you, whether you are
the social media mountain can appear and true techniques that have gotten there to respond or not.
to be a bit overwhelming. Where does you where you are today? The truth is,
the latter question hardly even needs Thankfully, social media tools are
one even begin the journey?
an answer. Many agents recognize largely free and accessible to all.
Relax! As an insurance professional, that change is afoot and that they can The biggest investment is your time.
you’ve already mastered the primary either be out in front of it or, they fear, Social media tools such as Facebook,
LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, MySpace
skills necessary to excel at social they just might get trampled by it.
and blogs enable agents of any size
media. That’s because, at its core,
social media is really just a new way of Nevertheless, if you are going to delve to:
networking and connecting. As a matter into the rabbit hole of social media • create a presence
of fact, the term social media is often you should have an understanding of •position themselves as
used interchangeably with the term what you are getting into and what you a trusted expert
Page 14 • October 2010
• create new personal relationships
with those who might become
prospects
• reinforce existing relationships
between sales points
• get useful feedback from customers
and prospects
• dispel misconceptions and answer
questions
• locate target markets and become
known and trusted by those within
them
Social media tools might even reduce
your overall marketing costs as social
networking replaces some of your
more traditional marketing expenses
such as advertising and direct mail.
OK, I’m Listening
Hopefully you have decided that social
media could hold some promise for
your agency and are ready to take a few
minutes learning how. That’s precisely
what the Agent’s Guide to Social Media
is all about. Here’s a rundown on
what’s inside:
Ted Janusz kicks off the Guide* with
a concrete explanation of what the
various social media tools are. He’ll help
you understand what Twitter, YouTube,
Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn
are. Next, Alan Shulman provides
suggestions for blending social media
with your agency’s traditional marketing
initiatives. Following that Bill Jenkins
shares specific examples of what
other PIA members are doing in their
agencies. Nancy Doucette continues
with more real world case studies of
agencies that are using social media
successfully. Valerie Brennan advises
readers about some of the legal
considerations of social media. Curtis
Persall educates agents about some
of the best practices for using social
media. The Guide ends with some
pointers on how to get started and
suggestions for developing a social
media strategy and agency policies.
From everyone at PIA, we hope that
this Guide helps make your journey
through the new world of social media
a bit easier. We would love to hear
your feedback. Please send it to us
at [email protected]
* This guide was mailed to all PIA agency members. To receive another copy, contact PIA of Louisiana at 1-800-349-3434 or e-mail [email protected]
October 2010 • Page 15
15676 Tapco Ad - Agents Voice, Oct. 2010.pdf
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Customer Service: The Time For Thinkers
Has Come For The Insurance Industry!
By Dana Borowka, CEO of Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC &
Judy Estrin, Customer Service Training Specialist, JorgensenHR
I
n the Insurance Industry, when 1. Evaluate your customer base. Ask 6. Foster trust. Integrity is the key.
it comes right down to it, the one yourself who your best customers are Do what you say you do – and don’t
definitive factor that separates us and why. What similarities do they pretend you can do or provide services
from our future competitors will be share? What are their core needs and you can’t.
the quality of customer service today! how do you solve them?
Customers can deal with the
7. Be consistent. Branding
occasional problem if they are
works – from how you
Lighthouse Consulting Services, LLC provides a
treated like jewels when they
answer the phone to what
variety of services, including in-depth work style
contact the company to rectify
you put in your promotional
assessments for new hires & staff development,
whatever the problem was.
material.
team building, interpersonal & communication
training, career guidance & transition, conflict
Sure sounds easy, doesn’t it?
8. Be easy to work with.
management, workshops, and executive
Just be nice to everyone and
Make it easy for customers
& employee coaching. To order the book,
customers will never leave you.
to buy.
“Cracking the Personality Code” please go to
http://www.crackingthepersonalitycode.com
Tom Peters once addressed the
9. Create a customerargument that you can’t build a
business on customer service as your
differentiator because anyone can do it.
He countered that, in fact, you can use
customer service as a differentiator,
because the truth is anyone CAN’T do
it. It’s very hard, if not impossible, to
replicate great customer service in an
existing organization that doesn’t have
it. Only with a leader who is a customer
service fanatic can you even have a
remote chance of doing it.
In today’s market, the objective is to
have customers who are delighted with
your service – over and over again.
Customers who will make referrals
who in turn become customers and the
word spreads. Peggie Arvidson-Dailey,
founder of Pet Care Business University
and the Pet-Care Business Success
System™ and author of “How to Make
Your Customers Crazy…about You”
advocates business owners become
customer-enthusiasm gurus.
Take
the time to focus on your customer
in everything you do and follow these
nine simple guidelines:
2. Keep the customer in mind. Before
you initiate any new policy/procedures,
ask yourself how it will benefit your
IDEAL customers. Changing your hiring
practice? Changing your billing process?
Remember to look at everything from
the customer’s perspective.
3. Create systems that maintain
customer contact. Don’t expect
customers to return. Regularly invite
them back!
4. Communicate even when you
have nothing to sell. Pay attention to
them as individuals; show interest in
your customer as a member of your
community – no matter how large that
community is!
5. Ask for feedback and follow
through. How can you serve your
customers better? When you get
suggestions, consider them seriously
– and implement when appropriate.
Developing ways to serve customers
better based on their feedback leads
to enthusiastic customers.
enthusiasm
training
program. Hire and train to the
customer service level you want for
your customers.
Think you are on top of your game?
Got the 9 steps down to a science?
Take the Customer Service 101 quiz
developed by Bill Werst founder of
Growth Associates and author of
Common Sense Managing: Simple
Actions That Produce Results.
If you would like to get a copy of the
quiz, please go to the following link:
http://lighthouseconsulting.
o r g / A r t i c l e s / KOTC u s t S e r v Q u i z /
signupform.php
FINAL EXAM:
Would your customers answer the
customer quiz questions as you just
did?
Looking inside, how would your staff
answer these same questions?
Continued on page 18
October 2010 • Page 17
Continued from page 17
(Customer Service)
Do they know and understand the
company vision? Have you conducted
workshops to talk about how to have a
shared vision and a living entity?
Are your employees free to make
decisions on service without having
to always ask a higher source? How
do they treat each other? Internal
customer service should hold equal
value with external customer service!
Do you have a performance
management system in place to train
and develop your people? Do you hire
for today or for the organization, as you
want it to be?
Bottom-line, it takes leadership and
vision to instill a customer service
philosophy in your company. It takes
training, leadership and reinforcement
to achieve the employee performance
at your desired customer service level.
It takes REGULAR communication
with your customers – those who are
delighted and those who may not be
– to ensure that you are consciously
monitoring what your employees are
doing and how customers perceive your
business. It means moving into action
and implementing changes at the very
least in reaction to what you regularly
learn if not ideally, being ahead of the
curve, anticipating shifts and staying
on top of your customers’ needs and
expectations.
The theme repeated by all the
customer service “gurus” is: know your
customer, what their needs are, adapt
accordingly, empower employees to act
and hire for the BestFit®!
CONCLUSION: The Time for Thinkers
Has Come!
It is vital to have ‘Thinkers’ in our
organizations. A client of ours has
several hundred customer services
reps and encourages all the various
teams to contribute ideas for improving
Page 18 • October 2010
processes,
systems,
customer
interactions, etc. One individual was
very frustrated with having to wait 10
seconds while the system updated
information, thus having to make
customers wait during the updating
cycle. 10 seconds is a long time to
wait – try it for yourself – count – 1
one thousand – 2 one thousand – 3
one thousand and you get the idea. So
this person went to the IT/IS manager
to share the challenge which then was
followed by several group meetings
with team leaders and within two
weeks they reduced the time from 10
seconds down to 2 seconds. That’s
huge! 8 second savings multiplied out
by 200 customer services reps – you
do the math. Everyone was so excited
that they had a party to celebrate and
provided the individual with a “thank
you” check along with a three day
cruise to Mexico.
imperative that every organization hire
right the first time, do appropriate skills
testing for grammar, computer, email,
and phone etiquette, and understand
how the person will interact with others
and their learning style. This can be
done through having them complete
an in-depth work style and personality
assessment. You can read more about
the various options and how to select
an instrument in our book, Cracking
the Personality Code. To find out more,
please give us a call at (310) 4536556, ext. 403, email us at [email protected]
lighthouseconsulting.com or by visiting
our website,
www.lighthouseconsulting.com
If you would like additional information
on this topic or others, please
Lighthouse Consulting Services LLC,
3130 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 550, Santa
Monica, CA 90403, (310) 453-6556,
[email protected] & our
website:
www.lighthouseconsulting.com
By having just one thinker on board –
someone willing to speak up – to be
dissatisfied when customers are having
to wait – to want to improve things in the
work environment…
amazing results can
take place. We all
need to have more of
these types of thinkers
on board. We need to
create an environment
At your desk,
so individuals are
at your convenience.
encouraged
to
contribute and share
ideas that will increase
client satisfaction as
Gain a Competitive Advantage for Your Agency
well as affecting the
By Investing in Your Employees
bottom line. Hiring is
the key. Today is the
Your agency’s success is directly tied to the knowledge
and skills of your employees. You can gain a competitive
day to add the key
advantage for your agency by simply providing more educharacteristics to your
cational opportunities for your staff. PIA’s online business
job descriptions so
skills and CE courses make it easy!
that you can begin to
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Realize Big Returns Tomorrow
thinkers that will drive
By Making a Small Investment in Your Staff Today!
your organization to
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If you hire the right
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PIA’s Online Courses…Get Started Now!
Visit www.piaoflouisiana.com/default.asp?id=43
Questions? Contact [email protected] or 800-349-3434.
Recent Changes To
HIPAA Rules Could Be
Costly To You
by Bill Campbell, Manage-Trak
M
ention the term HIPAA to someone
in a firm that works primarily in
the workers’ compensation or property
and casualty field and they will most
likely have little to no interest.
If this represents your perspective on
HIPAA, you may find your pocketbook
affected in the near future.
To give you some background, it’s
generally understood that the HIPAA
Privacy Rule does not apply to workers’
compensation
insurers,
workers’
compensation administrative agencies
or employers when disclosing health
information as required by state law
for workers’ compensation system
purposes.
There are reasons to
care about recent changes to HIPAA
legislation, however. For example, the
above disclosure exemption noted
above is quite different than the issue
of protecting the information from a
future breach whether by unintended
access, theft, or by a hacker.
The Stimulus Bill also known as the
American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009 contained a little-known
section (Subtitle D of the Health
Information Technology for Economic
and Clinical Health Act -HITECH
Act)) which significantly expanded
current federal protections for health
information under HIPAA Privacy and
Security requirements. New penalties
became effective February 23, 2010
of up to $50,000 for each violation,
not to exceed $1.5 million for all such
violations of an identical type during a
calendar year.
At its core, HITECH changes breach
notification requirements for protected
health information (PHI). This change
affects individuals, covered entities
and business associates as defined
under HIPAA. A breach of unsecured
protected health information requires
that individuals be notified of
unauthorized disclosures or use of their
health information. Under HITECH,
individuals may request an audit trail
showing all disclosures of PHI made
through an electronic record.
For many people, HITECH is still a
mystery and may prove to be more
than a speed bump. The Department
of Health and Human Services (HHS)
is gearing up to put real teeth into
enforcement and has allocated over
$25 million for this purpose at the
federal level alone.
In addition,
each state’s Attorney General has
enforcement authority.
To aid covered entities with compliance,
HHS provides a safe harbor rule
where “covered entities and business
associates that implement the specified
technologies and methodologies with
respect to protected health information
are not required to provide notifications
in the event of a breach of such
information that is, the information
is not considered unsecured in such
cases.” Encryption and destruction are
the two HHS specified technologies
and methodologies for rendering
protected health information unusable,
unreadable, or indecipherable to
unauthorized individuals.
Covered
entities must now consider addressing
the minimum requirements by
conducting a risk analysis around the
HITECH guidance provided for the four
states of data (data in motion, data at
rest, data in use, and data disposed.)
Although you or your firm may
be exempt from HIPAA’s Privacy
Rule in your activities related to
workers compensation or other P&C
activities, the Security Rule and its
requirements to secure Protected
Health Information (PHI) may apply
to healthcare information related to
workers compensation or P&C claims.
Additionally, if you now or in the past
handled health or life insurance
applications or if you have group life
and health clients you may very well
find yourself facing stiff penalties or
worse media notification requirements
if you don’t take the appropriate
actions to properly secure the past and
current data you store, access, use, or
transmit from.
For more information on the HITECH
ACT, we encourage you to talk with
your legal counsel. In addition, you
can learn more at www.manage-trak.
com or call Bill Campbell at 225-7090334.
October 2010 • Page 19
Workplace
Violence Can Put
Your Company at Risk
By Teresa Long
Traditionally, the workplace has been thought
of as a safe environment, the place where we
often spend more time with our co-workers
than our own families.
But that perception changed dramatically
on a hot August day in 1986, when a postal
worker in Edmund, Oklahoma walked into
the post office with a mailbag containing the
usual assortment of sales circulars and utility
bills, right alongside three hand guns and 100
rounds of ammunition. Ten minutes later 17
co-workers were dead, the shooter had killed
himself, and a workplace where the greatest
danger up until that moment was probably a
sore back from lifting a mailbag, was now the
site of what has become an alarming trend
across the country.
According to a study by the U.S. Institute for
Occupational Health & Safety, 1,000,000
workers are assaulted and another 1,000
are murdered each year in the workplace.
Most of them aren’t the high-profile incidents
that make the six o’clock news. Everyone
remembers Columbine and Oklahoma City,
but few recall the Fort Lauderdale beach
worker who reacted to his firing by killing five
of his co-workers or the refinery worker in
Texas who killed his boss, his boss’ wife, and
three other workers because he was having
a bad day.
Talk with employees after such an incident
and they will almost always share a similar
observation of the killer they may have
worked side by side with for years. “There was
something that didn’t seem right,” they say.
Chances are what that worker noticed were
warning signs of a mental and/or physical
short-circuit, which could include:
a. Making verbal or physical threats
b. Unexpected mood shifts
c. Defensive and hostile attitudes
d. Bouts of depression
e. Suicide threats
f. Being obsessed with weapons or
carrying a weapon.
Once employers recognize the warning
signs of impending workplace violence, and
understand the potential triggers – domestic
problems, drug and alcohol abuse, termination
or disciplinary actions – they need to put a
plan into place to protect their employees.
Page 20 • October 2010
Any plan should begin with
educating employees, the ones
most likely to interact on a dayto-day basis with a potentially
hostile co-worker. Recognizing
the red flags is a good start.
But employees also need training to take their
observations a step further.
If an employee notices a co-worker acting
strangely, which may include some form of a
verbal or physical threat against themselves
or someone else in their workplace, it should
be reported immediately to a supervisor, no
matter how innocent it might seem.
It’s the company’s responsibility to protect
their employees, not only from co-workers but
also from non-employees, such as spouses
or disgruntled customers. There should be
a written policy stressing zero tolerance for
workplace violence, meaning no violence
and no threats, even in a joking manner.
Pre-employment screening and preventive
measures such as background checks should
be an integral part of the hiring process.
Putting a plan into place not only helps
create a safer environment for employees,
but it also minimizes Workers’ Compensation
risks. While the Workers’ Compensation costs
arising as a result of workplace violence can
be significant, traditionally employers have
been protected from lawsuits, particularly if
the violence could not have been reasonably
predicted. However, increasingly courts are
awarding settlements against employers due
to negligence on their part in preventing acts
of workplace violence.
A good example is the case in which the
management of a Florida bank cut a guard
position, even though it had prior knowledge
that one of its employees was being harassed
by someone coming into the bank. The
employee even pleaded with her employer not
to eliminate the guard position, as she feared
for her life. The company dismissed the guard
nonetheless, and shortly thereafter the teller
was shot and killed by the harassing person.
Because the court ruled that the employer
knowingly created an unsafe work environment
by eliminating the guard’s position, the
teller’s family not only received Workers’
Compensation benefits, but successfully
sued the employer in a general liability suit
that cost the company a
hefty settlement (and
certainly more than they
saved by eliminating the
guard’s salary.)
Employers should be aware that the
adjudication
system
for
Workers’
Compensation nationwide is becoming
more and more liberal in its interpretation
of the “exclusive remedy” afforded to the
employee injured on the job and the degree
of negligence it takes to open the door for the
injured employee to pursue an Employer’s
Liability claim. This is particularly true if it
is known there was any form of “notice” or
warning given (internal or external) and the
company did not react properly to protect its
employees.
Business owners can no longer ignore or
pretend they “didn’t know” when a tragedy
occurs, because the ramifications could be
severe. Beyond the loss of life and extreme
emotional toll, workplace violence can
generate significant legal costs. The National
Safe Workplace Institute estimates that
the average cost to employers of a single
episode of workplace violence can amount
to $250,000 in lost work time and other
expenses. But that is just the tip of the legal
iceberg.
A case in California illustrates the legal
impact of workplace violence on employers.
On August 3, 1990, a 20-year-old woman was
stabbed to death by a co-worker at a winery
where they were both employed. The assailant
had been fired from previous jobs due to poor
work habits. He also had a criminal record
indicating that he was a dangerous person,
but the temporary agency that assigned him
to the winery allegedly failed to check his
work references. A jury awarded the victim’s
survivors $5.5 million in damages against
the temporary agency that had hired her
murderer.
Employers need to always be aware and
proactive when it comes to potentially unsafe
conditions in their workplace. If they ignore
the warning signs and there is a resulting
incident of an employee being harmed or
worse, aside from a Workers’ Compensation
claim, there could also a be much more
expensive Employer’s Liability claim looming
on the horizon.
Continued from page 4
(President’s Message)
of our E & O destiny. The product, rated
A.M. Best – A, will be tailored for insurance agents.
PIA Branding Programs, an Agency Agreement Review Service, Education opportunities, a Political Action Committee, and
so much more is offered by PIA National.
I was thoroughly impressed with the PIA’s
deep desire for the attendees of the conference to go home and pass the word
that our association is here to help its
members with its agency needs.
Traverse City, Michigan is a gem on the
United States map and I hope to return
one day with my golf clubs. On a personal note... My wife, Michelle, and I would
like to thank Richie, Charmaine, Brian,
Lynn, Manuel, Linda and Jody for a great
trip and mention how much we missed
Gene and Ellen’s attendance. Their son
was married the same weekend...I guess
that is an excused absence!
Continued from page 10
(PIA Errors & Omissions)
the two policy forms and be sure to bring
any differences to the customer’s attention.
Oftentimes, the new carrier may have a
coverage comparison form that will be of
benefit.
Defense provision – Policies may be written
with “Defense in addition to the Limit of
Liability” or “Defense within the Limit of
Liability.” If the Defense is “within the limit,”
any dollars spent defending the customer
will impair (reduce) the limit available for any
settlement/judgment. Defense (unlimited)
in addition to the limit of Liability is the
broadest.
Deductible – This may be on a loss-only
basis or on a combined basis. With lossonly coverage, the insured would not
participate in any claims defense, litigation
or claims-handling expenses associated
with the claim; these would be handled by
the carrier. Conversely, with a combined loss
and expense deductible, the insured would
participate in these expenses up to the
deductible limit. Make sure your customer
knows their obligation.
Extended Reporting Period – This is often
called a “tail.” While virtually all claims-made
policies contain this provision, this does not
mean there is consistency among carriers as
to the available options. Using agents as the
example, if an agency sells its business to
another agency, the seller would buy a tail.
This provides an additional period of time
after the expiration of the policy for which
valid claims will continue to be accepted,
provided the wrongful act occurred before
the end of the policy period. In the claim
example cited earlier, the agent should have
advised the real estate agent to buy a tail to
protect him for any claims that subsequently
were made against him.
Receipt of the policy – When you send out/
deliver the policies, always advise your clients
to review the policy to ensure everything is
in order. Obviously, the agency should also
review the policy to make sure it matches
what was requested.
If you handle Professional Liability (also
called Errors and Omissions), understand its
uniqueness – the terms and the coverages.
It is unlike most other forms of coverage.
In addition, educating your customers is
recommended and will certainly have solid
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October 2010 • Page 21
Continued from page 6
(Commissioner’s Column)
and to require any premium tax on such insurance. This home state primacy applies to
multistate risks. The NRRA only gives states
330 days from July 21, 2010 to establish
a multistate system for allocating premium
taxes without interruption of current state
revenue from surplus lines taxes.
This legislation is not merely a premium tax
law. It also applies to regulation of the surplus lines insurance contract and the licensing of the broker by the home state of the
insured, including express preemption of
contrary state laws, other than those related
to the purchase of nonadmitted and excess
insurance for workers’ compensation risks.
After two-years from enactment, a state may
not collect any fees for licensing surplus
lines brokers unless it participates in a national producer licensing database such as
that maintained by the National Association
of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).
The NRRA prohibits states from imposing
eligibility requirements on surplus lines insurers that do not conform to the NAIC’s
Non-Admitted Insurance Model Act or other
uniform requirements developed in accordance with the NRRA and from imposing a
prohibition on the placement of surplus lines
insurance with alien insurers that are on the
NAIC’s Quarterly Listing of Alien Insurers.
The NRRA also creates a streamlined process for the purchase of surplus lines insurance by a class of exempt commercial purchasers as defined in the legislation. Exempt
purchasers can give an informed written
consent to the purchase of nonadmitted insurance, after certain disclosures from the
broker, without the requirement of a due diligence search for admitted insurance.
The last section of this part directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study
the effects of the NRRA on the nonadmitted
insurance market and to deliver a report
to Congress at the end of 2012. The GAO
report is to address, among other things,
changes in the market share of nonadmitted
insurance, shifts in insurance coverage from
admitted to nonadmitted, consequences of
any change in the size and market share of
nonadmitted insurance, and changes in the
number of nonadmitted policyholders.
The part on reinsurance addresses domiciliary state regulation of ceding insurers
for credit for reinsurance and reinsurance
agreements, and of reinsurers for financial
solvency. No other state may deny credit for
Page 22 • October 2010
reinsurance granted by a domiciliary state
if the state of domicile of a ceding insurer
is an NAIC-accredited State, or has financial
solvency requirements substantially similar
to the requirements necessary for NAIC accreditation, and recognizes credit for reinsurance for the risk transferred by the ceding
insurer. The same section preempts the laws
of states, other than those of the domicile
of a ceding insurer, that prohibit the enforcement of contractual arbitration and choice
of law clauses, that impose mandatory laws
applicable to reinsurance agreements, and
that apply to the reinsurance agreements of
ceding insurers not domiciled in a state. If
a state is NAIC-accredited, it shall be solely
responsible for regulating the solvency of
reinsurers domiciled in that state and other
states shall not be able to require additional
financial information from reinsurers domiciled in that state.
Section 989J, the Harkin Amendment, of
the Dodd-Frank Act gives greater certainty
on regulatory jurisdiction over fixed-indexed
annuities which has been the subject of
litigation arising out of an attempt to regulate such annuities by the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC). This provision
requires the SEC to treat such annuities as
securities exempt from SEC jurisdiction if
they comply with state laws on nonforfeiture
or, in the absence of such laws, relevant
NAIC model laws on nonforfeiture and suitability in annuity sales. It effectively ends
the current litigation, keeps jurisdiction
over annuity products in the hands of state
Small Office Tenant Package
Auto Physical Damage
Commercial Property
General Liability
Inland Marine
Cargo
And More!!!
insurance regulators, and keeps the sales of
such products in the hands of licensed insurance producers and not securities brokers.
While both creating and strengthening the
federal presence in insurance regulation,
Dodd-Frank recognizes and institutionalizes
the role of state insurance regulation in federal law on financial services regulation. The
FSOC will have a major voice in future national policy on financial services regulation, and
insurance will have a substantial presence
in shaping that policy. The FIO will give the
United States a single international voice on
issues related to insurance without general
preemption of state law. The NRRA gives the
states a needed deadline to address lingering issues with surplus lines insurance and
reinsurance. The Harkin Amendment ends
both current litigation and federal regulation
of genuine annuity products as securities. I
am pleased to have been tasked with leading
the NAIC initiative to enable states to comply
with the NRRA’s surplus lines requirements
and am working closely with the other 10
state members of the Surplus Lines EX Task
Force towards that end. The future remains
uncertain, but I feel that the insurance related portions of Dodd-Frank, particularly the
NRRA, are positive for both the industry and
for state regulation of insurance.
1-800-661-7905
Fax: 318-768-3025
PO Drawer 887
Ruston, La 71273
October 2010 • Page 23
Page 24 • October 2010
Dwelling Liability Program
Occupied or Vacant
Including Under Renovation
Lane & Associates, Inc. is pleased to be able to provide a
program providing Commercial General Liability insurance
coverage for Artisan Contractors in the states of Louisiana
and Texas.
A Rated Carrier
Dwellings - 1, 2, 3 or 4 Family
Minimum Premiums
$200 - 100/200
$300 - 300/600
$400 - 500/1 mil
$500 - 1 mil/2 mil
(1 or 2 units usually qualify for min. premium)
www.Lane-Assoc.com
504-467-3123
800-899-1466
October 2010 • Page 25
Member Benefit in Focus
Index of
Advertisers
Accu-Auto……………………………..……...…............24
Burns & Wilcox.....................................................7
First Premium Insurance Group.............….…....21
Forest Insurance Facilities……………………….....11
Archived NFIP PRP Webinar Now Available
on PIA National’s Website
PIA members and other agents may now access an archive
of the September 27 webinar in which we educated agents
about the changes that FEMA is making to the eligibility for the
National Flood Insurance Program.s Preferred Risk Policy. That
webinar and other resources is available now on PIA National’s
website: http://www.pianet.com/IssuesOfFocus/HotIssues/
flood/.
Hull & Company, Louisiana………………….……...15
Imperial Fire & Casualty Insurance……………...23
Lane & Associates……….…………………….……….25
LEMIC Insurance Company………………...…......…5
LUBA Workers’ Comp……………………..Back Cover
LWCC…………………………………Inside Front Cover
North Central Agency……………………….…….…..22
Progressive…............................Inside Back Cover
FEMA is making changes to the eligibility for Preferred Risk
Policies (PRP) to help reduce the financial burden placed on
some property owners whose buildings are newly mapped from
a low hazard zone into a high-risk flood area. These changes
will directly affect many agencies that sell flood insurance and
could affect some of their current policyholders. Changes apply
on select new and renewal policies with effective dates on
or after January 1, 2011. As of October 1, 2010, FEMA/NFIP
began sending notices to current policyholders. As a result, PIA
members must understand these changes now.
Southern States General Agency........................5
Summit Consulting…………………………..……….....5
Tapco Underwriters...........................................16
U.S. Risk Brokers...............................................11
Find out more details on advertising in The
Agent’s Voice by calling the PIA office at (800)
349-3434.
Page 26 • October 2010
PIA wishes to thank Hartford Flood for sponsoring this
important educational webinar. PIA also wishes to thank our
webinar presenters: Rita Hollada, PIA’s resident PIA member
expert on the NFIP, as well Karen Piacenta of Hartford Flood
and Lindsey Erickson of National Flood Services (NFS), both
of whom provided supporting guidance in preparing this PIA
webinar.
These agenTs have made Their mark
Congratulations to Progressive’s signature agents
SM
Congratulations to the 42 Louisiana independent agents who’ve achieved
Signature Agent status in our new Progressive Preferred program.
The program recognizes and rewards agents for selling an average of at least one preferred Progressive
personal auto policy per week. This elite group now earns higher commission and a variety of additional
benefits, including the opportunity to leverage more of Progressive’s marketing firepower.
Thomas insurance agency
Abbeville
harlan insurance agency
Alexandria
gary Losey insurance
Baton Rouge
insurance network of
Louisiana
Baton Rouge
Bubrig insurance agency
Belle Chasse
arnold insurance group
Benton
moore Jenkins
Bogalusa
Beasley-keith, inc.
Bossier City
advanced insurance
solutions
Hammond
gendusa insurance
agency, inc.
Hammond
aBC agency network, inc.
Harvey
Pham & associates
insurance
Harvey
Page and sons insurance
agency, inc.
Houma
Pam Price insurance, inc.
Jena
aBC agency network, inc.
Lafayette
Thomson, smith, & Leach
Lafayette
Premier metro group
Metairie
Curtis insurance
agency, inc.
Lake Charles
Wise insurance agency
Minden
snowden Word insurance
Leesville
Laris insurance
agency, LLC
Lockport
riverland insurance services
Luling
a victory agency, inc.
Mandeville
Continental insurance
services
Marrero
Traber agency, inc.
Nachitoches
amstate insurance agency
Slidell
Plescia insurance agency
Slidell
steve Teal insurance
Slidell
BCg&J insurance
Thibodaux
Jones insurance services, LLC
Thibodaux
action insurance, inc.
Lafayette
Tim dangelo insurance
agency
Marrero
shaver robichaux agency
Thibodaux
glenn dean insurance agency
Deridder
Liggio insurance
agency, inc.
Lafayette
alliance insurance agency
Metairie
Toups insurance agency
Thibodaux
The hopper agency, LLC
Farmerville
Quality Plus, inc.
Lafayette
dan J. Burghardt insurance
Metairie
Castello agency
Zachary
Total insurance of Watson
Denham Springs
To find out what you need to do to make your mark as a Signature Agent, contact your Progressive
account sales representative.
©2009 Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, Ohio.
09A00214.AP.LA (07/10)
Prsrt Std
U.S. POSTAGE
PAID
BATON ROUGE, LA
PERMIT NO. 701
8064 Summa Avenue, Suite C
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.
Thanks to LUBA Workers’ Comp. With online quoting, competitive rates, and an AM Best
rating of A- Excellent, we are there precisely when and where you need us. It’s not like
we have ESP. It’s just that we’ve taken service to a whole new level. Visit lubawc.com.
LUBA | Loo-buh | – Does the sound of good service ring a bell?

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