Home | Print Page | Contact Us | Sign In | Register
Weekly Industry News
Blog Home All Blogs
PIA Western Alliance knows you want to be the best in the field, and the best way to stay on top is to stay informed. PIA Weekly Industry News Brief is an informative e-news brief that delivers the most relevant industry content.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Weekly Industry News  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  ObamaCare  The Affordable Care Act  Healthcare  HealthCare.gov  Cyber Security  Cyber Breach  Cyber Insurance  Employment  jobs  PIA Western Alliance  flood insurance  wildfires  work  AIG  Millennials  Flood  Employees  business  Millennials & Insurance  PIA  Taxes  MetLife  Pia National  Insurance  Just for fun 

California — Earthquake Insurance

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 11, 2018


There is a lot of focus these days on California and the wildfires that have devastated the state. Of equal concern is the potential for even more disaster due to drought. From an insurance perspective, most homeowners in the state’s driest and most fire dangerous areas have homeowners insurance.

What they don’t have is insurance for earthquakes.

A report in The New York Times notes just 13% of Californians have earthquake insurance. This is in spite of an aggressive marketing plan engineered by the California Department of Insurance.

Businesses do even worse. Just one in 10 commercial entities — high-rise towers to low-rise office buildings — are insured against earthquake. Some are self-insured but most say the high price of the insurance keeps them from making the purchase.

Just as puzzling is banks issuing loans that don’t require homeowners and businesses to purchase earthquake insurance.

Scientists say since California lies on a huge number of geological faults it is just a matter of time before the “big one” hits. University of California, Berkeley earthquake expert Mary Comerio says, “What are we going to do when no-one has insurance and everyone has damage? I’m terrified of what’s going to happen.”

Swiss Re’s disaster specialist Alex Kaplan notes that earthquakes are potentially the largest “uninsured exposure from a natural disaster in the U.S.”

Add to that the average cost of a California home. It tops $500,000. So a major earthquake could end up costing the uninsured — and the taxpayer as well — billions and billions of dollars.

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  California Earthquake Insurance  Industry News  Insurance News  PIA Western Alliance  Weekly insurance news 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Labor Day, the End of Summer & Vacation

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Summer doesn’t officially end until September 22nd. By the way, if you’re keeping track, the exact time of the Autumnal Equinox is 6:54 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.

However, for most of us the three-day Labor Day weekend is the traditional end of summer. It’s the three months that most of us use for vacations. And we all know they are that couple of weeks — more or less — where we recharge and refocus.

Or do we?

A Harris Poll done by the American Psychological Association (APA) concludes that for 64% of us, the feel-good of vacation wears off in just a few days of the daily grind.

  24% lose the benefits within a couple of days

  40% say they are running on fumes within the same time frame

In other words, APA Center for Organizational Excellence head David Ballard notes, “Employers shouldn’t rely on the occasional vacation to offset a stressful work environment. Unless they address the organizational factors causing stress and promote ongoing stress management efforts, the benefits of time off can be fleeting. When stress levels spike again shortly after employees return to work, that’s bad for workers and for business. Employers can do better.”

How to get there is the big question. The first stop in finding the answer is identifying the cause — or causes — of that stress:

  Low salaries

  No growth opportunity

  Heavy workloads

  Long hours

  Unrealistic job expectations

That means those returning to work after a vacation return to those stresses and those stresses quickly overwhelm them. Plus, vacations really aren’t vacations:

  66% report vacations reduce stress and boost energy, motivation and work quality

  But 20% say vacations are almost as stressful as work

  28% of employees end up working more than they planned while on vacation

  42% say they dread going back to work

Worse:

  Most employees say vacations are aren’t “welcomed” by their supervisors

  Just 41% are encouraged to take time off

  Only 38% of supervisors say they encourage employees to take a vacation

The APA says that is odd — and wasteful of employee health — because companies that support vacations tend to have happier workplaces. Those employees feel more valued and satisfied with their jobs.

Ballard said, “Websites and magazine articles offer plenty of tips on how to make the most of time out of the office, but often put the onus on the individual employee and ignore important organizational factors. A supportive culture and supervisor, the availability of adequate paid time off, effective work-life policies and practices, and psychological issues like trust and fairness all play a major role in how employees achieve maximum recharge.”

That message — Ballard says — comes from the top and “a culture that supports time off [that] is woven throughout all aspects of the workplace.”

Those organizations — the APA notes — provide stress management resources. This is a critical factor in creating happy employees because 35% say they experience chronic work stress and only 40% have employers that give them stress-management resources.

Last. Ballard said employers who add mental health resources to the work environment will have employees following a healthier lifestyle. “Chronic work stress, insufficient mental health resources, feeling overworked and under supported — these are issues facing too many workers, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.

Source link: Study Finds

Tags:  APA Center for Organizational Association  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Industry News  Labor Day Weekend 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Update: The Continuing Disaster of Wildfire

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Bill Gatewood is the corporate vice president and director of personal insurance for Burns and Wilcox. Speaking about wildfires — and the California wildfires specifically — he said many  of the insured having damages from wildfires are underinsured. This is a problem that can be solved in the future by insurance agents who are educated in proper insurance techniques. 

With that he issued some advice for agents and brokers and put the problem of California wildfires — and wildfires in the other wildfire prone states in the West — in perspective. “Agents and brokers need to properly educate and counsel their clients on the differences between replacement costs of a home and the real estate value of a home because they can be very different,” he said.

Plus, Gatewood noted the construction industry — from building to lumber to supplies — is not able to keep up with the demand for rebuilding or repairing homes and businesses harmed by those fires. That is going to increase costs so insurance policies need to reflect that fact.

Another result of the fires — Gatewood notes — is big changes in the insurance marketplace. “We have insurance carriers who are limiting the amount of business they’re writing in these wildfire areas of California. We’ve had carriers leave a particular segment of the marketplace, and insurance companies are changing their underwriting guidelines and appetites, so I think it’s really important that agents and brokers in California are really in tune with what’s going on in the market,” he added.

While companies aren’t threatening to leave areas of the other Western states, this advice is still good for agents in those states.

“Proper insurance to value is really a big part of what agents and brokers are there to do, to provide that expertise to make sure that client has enough insurance to replace their home,” he said. “It’s something that not a lot of insurance buyers understand. They know what their house is worth from a sale perspective, but what their house is worth or the amount that they have on their mortgage really has no significant bearing on what it’s going to cost to rebuild that house, particularly when we’re dealing with total losses like this.”

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says the insured residential and commercial losses from the state’s Carr and Mendocino Complex fires will end up close to $845 million. He says they now rank among the most destructive wildfires in California history.

Jones blames global warming.

“Our wildfire history tells the story of how our fire season has changed over the years from a four-month season to a year-round threat. Over the past two decades, the frequency and severity of wildfires has increased and caused significant property damage and the tragic loss of life in the wild land-urban interface areas of the state. Even more troubling is that areas once considered not to be high risk are now being scorched by wildfires,” he said.

A report from a wildfire review from Allianz called Burning Issues says 3.6 million residential properties lie within the state’s urban-wilderness boundary. More than one million of them are dangerously exposed.

As of last week there were more than 4,000 wildfires burning in California. Countless more are burning in the other states in the West. The California fires have scorched — so far — 600,000 acres and is more than quadruple the five-year average.

The California Department of Insurance says the Carr and Mendocino Complex fires destroyed over 8,800 homes and 329 businesses. They also totaled over 800 private autos and commercial vehicles. Other types of property are also added to the over 10,000 claims that have been filed.

Those totals are shared with dozens of the state’s larger fires and the larger fires in other states.

Jones worries that the destruction will not stop there. In a new report titled Trial by Fire: Managing Climate Risks Facing Insurers in the Golden State, Jones said,“We should remember that the vast majority of California's most destructive fires occurred after September 1st, and fire experts tell us that the worst fires for 2018 may still be ahead of us.”

The same goes for other states.

Most of the blame for fire is humans. The University of Colorado in Boulder did a study and found 84% of the fires in the two-decades before 2012 were human caused.

The university also came up with these frightening statistics. The number of wildfires per year larger than 100 acres:

  1980 - 1989 — 140

  1990 - 1999 — 160

  2000 - 2012 — 250

The length of the wildfire season:

  Early 1970s — 5 months

  Today — 7+ months

By the way, one of the main causes of fires in the Golden State is equipment owned by the state’s public utilities. One utility — PG&E — is now liable for something like $1.5 billion for damages and deaths in a couple of last year’s fires in wine country.

It and other companies want a change in the strict liability law that says they’re not liable if they maintain their equipment properly and acts of God — so to speak — cause them to fail. Insurers would then be on the hook for the damages and oppose the push.

Apparently so did — even though Governor Brown supported the idea — the California Legislature. What the Legislature has done for the power companies instead is pass a law that allows them to charge their users fees and to sell bonds to cover those losses. That doesn’t work for a lot of consumer advocates nor did it work for the Utility Reform Network head Mark Toney. “This is a bailout in sheep’s clothing. PG&E gets to bill for costs resulting from negligent and even criminal behavior,” he said.

California Senator Bill Dodd disagrees. “This is about protecting ratepayers, not helping utilities. The fact of the matter is ratepayers would be hurt in a utility bankruptcy.”

Source links: California Department of Insurance, Insurance Business America, Carrier Management, PropertyCasualty360.com, Insurance Journal

Tags:  Bill Gatewood  California wildfires  industry news  insurance industry news 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Idaho

Medicare Workshop: A free Medicare Workshop for individuals turning 65 and those approaching Medicare eligibility will be held Wednesday, September 19, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Hailey Public Library, located at 7 West Croy St., Hailey, Idaho.  Caregivers and all those interested in learning how Medicare works are encouraged to attend.

The workshop will be led by Senior Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA), a unit of the Idaho Department of Insurance.  SHIBA presenters will introduce the various parts of Medicare, and explain some of the vocabulary associated with the program.  Topics to be covered include:

  Timeframes for enrolling in Medicare

  Enrollment periods for Medigap, Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug Plans

  How the different parts of Medicare work together – and when they don’t

To register for the workshop, please contact the SHIBA office at 1-800-247-4422.

Oregon

From the Department of Insurance: The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently announced the following Proposed Rulemaking hearing:

Amendment to Standard Bronze and Silver Plans for 2019

Rules affected: OAR 836-053-0013

To clarify that coverage provided under the standard plans must meet the requirements of HB 3391.

This rule makes permanent amendments to OAR 836-053-0013 and its exhibits. The changes contained in the rules were previously adopted via a temporary rule. These amendments are needed to ensure that the standard bronze and silver plan designs adopted by the department under ORS 743B.130 comply with the requirements of House Bill 3391 (2017).

Filed: August 31, 2018

Public hearing: September 25, 2018 1:30 p.m.

Last day for public comment: October 2, 2018, 5 p.m.

The agency requests public comment on whether other options should be considered for achieving the rule's substantive goals while reducing the negative economic impact of the rule on business.

For more information on this proposed rule, please visit the Division's website:

dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/proposed-rules.aspx

 

Bulletin 2018-07: Regulation of Association Health Plans in Oregon:

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation (the division) has received numerous inquiries about its guidance concerning associations and Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). This bulletin summarizes and clarifies guidance for issuers, associations, MEWAs, insurance agents, and producers in light of the recent United States Department of Labor (DOL) final regulation titled "Definition of Employer Under Section 3(5) of ERISA-Association Health Plans" (AHP rule).

Attached is the full bulletin as released by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS).

More information will be made available on the Division of Financial Regulation website https://dfr.oregon.gov

bulletin2018-07 — https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/ORDCBS/2018/09/10/file_attachments/1069511/bulletin2018-07.pdf

 

The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently adopted the following rule:

ID 30-2018 & ID 32-2018: Adoption of requirements for sale of Medicare Supplement plans on or after January 1, 2020

ID 30-2018

Rules affected: OAR 836-052-0114, 836-052-0119, 836-052-0141, 836-052-0143, 836-052-0144

Clarifying applicability of exhibits to OAR 836-052-0160.

Filed: August 28, 2018

Effective: September 1, 2018

ID 32-2018

Rules affected: OAR 836-052-0114

Refiled to correct error in Exhibit 1.

Filed: August 30, 2018

Effective: September 1, 2018

Documents:

ID 30-2018 Permanent Administrative Order — https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/id30-2018_rule-order.pdf

ID 32-2018 Permanent Administrative Order — https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/id32-2018_rule-order.pdf

For more information, please visit the Division's website:

https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/adopted-rules.aspx

 

Washington

Kreidler Issues Fines: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler issued fines in July totaling $115,050 against insurance companies, agents and brokers who violated state insurance regulations.

Agents and brokers

T-Mobile USA Inc., Bellevue; fined $20,000 order 18-0085

T-Mobile, a cell phone carrier, is also a licensed insurance producer in Washington state. The company offered to pay off phone loans and early termination fees for Verizon customers who switched to T-Mobile and purchased its insurance between May 31 and Aug. 2, 2017. The offer is illegal in Washington state because it induces people to purchase insurance. During the promotion, 927 Washington consumers purchased the plan, which cost $15 per month.

Linna A. Callaham, Bainbridge Island, Wash.; license revoked, order 18-0288

Callaham collected insurance premiums from a commercial client but failed to send them to the insurance company, causing two policies to be canceled and a commercial building to be uninsured for eight months. She never refunded the unpaid premium of more than $5,000 to the client.

APPS Insurance Services Inc., Puyallup, Wash., and James M. Shirreff, Fircrest, Wash.; fined $3,000, order 18-0303

The insurance commissioner conducted four financial examinations that found APPS delayed sending premium refunds totaling nearly $1,500 to three commercial clients. Shirreff is an insurance producer and is responsible for APPS, an insurance agency.

Geoffrey Wayne Leininger, Plano, Texas; license revoked, order 18-0319

A consumer filed a complaint with the insurance commissioner after Leininger placed a homeowner’s policy without the consumer’s consent. The insurer, Liberty Mutual Insurance, refunded the $649 premium payment to the consumer and canceled the unwanted policy.

GSIS, Inc., and Glenn Stebbings, Redondo Beach, Calif.; fined $2,500, order 18-0243

Kenneth E. Kukral, Beachwood, Ohio; fined $3,500, order 18-0246

GSIS and Stebbings were not licensed to sell surplus lines insurance policies in Washington state. To avoid becoming properly licensed, they used Kukral as a “courtesy filer” at least 49 times to obtain surplus lines policies, a violation of state insurance laws.

The insurance commissioner disciplined the following insurance producers for failing to notify the agency of administrative actions against them:

  Daniel Lee, New Orleans; fined $250, order 18-0192

  Horace Thomas Gaines, Nashville; fined $250, order 18-0193

  Walter A. Ringfield, Phoenix; fined $500 and revocation rescinded, order 18-0197

  One Resource Group Corp. and Todd Jeffrey Stewart, Roanoke, Ind.; fined $500, order 18-0281

  Alex Belfort, Sinking Spring, Penn.; license revoked, order 18-0302

  Benjamin Stutts IV, Sandy, Utah; license revoked, order 18-0322

Insurance companies

The insurance commissioner fined the following companies for filing their rates late or using the wrong rates:

  Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington Options, Inc., Seattle; fined $3,500, order 18-0222

  Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, Seattle; fined $3,500, order 18-0228

  Regence BlueShield, Seattle; fined $2,500, order 18-0224

  Crestbrook Insurance Co., Columbus, Ohio; fined $50,000, order 18-0251

The insurance commissioner fined the following companies for violating other state insurance laws:

  GEICO, Chevy Chase, Md.; fined $2,500, order 18-0126

  First National Insurance Co. of America, Keene, N.H.; fined $20,000, order 18-0275

  Pennsylvania Manufacturers Indemnity Co., Blue Bell, Penn.; fined $1,500, order 18-0332

Others

The insurance commissioner fined the following organizations for violating state insurance laws:

  Pioneer Title Co. of Walla Walla, Inc., Walla Walla, Wash.; fined $250, order 18-0258

  Oregon Association of Health Underwriters, Portland, Ore.; fined $800, order 18-0304

Source link: The Washington Department of Insurance

 

Clarification: Clarifying adjuster licensing requirements (R 2017-04) rule withdrawn

We have withdrawn the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101) on the clarifying adjuster licensing requirements rule R2017-04. We withdrew the notice to start rulemaking because as we progressed through the process for this proposed rule, the broad language in RCW 48.17.010(1) that defines "Adjuster" will not allow us to narrowly identify the role of adjusting in insurance claims.

For more information, including the withdrawal letter, please visit the rule's webpage — https://www.insurance.wa.gov/clarifying-adjuster-licensing-requirements-r-2017-04?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Idaho  Insurance  Oregon  Washington 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Welcome to Marketing Mondays!

Posted By Staff Reporter, Monday, September 10, 2018

Why your insurance agency should be bloggin.  10 Reasons

10 Reasons Blogging Should be Part of Your Content Strategy

 

Are you blogging? Your strategy to educate and inform your clients should involve blogging. Because blogging is, and will remain, an essential game plan to reach your audience.

 

One only has to look at a couple of sobering statistics to realize this:
  • You have a 434% higher chance of being ranked highly on search engines if you feature a blog as part of your website (Tech Client).
  • Businesses using blogs as part of their content marketing mix get 67% more leads than those who don’t (Hubspot).
10 REASONS WHY BUSINESS BLOGGING IS CRITICAL

 

1) Respondents on a recent content marketing survey agreed that blogging is their most critical content marketing tactic.
 
Blogging was followed by email newsletters (40%), social media content (40%), then ebooks, in-person events, and webinars. And video? Only 30% of respondents consider video to be vital.

 

2) Blogging is still top of mind for in-depth material.
This especially holds true when, according to Google, up to 10% of users’ daily information needs involve learning about a broad topic.

 

3) People trust blogs.
Which is why it’s no surprise to learn that blogs are the 5th most trusted source for accurate online information.

 

4) Blogging drives traffic to your website.
Your blog is an evolving collection of articles, keywords, and expertise that any reliable search engine optimization (SEO) campaign demands.

 

5) Blogging encourages inbound links.
Inbound links (hyperlinks that go back to your site) are the lifeblood of any website. They’re the currency of the internet because high quality back links, from a variety of sites, give your website a higher rank in search engine results.

 

6) Blogging gets results.
Just under 55% of bloggers report that they get positive results from blogging. 30% of them go as far as to say they get strong marketing results.

 

7) Blogging is better with social media.
Interacting with your customers doesn't have to be done exclusively on social media. Your blog offers a great opportunity for you to start discussions with your readers.

 

8) Blogging positively augments your social media posts.
Now your blog informs your social media posts. You promote your blog there, enriching your followers' experience with articles and other content.

 

9) Blogging beats advertising.
Your blog functions as your advertising, only better. Most people use a company blog to find out more about that company.

 

10) Blogging forces you outside your comfort zone.
Blogs have evolved into far more than a company mouthpiece for marketing agenda. Readers now expect candid, transparent storytelling on your blog.

 

 

Blog idea generator courtesy of HubSpot

Tags:  blog idea generator  Marketing Monday  PIA Western Alliance  Why blogging is so important 

Share |
Permalink
 

Renters Underserved in Personal Lines

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Those renting rather than buying has reached an all-time high in the U.S. The number of renter-occupied units — apartments, condos, houses, etc. — has hit 43 million. That figure comes from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The problem — says the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) — is that just 41% of those renters have renters’ insurance. As contrast, the I.I.I. says 95% of homeowners carry a homeowners policy.

Nationwide Vice President of Personal Lines Mendi Riddle said, “Many renters underestimate both the value and affordability of renters’ insurance. Not only does renters’ insurance provide coverage for belongings inside the residence should those items be stolen, destroyed or damaged, but the coverage may also extend to personal items renters keep inside their vehicle. Additionally, renters’ insurance helps pay for covered damage or bodily injury to others caused by an accident that may occur at their residence.”

Riddle said a lot of people mistakenly think the landowner’s policies will cover them. That’s — as you know — a myth, and insurers and agents need to find more creative ways to reach renters.

Nationwide’s claims data said these were the top renters’ insurance claims from 2017:

  Theft (from dwelling or vehicle)

  Water damage (non-weather related)

  Fire and smoke damage

  Liability

  Wind related claims

Riddle added, “Having to replace possessions such as clothing, furniture and electronics can be very expensive should they be suddenly lost due to a fire or other tragic event. Renters’ insurance provides peace of mind allowing renters to keep their lives on track should a major setback occur.”

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

In Focus — Part 2: PIA Member Degginger McIntosh & Associates

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Last week Weekly Industry News looked at PIA Western Alliance member agency Degginger McIntosh & Associates, Inc. It is widely known as DMA Insurance. This week we continue the agency’s story.

Co-owner Keith Degginger told us one reason for the firm’s continued success is that it’s old school.

Keith says the industry has changed significantly since he started his career and those changes aren’t necessarily good. “We are very old school; very honorable in how we do things. That’s us and not everybody. There isn’t as much honor in the business as there used to be. There is cut-throat competition out there that will do anything for a sale. That’s because there is too much emphasis on bottom line,” he said.

Lost to the business is an emphasis on exposure identification and treatment.

“We are here for the client,” he said. “We touch the marketplace every year for our clients. We explore carriers who have a sincere desire to work the account rather than shot-gunning an account to block the market, we respect the underwriters time too much to ask them to quote what is not in their wheelhouse.” 

Keith says most agencies only market accounts when they have competition, and he finds that disconcerting. A DMA motto is “we are our own toughest competition.” Translation: DMA is always trying to improve what they provided to the clients the prior year.

“The customer should be given coverage choices from the marketplace other than just a price. Exposures and coverage need to be carefully analyzed each year as new forms and products come out, and very few firms take the approach that we do,” he said. “Timing is important in this business. We explain to the consumer how the industry works and show them how to be in control of the renewal process. Our objective is to present renewals to consumers in an agreed upon timeframe. That date is set well in advance. We are a very transparent about the marketing process and put the consumer in control, which they greatly appreciate.”

Many insurance firm say they specialize in certain market segments, Degginger McIntosh promotes their specialty as being “insurance” itself.  The philosophy is when you know risk management and exposure identification, the proper insurance program will be created regardless of industry.

“Our agents sell in many industries and they are not afraid to jump into new ones. We also train our producers to sell all lines of insurance and not limit them to just one aspect of the business. Our people are exposure and marketing specialists. That’s old School,” Keith noted.

Another concern is how personal insurance market has been turned into — in his words — a commodity.

“In the last decade providing proper consultation for consumer has changed to one of price, price, price. The price push has been brought about by the large advertising budgets of companies like Geico, Progressive and others. They have turned personal insurance into a commodity. Buying insurance is not like buying a loaf of bread, but the big boys tend to make the consumer think it is,” he added.

Keith said the value of the independent agent comes into play here.

“Flo’s ‘price gun’ is a very dangerous weapon for the consumer. With no advice consumers will likely pick the least expensive option and not what they need. This approach leaves the consumers exposed,” he said.

Keith feels it is easy to overcome what the direct marketers are doing. This is done by engaging clients and spending the time to really assess their needs. Once the consumer is made aware that they have deeper needs than price alone, they see the value of the independent agent is far greater that what they can get on on-line.

It’s all about education and Keith’s experience — and that of DMA — is the public wants to be educated. “For commercial clients, we go through a detailed coverage check list that we developed. It started out years ago as a page and a half in large 12-point font. It has expanded to over 200 coverage items and it’s four pages in small 8-point font,” he noted. “I go through this with commercial consumers in detail. We keep expanding this tool, and other services. We go well beyond the current hot buttons of Cyber and employment practices coverages, and our clients and prospects constantly comment that our approach is the deepest dive they have ever experienced in risk management and exposure identification.”

This leads to his last piece of advice on old school insurance and the importance of the education of clients. “People don't often do their own due diligence these days. Getting them to take the time to do it is difficult, when completed they are all appreciative of what we have provided to them. It is critical for agents to be as much of a teacher as an agent. Once people are educated, they tend to value the education over price alone,” he said.

The bottom line, expanding little Walmsley-Degginger to the Degginger, McIntosh & Associates of today boils down to this. “It been a challenging yet fun ride, not without its bumps, but Ken McIntosh and I feel very accomplished with what we have built,” Keith said, “We took small agency with $3 million in premiums and two producers, and together — with the aid of our employees and insurance carriers — have grown to an agency pushing $30 million with nine producers. Best of all, we all have fun. Along the way we brought many new professionals into this industry including our sons Mac, Kyle and Kevin who all chose insurance for their profession.”

It just doesn’t get any better than that.

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

September — National Preparedness Month

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Considering the huge number of wildfires experienced in the states of the West this year, sharing information about the 2018 National Preparedness Month with your clients is probably a good idea.

The annual month is sponsored by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is done so for a number of obvious reasons. One of the points being for us — insurance professionals — to help the individuals, families and businesses that depend upon us.

This year’s focus is planning and the theme is Disasters Happen. Prepare Now. Learn How. Each week of the month features a different topic and the topic of week three — September 16 - 22 — is Check Your Insurance Coverage.

Here’s what FEMA says about insurance:

  It is the first line of defense

  Coverage needs to be checked and reviewed

Part two of the FEMA formula involves insurance and is titled:

Be Smart. Take Part. Document and Insure Your Property.

Good idea. And after your clients do the insurance double-check, then they need to take a personal or business inventory and get ready for the worst. The America Red Cross says that’s much easier than we think and recommends three basic steps:

Step one — Create a kit and pack these items in an easy to carry container:

  A gallon of water per person, per day

  Non-perishable food

  Flashlight and hand-crank or battery-powered radio

  Extra batteries

  Sanitation and personal hygiene items

  Copies of important papers

  Extra cash

  Any medical or baby supplies family members may need

Step two — Plan:

Meet with family members or business employees — or both — and between you create an emergency plan. Included in that plan ask:

  What emergencies can happen in the area?

  What do all of you do if you’re separated?

  How do you let loved ones or business personnel you’re save?

Step three — Stay informed:

  Like step two, know the area’s most common disasters

  Learn how local authorities pass disaster information onto homes and businesses

Last, the Red Cross says preparation means making sure someone in the family or business is trained in first aid and CPR in case help is delayed and there are injuries. You can go to the Red Cross’s First Aid App at redcross.org/apps to get instant access on how to treat most injuries.

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  National Preparedness Month September 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Labor Day Post Mortem: Insurance Hiring on the Rise

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Labor Day 2018 is in the books. It’s that day we set aside once a year to honor work and workers. Originally Labor Day was about the American labor movement. It has since morphed into celebrating the contributions of American workers to the nation’s economic strength and prosperity, and the general well-being of the country.

When it comes to the labor of insurance and insurance worker prosperity, the semi-annual job satisfaction report from The Jacobson Group and Aon’s Ward Group passed on some information that will make insurance workers happy. Apparently, insurers are hiring.

In fact, whether it’s getting hired or hiring, the report says things are going to be very, very competitive for the rest of the year.

The two firms found:

  63% of all companies will hire

  72% of personal lines carriers will hire

  66% of commercial lines carriers will hire

  Only 5% of companies say they’ll reduce staff this year

What will they be hiring?

  Technology

  Claims

  Underwriting

Hardest to fill?

  Executive

  Technology

  Actuarial

Jacobson’s Co-CEO Gregory Jacobson said insurance unemployment is about 1.7% compared to the national average of 3.9%. That low figure makes the factors contributing to hiring very tight.

“Expected increases in business volume and expansion into new markets are driving continued hiring. The organizational growth, coupled with a shallow talent pool and virtually non-existent industry unemployment, results in an increasingly competitive labor market,” he noted.

If they can’t hire permanently, many firms are filling holes with temporary staff. The survey found 13% of companies going that route. That’s up from 12% last year.

Here’s what else the study found:

  Look for a .47% jump in employment between now and next year

  P&C personal lines will see a 1.13% rise

  P&C commercial lines hiring will be up .51%

  79% of mid-sized companies will hire new staff in the next year

  That’s 20% higher than small companies

  That’s 24% higher than large companies

  72% of personal lines carriers will increase staffing

  66% of commercial lines carriers will increase staffing

  82% of quizzed companies say they will see revenue grow next year

  That’s 3% higher than January’s survey

  93% of medium-sized companies are optimistic about revenue growth

  80% of small companies are optimistic

  76% of large companies are optimistic

  Of those reducing staff, 11% say it is because of automation

  9% of firms say reorganization caused the job cuts

Carriers surveyed say they’re struggling to find people to replace the aging workforce.

Why so much competition? A huge percentage of us aren’t all that happy with our jobs. The Conference Board’s latest survey said over half of us — 51% — are happy with our jobs.

That means 49% aren’t.

The good news is there are more satisfied employees this year than last, and this is the seventh year in a row that more of us are happy than unhappy. With more hiring happening this year than in the past few years, paying attention to that “unhappy” is growing in importance.

Here’s what the Conference Board says we’re unhappy about:

  Workload

  Education / job-training programs

  The performance review process

  Bonus plans

  Promotion policy

Rebecca Ray authored the report. She’s the Conference Board executive vice president. Her advice? Pay attention.

“To attract and retain the most productive employees in today’s labor market, companies must make a bigger commitment to addressing the factors within their control. Among other steps, that entails addressing the job components with which employees are least satisfied, including job training, the performance review process and promotion policy. As workers continue to voluntarily leave their jobs at a record rate, the need to prioritize components relating to their professional development could not come at a more pressing time,” she said

Here’s what else the survey found:

  Lower income workers are happier with their jobs than those of upper income

  Those happiest on the job also were more likely to like their bosses and co-workers

  Other happiness satisfaction factors:

  The commute

  The work itself

  Their supervisor

  The workplace environment

By the way, those happiest with their jobs are in Minnesota.

Source links: Insurance Journal, PropertyCasualty360.com, Carrier Management

Tags:  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Foremost Rebrands as Bristol West

Posted By Staff Reporter, Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Farmers Insurance Group’s Foremost Insurance Group is going to change — sort of. It will be rebranded as Bristol West and the change will happen gradually over the next couple of months.

At the same time, Bristol West President Eric Kappler said independent agents and their customers need to know that nothing changes except the name. Then he pointed out that in a number of states Foremost is already being sold under the Bristol West name.

“We believe the brand change will allow for better alignment of our customer service and claims handling operations, which will ultimately enhance the customer experience for Foremost and Bristol West policyholders. We look forward to continuing to provide drivers the high-level of customer service they have enjoyed under the Foremost brand, while offering a competitive auto product to new customers,” he said.

Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  Bristol West Insurance group  Foremost insurance  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 6 of 199
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  >   >>   >| 

A special thank you to our KKlub Members for their support.