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The Anchor



Be more than an insurance agent.

Be the hero your clients can count on. Our agent partnerships are powerful. By developing tailored insurance products and high-level customer experiences, we give our agents the ability to deliver the protection their clients deserve. And, with every EMC policy, agents can help clients fight off costly risks, report claims in a flash and get them safely back on their feet. It’s this combination of innovation and service that makes an EMC agent a real hero. ŠCopyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2020. All rights reserved.


FALL/WINTER 2020 | DIGITAL RELEASE ONLY Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island

President Perspective ............................................. 7 Executive Vice President Perspective ...................... 8 PAC Donations .......................................................


Partners Corner.......................................................


Sales Corner



Worker’s Compensation...........................................


Human Resources Corner ........................................


Marketing Corner.....................................................


Emerging Leaders....................................................


8 Staff Anniversaries


27 Meet our New President

Covid 19 & Workers Comp

Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island Fall 2020


Penn National Insurance Commercial Umbrella Policy

Your Agency’s E&O Policy

>>Higher E&O Limits: The Icing on the Cake Providing excess coverage that includes protection over top of your E&O coverage, the Penn National Insurance Agents’ Umbrella Program is the icing on the cake. In today’s legal environment, increased limits are needed to protect your business. The Big “I” and Penn National Insurance have partnered to offer Big “I” members a comprehensive commercial umbrella that includes coverage over errors and omissions policies from a variety of carriers. With limits up to $10 million and $5 million of personal exposures for owners and officers, this unique product will help protect you against the liabilities involved in running your business. Contact your E&O administrator to receive a proposal. Helen Collins, AAI, AIS, CPIA Director of Professional Liability | 401.732.2400

OFFICERS President

Kenneth Thompson, Jr.

President Elect

Michele Calabrese

Vice President

Anthony Bucci, Jr. CPCU, AIS

State National Director

William J. Hunt, CPCU

Immediate Past President

Denise T. Smith, CIC



DIRECTORS Terms Expire 2021 Sean P. Daly, CPCU Daniel Lathrop Terms Expire 2022

Terms Expire 2020

EMC Insurance ............................................... 2 Big I Professional Liability


Margaret Longolucco, CIC Joseph Paiva


Thomas. J. DiSanto, JD, LLM, CIC Christopher Slocum, CIC, CPIA

Big I Eagle Markets

STAFF Marcia L. Berthiaume, AAI, ACSR, AIS, CPIA State Account Manager, Emerging Leaders Liaison Helen Collins, AAI, AIS, CPIA Director of Professional Liability

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Servpro®......................................................... 9

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Big I Professional Liability JH Communications

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PS&H ............................................................ back

Sean R. Donaghey, CPCU Senior Vice President, State Account Executive Toni Drowne Communications & Marketing Manager Jack Hutson, CAE Senior Vice President, Business Development Lori Kaufman Executive Assistant/Member Services Coordinator


Maureen McNamara, AIS, ACSR Assistant Treasurer, Director of Finance

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have decided to publish this edition digitally.

Mark A. Male, MLIS Executive Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer Jean E. Nagle, AAI, ACSR, AIS Assistant Vice President, Director of Education Sarah Ribera Assistant Director of Education & Membership The Anchor is published by the Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island (IIARI). Statement of fact and opinion is made based on the responsibility of the authors alone and does not imply an opinion on the part of IIARI, it’s officers, directors or members. Subscription rate for members is $15, which is included in dues. Subscription rates for non-members is $75 per year. (single copies $10). Reprint requests should be referred to IIARI. Copyright © 2020 Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island.

Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island Fall 2020


When you give to our PACs, we all win Ensure the independent agent’s voice is heard in the halls of Providence and D.C.



Meet Ken Thompson I graduated from Assumption College in 1996.

In my senior year, I attended a career fair and met an alumnus of Assumption who worked for Prudential Insurance. He made insurance seems like a great occupation, so I thought, “I will try it for a few years and see if I like it.” Now, 24 years later I am still working in the insurance industry and I am happy every day for having made that choice. I started in life insurance with Prudential, but with the change in commissions from trailing to almost all upfront, I decided to move into the property and casualty sector. I felt that this would provide me with a more stable and predictable income. I first became interested in the association when I met Mark Male. I was working as an agent for Virgil Sales of Stateline Insurance at the time. Mark introduced me to the different committees in the association and I decided to start my involvement with the government affairs committee. I joined several other committees within the association along the way and met many great people. I was very excited to see that the other committee members were happy to share their ideas and problem-solving methods with me. Within my first year I realized this was an organization I wanted to continue working with.

his team have tirelessly done. The board and our committees must continue to provide any information that will assist in adjusting to the new guidelines and provide new methods of operating in a safe and profitable manner. When I am not helping on the board or running my office, I find inner peace playing golf. Nothing is better than spending time out in the sun with family and friends. A mentor once told me the best way to find out about someone is to play a round of golf together. I have some of my best memories and have formed strong friendships with people in our industry this way. Those who say I play too much have since been cut from the invitation list. I look forward to helping our association continue to move in the direction that will benefit our members the most. If we as a board can help you in any way, please reach out to any of us. Thank you,

Ken Thompson

The President’s term is only one year and there is a lot to do. I want to continue what our recent past presidents started by providing a strong support system for our members. We need to make sure we bring our members more success by helping them obtain more markets and advocating for them when there is legislation being proposed that would affect our businesses. I know as small business owners we wear many hats and I appreciate those who donate their time to help make us stronger. I hope this will inspire more members to join and contribute to our industry’s success. As all industries figure out how to operate during Covid times, our association must continue the work Mark and Ken Thompson IIARI President 7

Fall 2020


Team Member Anniversaries We are fortunate to have stellar team

members who ultimately define who we are with our members. As we wrap up 2020, we need to acknowledge and recognize some employee service anniversaries!

Marcia Berthiaume 15 years Marcia joined RIAIA 15 years ago this past November. For a decade and a half she has provided the back breaking daily support needed to address constant state account requests and an enormous amount of policy and claim processing. Without her support RIAIA’s service level would suffer greatly and neither bills nor claims would be processed. The sheer volume of work generated by overseeing all the policies managed is significant. She consistently provides reliable and accurate support and we cannot overlook her

value to the operation in her commitment to both the state account and the RI Emerging Leaders (RIEL) Committee. She has consistently championed the RIEL initiatives and her commitment is unparalleled in ensuring optimal success for the committee. For the past 2 years, Marcia and the RIEL took over the Fall Golf Outing to make it a successful and enjoyable event. This year has been extremely difficult with State account demands which she has managed with reliability and great skill. We can’t possibly thank her enough for all that she does to support RIAIA. We are fortunate to have such an extremely competent and capable individual!

Maureen McNamara 10 years Maureen joined the team in May 2010 and has elevated the accounting and bookkeeping - not just for RIAIA and IIARI - but also a plethora of other accounts managed by NEAS. Once hired she immediately recognized the absence of a formal receivables or payables process and quickly implemented a protocol to fill the void. She continues to ensure adherence to accounting controls and processes a volume of transactions generated by the various operations we are tasked to oversee. She ensures employee enrollment in benefits while monitoring the competitiveness of the benefits and pricing. Her title changed to Assistant Treasurer in recognition of the depth and breadth of her accounting expertise and the level of support she provides to the EVP who also serves as Treasurer. From audit preparation and support to monthly P&L and balance sheet prep, she has little idle time. She navigates the financial waters to ensure compliance with appropriate and professional standards in accounting. The organization took a giant step forward when she joined us in 2010. We can’t thank

Robert J. Pettinicchi, Mark Chief Male Lending officer, Executive Insurbanc Vice President

Fall 2020


her enough for all she does to support all the managed accounts. Another incredibly competent and capable team member we have the good fortune to employ!

Jack Hutson 5 years Jack Huston joined RIAIA, and more specifically, New England Association Services (our association management company or AMC), just five years ago. He brought with him some existing association management accounts to add to the list of contracted services. Jack’s role is not on most radar screens as the accounts he manages do not get much exposure with the stockholders. He currently manages the RI Psychological Association, the RI Commercial and Appraisal Board of Realtors, the RI Society of Financial Service Professionals, and has other limited association management lobbying engagements. He is currently working on a new opportunity for a small RI-based association to add to his portfolio. He has the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation that carries weight in the AMC field. His presence has bolstered our image among others considering an AMC for a staffing solution. Please join me in congratulating the anniversaries of these individuals and their contribution to our collective success! We are fortunate to have them on our team!

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Fall 2020

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2019 PAC Contributors!

Our Association’s 2020 PAC solicitation campaign is underway. It’s important that we support our PAC because we are in a highly regulated industry and there there are many factions that would propose changes that would be harmful to our customers or to our agencies. By having a vibrant PAC we are able to help get our voice heard. During the 2021 legislative year there will be new leadership and we will need to re-establish our presence. During the 2020, year even though most traditional fund raisers were canceled, many interest groups continued to make contributions to candidates. If we don’t keep up we will fall behind. Please make a meaningful contribution.



Edward Bishop EF Bishop Agency

David Hanuschak Hanuschak Insurance Agency, Inc.

Richard Blackman, CPCU, API Blackman Insurance Agency, Inc.

Mark A. Male, MLIS Ind. Ins. Agents of Rhode Island

Mark Matrone, CIC John Andrade Insurance Agency, Inc.

Edward L. Blais, JD, CIC Blais Insurance

Bruce Messier Butler & Messier, Inc

Doug Mayhew, CIC OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc.

Michele Calabrese Farmington Insurance Agency, Inc.

Ernest Shaghalian Jr. Alpine Insurance

Nancy Mendizabal, CIC Apple Valley Agency, Inc.

Matthew F. Clarke, AAI, CIC OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc.


Roger L. Messier, CPCU Butler & Messier, Inc.

Brian M. Hunter, CPCU, CIC Hunter Insurance, Inc.

Richard Padula, CIC The Hilb Group of New England, LLC

John Kaull, AIA, ACSR OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc.

Joseph Paiva The Agency Paiva, LLC.

Barbara Kirby Esten & Richard Agency, Inc.

Frank Richard Esten & Richard Agency, Inc.

Robert B. Loiselle, CIC Loiselle Insurance Agency

Barry Sutcliffe Bradford-Sutcliffe Ins. Assoc., Inc.

Garry Mansfield, CIC Mansfield Insurance Agency, Inc.

Allen H. Chatterton, III Chatterton Insurance, Inc. William Combies Bentsen-Combies Insurance, Inc. John T. Edge, Jr., CIC A.N. Nunes Agency, Inc. David Gates Gates Insurance Agency, Inc Cristie A. Hanaway, CIC, CPIA The Hilb Group of New England, LLC 10

Fall 2020

Howard Thorp, AAI, CIC Thorp & Trainer, Inc.

The Anchor

Terrance S. Martiesian, Esq. Martiesian & Associates

Gregory A. Oliver Oliver Insurance Agency, Inc.

Kenneth Thompson, Jr. Lezaola Thompson Insurance, Inc.

Bruce Messier, AAI Butler & Messier, Inc.

Richard B. Paquin,CRIS Paquin Insurance Agency, Inc.

Donna Towers Lemos, CPCU Russ Towers Insurance Agency, Inc

Marc Nadeau, CPIA Blais Insurance

Richard Rheinberger Affiliated Insurance Managers, Inc.

William R. Warburton, Jr. The Hilb Group of New England, LLC

A. Alan Oliver Oliver Insurance Agency, Inc.

Denise T. Smith Smith Insurance Group, Inc.



Mark A. Male, MLIS Ind. Ins. Agents of Rhode Island

David Gates Gates Insurance Agency, Inc.


Richard Padula, CIC The Hilb Group of New England, LLC

Steve Jacobs Arabella Insurance Group Margaret Longolucco, CIC Mansfield Insurance Agency, Inc. Timothy Mailloux, CPIA. CRIS Gardiner Whiteley Boardman Insurance Agency, LLC

John T. Edge, Jr., CIC A.N. Nunes Agency, Inc.


William J. Hunt Sr. , CPCU Shove Insurance, Inc.

Charles Balfour, Inc Bud Balfour Insurance, Inc.

Brian M. Hunter, CPCU, CIC, AAI Hunter Insurance, Inc.

Maurice Bessette, Jr. Bessette Insurance

John Kaull, AAI, ACSR OceanPoint Insurance Agency, Inc.

Sean P. Daly, INS, CPCU, ACSR, PGI Affiliated Insurance Managers, Inc.

Melanie Loiselle-Mongeon, CIC, AAI, AIS Loiselle Insurance Agency

Meghan Downing A.N. Nunes Agency, Inc.

Kelly Townsend, AAI, AIS, PGI, AINS, CPIA Paolino Insurance Agency, Inc.

Robert B. Loiselle, CIC Loiselle Insurance Agency

Trevor Edge A.N. Nunes Agency, Inc.

Kenneth Thompson, Jr. Lezaola Thompson Insurance, Inc.

Mark Matrone, CIC John Andrade Insurance Agency, Inc.

William Hunt Jr., AINS, CPIA Shove Insurance, Inc.

Ralph Woodmansee Woodmansee Insurance, Inc.

Bruce Messier, AAI Butler & Messier, Inc. Laura Pires, CISR Smith Insurance Group, Inc. Nicholas San Martino, CPIA E. A. Kelley Company, RI, Inc.

Roger L. Messier, CPCU Butler & Messier, Inc. Frank Richard Esten & Richard Agency, Inc. Ernest Shaghalian Jr. Alpine Insurance Howard Thorp, AAI, CIC Thorp & Trainer, Inc.

Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island Fall 2020


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Big “I” Professional Liability

Deduc�ble Reduc�on Feature Examples The DEDUCTIBLE REDUCTION is a unique coverage feature included with your Swiss Re Corporate Solu�ons Insurance Agents and Brokers Professional Liability Coverage. The coverage has a dual benefit where it not only reduces the severity of an E&O claim, but also saves your agency thousands in deductible costs. Below are five examples where policyholders were able to take advantage of their policy’s deduc�ble reduc�on feature. Please refer to your Westport or First Specialty Insurance Corpora�on Policy Form for details. The examples are for illustra�on purposes only and should not be construed as actual claim events.

Example 1 Prior to renewal, an Account Manager (AM) met with a customer and reviewed their exposures using a coverage checklist. During the conversa�on, the AM discussed increasing the underlying homeowners & auto limits. The AM offered an umbrella policy as a cost-effec�ve way of increasing liability limits on both policies. The client declined both op�ons due to the premium and signed the checklist acknowledging the coverages were available. Following an at-fault automobile accident with another vehicle, the client caused significantly more bodily injury damage then had coverage available on their auto policy. With the client’s personal assets exposed, they filed a suit against the agency for providing inadequate limits of liability. An E&O claim was submi�ed to Swiss Re Corporate Solu�ons and because of the AM’s use of a coverage checklist, signed by the client and included in the file, this is an example of a policy holder taking advantage of their policy’s Deduc�ble Reduc�on feature.

Example 2 A store owner had a disagreement with an employee who was ul�mately terminated. A few months later, as a cost cu�ng measure, the store owner decided to not renew his Employment Prac�ces Liability (EPL) policy. The agency’s CSR spoke with the store owner and advised him of his need to purchase an Extended Repor�ng Period (ERP) endorsement and proceeded to document the file. Following the conversa�on, the CSR mailed a le�er explaining the purpose of an ERP, as well as the terms and condi�ons of purchasing the endorsement. A few days prior to expira�on of the Basic Extended Repor�ng Period, the CSR emailed the store owner yet another reminder. Irritated with the number of le�ers and emails the store owner received from the agency, he quickly replied to the email saying, “I don’t want to buy any more insurance!”

A few months later, the terminated employee filed a suit for wrongful termina�on. The store owner contacted his EPL carrier and was enraged to find out he would not have coverage for this event. He claimed he was never instructed regarding the purpose of the ERP endorsement. Faced with a lawsuit of his own, he filed a suit against the agency for failing to secure an ERP endorsement. An E&O Claim was submi�ed to Swiss Re Corporate Solu�ons; due to the agency’s thorough documenta�on of the ERP offer to the store owner this policyholder was able to take advantage of the policy’s Deductible Reduc�on feature.

Example 3 A producer wrote a Commercial General Liability policy for a Petroleum Storage Equipment Company whose business ac�vi�es involved sales and servicing of petroleum storage equipment. The producer was aware of the customer’s exposure to a pollu�on event and offered various pollu�on coverage op�ons during the sales transac�on. All offered addi�onal coverages were ul�mately declined by the customer. The producer documented the agency management system with the conversa�on and follow up email, both of which confirmed the offer and declina�on of the pollu�on coverages. A few of months later, a sizable pollu�on loss occurred, and a suit was filed against the Petroleum Storage Equipment Company. Soon a�er the company realized they were uninsured for this exposure, they filed suit against the agency for failure to provide pollu�on coverage. An E&O claim was submi�ed to Swiss Re Corporate solu�ons and the Deduc�ble Reduc�on feature was u�lized based on the follow up email sent to the customer confirming coverage was offered and rejected.

Uninsured/Underinsured (UM/UIM) Motorist coverage rejec�on por�on of the applica�on AND failed to advise the importance of this coverage. An E&O Claim was filed with Swiss Re Corporate Solu�ons. During the Claims Examiner’s review an e-signature authen�ca�on form was located which documented the date, �me, email and IP address when the policy applica�on documents were emailed to the customer. The agency also had documenta�on indica�ng when the insured signed and returned the documents electronically, documents which included the client’s completed UM/UIM coverage rejec�on form. A coverage checklist was used by the agency that further indicates UM/UIM coverage was discussed and a note in the Agency’s Management System confirms the coverage was discussed at length and ul�mately rejected due to cost. Because of the mul�ple documents and recorded discussion in the customers file, this is another example of a policy holder taking advantage of their policy’s Deduc�ble Reduc�on feature.

Example 5 An agent received a claim le�er from a customer alleging the agency did not duplicate a prior policy’s retroac�ve date, leaving the customer uninsured for a storage tank system. Included in the agency’s customer file was the ini�al coverage offer for the tank system and a wri�en email confirma�on with the word “DECLINING” retroac�ve coverage for the storage tank in capital le�ers. The claim le�er was submi�ed to Swiss Re Corporate Solu�ons; based on the agency’s file including the offer le�er and email confirma�on, this policyholder was able to take advantage of their policy’s Deduc�ble Reduc�on feature.

Example 4 Following an accident with an Underinsured Motorist, a customer filed a suit alleging that the agency completed and electronically signed the

This article is intended to be used for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Swiss Re, IIABA and/or IIABA’s subsidiaries and af�iliates shall not be held responsible in any way for, and speci�ically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained or referenced in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, accounting or professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. If speci�ic legal or other expert advice is required or desired, the services of an appropriate, competent professional, such as an attorney or accountant, should be sought. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of the Swiss Re Group ("Swiss Re") and/or its subsidiaries and/or management and/or shareholders and IIABA and/or IIABA’s subsidiaries and af�iliates. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions of the actual policy, which forms the contract between the insured and the insurance company. Available coverages may vary by state.

Thank you! 2020 IIARI PARTNERS

Without their continued support, the ability to deliver membership benefits would be significantly compromised. Please help us thank them for continuing to support us over the year.


Fall 2020

The Anchor


cal service we provide. We tegically located around of one of the country’s top Gold ose to home.



Bronze Hospitality Insurance Group Johnson & Johnson, Inc. CMGA MAPFRE Insurance NLC Insurance Companies

Quincy Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Co. Vermont Mutual Insurance Group

Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island Fall 2020


Sales Corner

How to Get Motivated to Prospect Here’s the problem with motivation: if you’re waiting for positive motivation to “feel like” cold calling, it’s not coming.

Recently, I was in a sales meeting in which

the owner of the company passed out an article on habits. We discussed good sales habits, how to acquire them, and what kind of habits it ultimately takes to be successful in sales. What was interesting was that we didn’t have any ah-ha moments or unearth anything new. Everyone had a pretty good idea of what it takes to be successful and yet, most weren’t doing those things. Something I’ve noticed over the years is that most people who aren’t doing what they need to do blame it on a lack of motivation. Many salespeople I encounter are constantly looking for motivation to go out and prospect and as a result, they struggle to make enough calls. Sure, most eventually get themselves to make some calls, but it’s rarely enough. Here’s the problem with motivation: if you’re waiting for positive motivation to “feel like” cold calling, it’s not coming. Do you wait for inspiration to strike before you take out the trash? In school, did you wait until you were excited to do your homework? Of course not. Why not? Because you knew it wasn’t coming. The same is true with cold calling. You’re never going to look forward to doing it. And, by the way, if right now you’re saying, “What?! I love to cold call!!”, you can stop reading this article. For the other 99.99999% of you, keep reading. So, the first point here is don’t wait until you feel like, or are positively motivated, to prospect. It’s not going to happen. Second, avoid the trap many salespeople fall into when trying to avoid the discomfort of prospecting. It’s what I call ‘tricking yourself’ into ‘thinking’ you’re prospecting when you’re actually not. What do I mean by that? Anything other than in-person, over the phone, or other ‘live’ forms of prospecting where you are actually talking to a person who is a potential prospect, is not prospecting. The most common forms of false prospecting are: sending cold e-mails without an immediate phone call, messages on LinkedIn, hanging out on other forms of social media, and going to the same networking events where you see 95 to 100% of the same people every time. E-mails, LinkedIn


Fall 2020

messages and the like are fine for follow-up, but never as an initial prospecting contact. Look, at the end of the day, you simply need to figure out how many phone calls and/or in-person calls you have to make and then find a way to get yourself to make the calls. If this is something you struggle with, here are a few things you can try: Tip #1: Focus on the long-term pain of inaction versus the short-term pain of action. If you’re like most people, and assuming you’re a person of good character and integrity, you’re hard on yourself when you don’t make the necessary sales calls, which is what you get paid for, and ultimately what you promised to do when you accepted your job. You beat yourself up, talk down to yourself, your confidence and self-esteem take a hit, you feel guilty, you have a bad day because you didn’t live up to your obligations, and your lack of sales leads to depression. It’s painful all the way around and all those bad feelings suck. And by the way, you should feel this way if you don’t do what you’re supposed to do and what you promised to do when you accepted the job. That’s the longterm pain. All you have to do to avoid the long-term pain is make the calls and face the short-term pain of possible rejection. And by the way, stop kidding yourself, the short-term pain is never as bad as you think it will be. You’re not going to die, most people will not hang up on you, slam the door in your face, or scream at you and call you names, but even if some of them did, so what, what’s the worst that can happen? In fact, not only will the short-term pain not be as bad, you’ll also get a reward. All the negative things that happen when you don’t make the calls will flip. You’ll feel better about yourself, have more self-esteem, more self-confidence, and that in turn will flow positively into all the other areas of your life, oh, and you’ll be more successful and have a lot more money.

The Anchor

Tip #2: Calculate how much money you make per call, whether you talk to someone or not. Take the size of your average sale. Figure out how many calls you make to get a sale. Divide the amount of the sale by the number of calls. If you call and you get a busy signal, voicemail, someone says they aren’t interested, or any other number of things happen, just think to yourself, “Cool, I just made another $10 dollars.” Or, whatever number you came up with. Tip #3: Related to the above, realize that every call gets you closer to a sale. Tip #4: Focus on the intrinsic reward. Imagine the ultimate payoff. What are your goals and dreams? What does your perfect life look like 5, 10, 20 or more years down the road? The more calls you make, the faster you’ll move toward that reality. Procrastinating and wasting another day moves you further away from that and closer to the opposite of that, closer to pain and misery. You can also tie it to something important like being a good example for your kids. Tip #5: Take some caffeine, listen to motivational music, watch a video that motivates you.

check for $500 to or a political candidate you can’t stand or an organization you don’t like and would never support. Tip #7: Make prospecting your #1 priority and get it done before you do anything else. Once you get your most difficult task out of the way, the rest of the day will be much easier. Tip #8: Get completely sold on what you have to offer. The first sale is to yourself. People will hear your conviction. Know that you are helping people and making their lives better. Tip #9: Repeat several positive affirmations two or three times before making your calls. Tip #10: Be prepared. Have a script that you’ve rehearsed well and know exactly what to do and what to say. Finally, don’t expect to be perfect and do expect to face rejection. If being a great salesperson and making a ton of money was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Tip #6: Have someone hold you accountable. Tell someone how many calls you’re going to make and if you don’t make the calls, you have to write a

John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker, coach, and trainer. For his free eBook: 30 Ideas to Double Sales and monthly article, or to have him speak at your next event, go to: www. John has over 33 years of sales experience as a number one sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia (Axiom Book Awards). John Chapin |

Worker’s Compensation Corner

What’s Going On? COVID 19 CHALLENGES FACING WORKER’S COMPENSATION In my last three columns, I have written on the

coronavirus and its effect on our workers’ compensation system. I am happy to report that the Rhode Island workers’ comp system continues to function admirably. But with no end in sight, the interim and emergency measures the courts have implemented bear watching with the question of whether this pandemic will change the system forever. This column is intended to give you some idea of what to focus on in workers’ comp right now and in the future so that you can better meet your customers’ needs. The Workers’ Compensation Advisory Council will begin meeting again shortly with an eye toward resolving the issues raised of specific compensation, hearing loss and the method by which the indemnity benefit rate is computed from the average weekly wage. Remember too there was discussion last year about changing the language in the waiver forms. Your input as agents on this latter issue will be invaluable. Typically, the Council will make recommendations to the General Assembly in the form of a “workers’ compensation omnibus bill.” The General Assembly should be coming back shortly with new leadership in


Fall 2020

the House and the same leadership in the Senate. Both chambers have traditionally supported a stable workers’ compensation system to the benefit of employees and employers alike and we have no reason to believe this will change. The Department of Labor and Training’s misclassification task force has been on hiatus during the pandemic. Nevertheless you have read in the press that the Department and the Attorney General are taking an aggressive stance on investigating and prosecuting misclassification and the underreporting of payroll. With the current economic climate, your customers will do all they can to cut costs to stay in business. Remind them of these prosecutions and the importance of properly identifying independent contractors and employees with accurate payroll and other disbursement records. Likewise, it is more important than ever that your developer and contractor customers make sure that subcontractors have the right insurance coverage to include workers’ compensation insurance. Otherwise, they will be on the hook for work

The Anchor

related injuries suffered by the employees of others and in some circumstances, imputed payroll added to premium. At the Workers’ Compensation Court, pretrial hearings, initial hearings, mediations and settlements are all being heard remotely. It is working so well that I forecast that it will continue this way for the indefinite future. However trials require appearances in Court and with limits on the amount of people who can safely be in the courthouse, it is getting tougher having these matters heard and concluded in a timely way. Mornings in the Garrahy Courthouse are for the District Court and the Family Court. The Workers’ Compensation Court is scheduling trials in the afternoon. Only three courtrooms can be used safely (with social distancing) so the time it takes to conduct a trial is taking longer. With this in mind, pay attention to the litigation experience of a workers comp carrier when deciding what carrier to choose. More specifically, every carrier should work hard to limit claims litigation. One of the primary reasons is the time and costs associated with a lengthy trial. As you know, every day a claim is open impacts your customers’ loss experience and increases their mod. While not every claim should be resolved out of court and some matters should go to trial, when considering a carrier, ask their experience at the Court. For the last four years, despite a reduction in workplace injuries, the number of petitions filed at the court has been trending up. In fact, there were more petitions filed in 2019 than any year since 2001 and this year is trending the same way. Needless litigation is costing Rhode Island businesses every day. With the increasing trial delays at the Court,

“Only three courtrooms can be used safely (with social distancing) so the time it takes to conduct a trial is taking longer. ” make sure you use this as a gauge in your decision making. To conclude, the Rhode Island workers’ compensation system continues to function very well. Nevertheless, the changes associated with the pandemic are changing the way it works. I hope this update helps you and your customers make good choices and remember to stay engaged and involved with your Association, your clients and your insurance carriers as our economy renews. As always, we at Beacon remain available to you with questions and ideas on all things workers’ comp.

Mike Lynch has more than 30 years of experience in workers’ compensation law. Prior to Beacon, Mike was a partner at Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney where he practiced primarily in the area of workers’ compensation defense.

Michael Lynch, Vice-President, Legal, Beacon Mutual 19

Fall 2020

Fall 2020



What is your Human Resource Plan for 2021? This is a continuing article in the series of human

resource articles for the “Independent Agent”. My goal is to bring value to your organization in accomplishment of the Essentials of Human Resources. In past articles, we have dealt with a variety of topics. As we get prepared for 2021, what is your assessment of Human Resource performance for 2020? This has been a difficult year for all of us in getting our hands around COVID-19 as well as the unrest in our country while trying to run our businesses successfully. Here are some planning questions for 2021 you: •

If there is another spike with COVID-19 during the winter, what is your plan? Maintaining safety and health compliance? A good system in place for virtual employees?

Do you have any staffing concerns? Have you established a quality succession plan for personnel retiring or leaving the organization unexpectantly?

How would you evaluate employee turnover in your organization? If you are running higher that 10% you need to take a closer look. Is retention a problem? If so, why? Would you describe your organization as productive, a happy place to work, doyour employees feel good about their roles in the organization?

How would you evaluate morale in the organization? Have you ever conducted a employee satisfaction survey in collecting feedback that drives continuous improvement?

Is your documentation in order? Is your handbook CURRENT? If you do not have a handbook or if it is not current, you may be setting yourself up for a problem or liability. Have you covered the base regarding all requirements of COVID-19? Do you have a quality performance review process? Is your compensation system competitive in attracting and retaining employees?

If you have an employee performance issue, what is your plan to resolve the issue with that employee?

Dave Nichols is the principal of a human resource management business, Quality Transitions, Inc. located in Charlestown RI. He has 25 years of experience in the field and also retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. If you are interested in learning more, please visit his website at

How would you assess your communications with the workforce? Does each employee understand the BIG PICTURE and their role in accomplishment of the BIG PICTURE? Do you have frequent town hall meetings with your workforce in discussing results, successes and challenges?

Complacency can be a serious problem or maintaining the status quo can reduce progress which may have an impact upon a successful financial performance. Your workforce is the most important resource that you have. We need to be on top with a quality proactive plan. So, as you assess 2020 and implement a quality Human Resource Plan for 2021, you will see continuous improvement. If you have a question or need clarification, please contact Dave Nichols or a Human Resource or legal professional.

Dave Nichols Quality Transitions, Inc.


Lights, Camera, Action - Live! As we experience the dark days of the

pandemic, there is a light in terms of new ways you can market your business. From adversity comes ingenuity, and your own live broadcast is well within your reach. Imagine if you could have your own interactive talk show, not unlike The Daily Show or any of your favorite cable news programs. You can have multiple camera angles, proper lighting, professional audio, cool graphics, and even “BREAKING NEWS” scroll across the screen - why not, it seems like everything is breaking on cable news. In all practicality, you could host an interview of your key staff or clients to highlight everything from a new service line, to an innovative product, or a compelling story, and much more.

So, how does it work? Not unlike a traditional video session, it’s best to have multiple cameras to capture the interviewer

and interviewee, plus lights and audio equipment. A live broadcast requires special software like Wirecast, which allows you to feed live video to platforms such as Zoom, Facebook, and YouTube. JH Communications and our video department, Main St. Media, already has used this software during conferences, including a 400+ event for the New England Dermatological Association, in which doctors presented cases along with a Q&A format. We also recorded a live training session for a landscape architecture firm to educate directors of recreational facilities on how to maintain their fields. The applications are endless for this format. For companies with multiple locations, a CEO or executive could address the whole company live and

John Houle JH Communications

John Houle is the president of JH Communications, a marketing-communications agency in Providence RI specializing in the insurance industry. He can be reached at 401.831.6123 or at Fall 2020


take questions from the staff. It also could be used by companies to communicate with their agents, or for agencies themselves to conduct a weekly live remote sales meeting. Getting the word out about your live broadcast also has its benefits. You will want to promote your event through your social media channels and email marketing. You may attract clients and prospects that may be intrigued by the live nature of the format and tune in to see you. At the very least you will be demonstrating to them that you’re innovative and creative. And you may actually sell them a new service or product. But if you’re not ready to make your message live, you could always have it pre-recorded. The same professional equipment can be used to record and edit a segment on the topic of your choice.

And you don’t necessarily need to hire professional videographers to do your own segments. You could produce a quality webinar directly through Zoom. Just invest the time and effort into good sound and lighting. We’ve all witnessed those Zoom attendees who look like they’re in the Witness Protection program. Whether you hire a professional or try the DIY approach, doing a video and live broadcast is something you should consider to deliver your message. It’s always the next best thing to meeting you live or talking to you directly, but in this case you can reach hundreds of interested prospects all at once. In this day and age, any advantage we can use should be explored.

Madison Avenue Videos for Agencies & Main Street Businesses

JH Communications • 111 Wayland Avenue, Providence • 401.831.6123 •

Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island Fall 2020


Thanks to all who joined, sponsored and supported our agents at our safe, socially distanced fall golf outing on October 6 at Liathbrae Country Club in Lincoln! View more photos online 24 Fall 2020 The >> Anchor


More than halfway through 2020

As we head into the 4th quarter of 2020 the world is

still aEvent strange place. As the chairperson of the Emerging An Horizon Leaders it still continues to be a trying year as many of the plans, goals, and accomplishments I was looking forward to as chairperson have not come to fruition. Yet at the same time we have to move forward and persevere and through it all stay positive.

There was a sign of a return to normalcy in the fall when the Emerging Leaders were given the task to host and coordinate the IIARI Fall Golf Outing, and in my personal opinion we “knocked it out of the park”. It was a beautiful day weather wise and Kirkbrae CC served as a beautiful backdrop and for that one day things albeit a little different returned to “normal”. It was nice to see company reps, agents, and vendors come together and share in this great event. A big thank you goes out to Marcia and the rest of the IIARI staff for all the work they did in pulling this off and of course the rest of my Emerging Leaders committee for putting this all together. A huge thank you also goes out to all of our sponsors for the event as we would not have been able to pull it off without all of your support. In closing as we thankfully head to the end of 2020 and look ahead to 2021 I am constantly reminded where was as agents stand in the community. We are a vital part of the rebuild, and bouce back. I look forward to the calender turning over,as I am sure everyone does! Thank you all for the support as I wrap up my first year as Chairperson and looking forward to a bigger and better 2021. Be safe…

Timothy Mailloux Emerging Leaders Chair 25

Fall 2020

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