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SUFFOLK Big Eye INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS & BROKERS OF SUFFOLK COUNTY

SEASON'S GREETINGS AND BEST WISHES FOR A HAPPY NEW YEAR! INSIDE: • Presidents Message • Is Blogging Still Important? • Holiday Party Pictures


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President’s Message

President

I was going to try for short and sweet – but its time to

be thankful and a there are a lot of people who deserve a thanks!! Personally I cannot end this year 2013 without thanking all the people that make our Association keep moving forward. We have had several successful meetings so far this year and they would not be as successful as they were without the help and participation of our Board of Directors.

Joanne Bentivegna nnn

Our Communications Committee is in full swing and doing a great job in coming up with changes to our meetings to keep our membership engaged. Thank you to Aaron Stein for leading this charge, Laura Senn for all the effort needed to coordinate the Christmas Chinese Auction – what a success, and to John Glennon, David H. Borg, Eric Keiffert and Jeannie Abatelli – you guys are the best – Keep the ideas coming! Our Legislative Committee, led by Rich de la Sota is just getting to the exciting part of the year preparing for our legislative visits, our trip to Albany for L-Day on March 25th and the Annual trek to Washington DC for the National IIABA L-Day on April 9-11th. I hope that you, our members, will join us for these important events that help our industry. Even if you cannot attend all of our meetings during the year it is very important that our membership

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the President’s Message cont’d show up in mass to the L-Day events so that our messages are heard. If you are interested in being a part of our efforts please do not hesitate to contact any member of our board for guidance. Our Scholarship Committee is off to a very strong start. Our new-comer Steve Testa, and volunteer future board member Chris Allenger and current board members David H. Borg and John Glennon really are doing a great job to elevate our scholarship program and to obtain recognition of our industry as a whole. I cannot wait to see how this benefits the students and upcoming employees of our industry in the future – Thank you for all of your efforts. I cannot forget our Golf Committee – who are already planning next years event – Joe Gundermann, Mickey Romeo and Chris Allenger - thanks for making this year so successful! Our Next Gen Committee( for those of you under 40), we just keep having great events with sell out crowds for our young professionals. Great Job David H. Borg and Mickey Romeo! Lastly, thank you to my Executive Board – Aaron Stein, Vice President, Paulette Katz our treasurer, Rich de la Sota, Secretary. And a special thanks to all the past presidents who are continually supportive of our cause – especially Jim Sutton, Don Hester, Tom Crowley, Earl Eaton and David Borg.

I will close my many thanks with a challenge to our members for 2014:

Become involved, volunteer time to your Association in the area that is of interest to you. As our past president David Borg said so well - ‘You will be amazed at the rewards you will get from serving”. THANK YOU TO OUR MEMBERS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND BEST WISHES FOR A VERY SUCCESSFUL 2014!

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Is Blogging Still Important? by Aaron J. Stein, CPCU, CFP

The pace of change in how we use the

internet, both for business and pleasure (who knows exactly where THAT line is drawn these days with all the ways we are connected) has led people to wonder whether some technologies that seemed important to your overall internet presence five years ago are still relevant.

Well, the answer is an unqualified YES. That

is both the beauty and the beast of the internet. Aaron J. Stein, CPCU, CFP nnn

For instance, I use both Facebook and LinkedIn, though mostly Facebook. It brings me in contact with a pretty good number of folks on a daily basis (4700 currently), as long as I don't mention insurance too often because I don't allow other local businesses to advertise in the content of the page. So there is that personal/work balance again.

But I have not moved on to YouTube, though

I watch plenty of funny cat videos there. Nor am I on Instagram, Pinterest, nor many others. Frankly I

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hope some of you have taken advantage of these in ways that have not grabbed my attention because let's face it, insurance is still a game of building trust relationships, and social networking is just another of those so there are many paths to success.

And, social networking is just one piece of your overall web presence. But

to build authority and trust, there is nothing like a blog. And keep in mind that Google and the other search engines love blogs too. More importantly, blogs lend themselves very well both to getting keywords out there and to having an internet presence with 'depth'.

So, for instance, when I write a new blog post, I also put on my Facebook

pages a link to the article. And our web sites all link to our blogs so that when the search engines come crawling, they follow those links to our other sites, which, if done properly, increases your 'trustworthiness' in the search spyder's eyes.

On that note, one thing to be a little careful of is 'free' blogs. Yes they are

free, but you will find that in return they get to place 'pay per click' ads (those little ones from Google and others), who all pay for the right to be shown on pages where certain key words and phrases can be found. Guess what? YOUR KEYWORDS ALL HAVE INSURANCE IN THEM, or most do. This means that if you think you are saving a few bucks, you will be allowing them to fill your page with GEICO ads!!

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I use Google's service, Blogger. and of course, they are only too happy to

give you a free blog site and fill it with their ads. But if you pay $29.95 or something like that per year, your blog is ad-free. So not only does it NOT show other insurance companies' advertising, but you can put links to pages at your own site so that they really have nothing else to choose from (other than closing the page, of course)

Blogging is still an integral part, but ONLY a part. There is no one thing

you can do on the internet and be completely successful, and each of us has a different idea of what success is to our agency, which is why this business is so interesting. Yes, that's the old Chinese proverb, "May you live in interesting times" and we certainly do.

So blogging can still be a very important part of your online efforts, when

properly integrated with the rest of your strategy and when kept up with valuable information. And remember, blogging is most important for one reason, keywords. And if you choose to learn nothing else about internet marketing, keywords is that one thing you should learn anyway. Just understanding their importance and usage is really most of what you need to manage your internet marketing presence.

Of course the internet has many wonderful uses that have nothing

particularly to do with marketing. But that's the subject of another article.

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Board of Directors VICE PRESIDENT AARON STEIN, CPCU, CFP

TREASURER

SECRETARY

IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT PAULETTE KATZ, CIC RICHARD DE LA SOTA, DAVID M. BORG, CPCU CPCU, CIC, ARA, CRM

Directors

DAVID H. BORG, CISR dhborg@borgborg.com JOHN J. GLENNON john@glennoninsurance.com JOSEPH A. GUNDERMANN, AAI jgundermann@gundermann.com

ERIC KEIFFERT, CPCU ekeiffert@hometowninsurance.com MICHAEL J. ROMEO LL, CIC mjromeo@industrialcoverage.com LAURA SENN, CIC laura.senn@peoples.com STEPHEN H. TESTA, CPCU, ARM stesta@testabrothers.net

Publication Staff EDITOR: Don Hester PRODUCER: Jeanne Abatelli COMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE: Aaron Stein, David H. Borg, John Glennon, Eric Keiffert , Laura Senn, and Jeanne Abatelli. AD SALES/SPONSORSHIPS: Jeanne Abatelli - info@suffolkagents.com

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VANE Excess and Surplus, Inc. Specializing in the following lines:    

Directors and Officers Liability Employment Practices Liability Professional Liability Cyber Liability Contact: Anthony Cacioppo (631) 366-5353 Anthony@VANEIns.com VANE Excess and Surplus, Inc. 103 Fort Salonga Road, Suite 4 Northport, NY 11768

New Year’s Eve Fun Fact Back In The Day The first recorded New Year's celebration dates back 4,000 years to Babylon, when the first moon after the spring equinox marked a new year. In 46 B.C., Julius Caesar created a calendar with Jan. 1 as the first day of the year, partly to honor Janus, the month's namesake and god of beginnings.


DIGITAL MARKETING

Don’t Wait! Julie MacConnell, IIABNY jmacconnell@iiabny.org

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on’t wait another day to complete your profile on TrustedChoice.com. Why?

1. Consumers are Looking for You! We all know consumers are researching insurance online before purchasing. We also know direct writers are winning in this space. TrustedChoice.com is YOUR chance to compete. 2. You Aren’t Showing Up at the Top Unless you have completed and published your enhanced profile, your agency is NOT showing up in the top results group for your area. You may be listed below agents further away. Good news - it’s a quick fix. Complete you profile! Where does your agency show up on the list? Look now. 3. Help is Standing By The Project CAP team can help you any time at (855) 372-0070. process. Visit the IIABNY website for additional resources. Complete your profile today! Simply follow the guide on the right!

Quick profile tips: Your primary image can be a logo, photo of your building or staff. You can often find this on your website and save to your desktop by right-clinking on the image. Then, it will be easy to upload to CAP! Your position statement is a short description about your business and its unique value. You may be able to copy this from your website or facebook page.


Put $500 in Your Pocket Last Chance for 2013 Reimbursement Visit www.iiabny.org/trustedchoice for the rules and application form. Don't walk away from $500!


Baskets & Magic & Toys, Oh My!!!! by Laura Senn

What a wonderful turnout for our annual

Holiday Party on December 5th at Villa Lombardi’s in Holbrook.

There was definitely a theme at our party and

it was “Networking made fun”.

Thanks to the generosity of the attendees, we

were able to give the Marines, Mike, Louis, Ray Laura Senn

and Mike plenty of toys for the “Toys for Tots”. We have brought smiles to the faces of many

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children.

Our sponsors were also in the Holiday spirit,

Adirondack Insurance, Interboro/AutoOne Insurance Co., Kingstone Insurance Co., Lancer Insurance Co., Merchants, Progressive, Quaker Special Risk, ServPro of Port Jefferson and Total Restoration contributed to our Basket auction as well as for dinner. We had 10 beautiful baskets to

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raffle off, from a Basket of Cheer to a Cozy Pet Basket.

It was a great way to start the Holiday season with the obvious Good

Cheer, Good Wishes and Good Company.

We wish you and yours a very Happy and Healthy Holiday and look

forward to the New Year.

  

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Holiday Party 2013

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Note your calendar now to attend this big event. ********************************** INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS AND BROKERS OF SUFFOLK COUNTY Annual Holiday Party will take place on THURSDAY, December 4, 2014 At the Villa Lombardi’s Holbrook, NY

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Holiday Party Sponsors Adirondack Insurance Interboro Insurance Company Kingstone Insurance Company Lancer Insurance Company Merchants Insurance Group Progressive Insurance Quaker Special Risk SERVPRO of Port Jefferson Total Restoration

Please remember these companies support our association, please help support them whenever possible! Visit our sponsor’s website by clicking their name above.

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What is “L Day” and Why Should I Attend?

IIABNY has a long and proud tradition as an advocacy leader and its

history of success in Albany is evident in the passage of many landmark pieces of legislation that have resulted over the years. IIABNY’s record of success is no accident – the hard work of our expert team in Albany combined with YOUR grassroots efforts makes IIABNY a respected industry leader in Albany.

Our annual legislative day, or “L Day”, is IIABNY’s premier legislative

event, designed to bring agents and their elected representatives together to discuss the priority issues for our industry. It is one day in Albany that will position you as a resource with your legislators on insurance issues. Legislators want to hear from you about issues affecting your business and your ability to succeed in New York’s business climate. L Day provides the opportunity to do so in a convenient and meaningful setting.

Since its inception in 1970, L Day has evolved to its present format that

includes a casual lunch with your legislators, as a result of input from IIABNY members. There is no cost to attend and there will be no formal activities the day before, allowing you to come in and out of Albany in one day. IIABNY’s legislative team will assist you with making appointments to meet with your legislators and will provide an overview of the issues to arm you with the information you need.

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We plan to carpool from a convenient location in Suffolk to and from

Albany on March 25th. Everyone planning to attend L-Day is invited to join our group. For travel details or more information about L-Day, please contact Pat Calvert at 516-621-2209 or calvertpc@aol.com

L Day is March 25, 2014 – mark your calendars and join your fellow agents in Albany for this important event. Together we make a difference.

Pryor Personnel Agency Inc. The Insurance Specialist since 1970 local, National and International Recruitment www.ppryor.com ppryor1578@aol.com Phone: (516) 935–0100

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the Editor’s Feedback by Don J. Hester

Editor

BIG Bucks

Have we lost awareness of money?  We no

longer hear about  hundreds or thousands. We are assailed daily with news of MIILIONS  for this  and BILLIONS  for that: A bank pays Billions for something they did that wasn’t  wrong, FEMA Flood program despite running in the red forgives millions in debt owed to it.  A carrier pays millions without Don Hester

admitting it did something “wrong.”

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I miss the old fashioned black and white- If I

got caught cheating, I was punished. Now it seems like companies can do illegal, unethical things and if caught can pay a fine, but not admit guilt. The Government is happy  to take the money, the” perp”  is happy because they don’t go to jail or lose their job.

I wonder how much reinsurance those fines

would pay for,  so the little guy could get some better

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Editor’s Feedback con’t coverage. If the management of companies supervised by   NY DFS can afford the reported fines, why can’t they afford enough reinsurance to open our markets?

I admit I am old enough to remember a  $.05 cent ice cream cone that

now costs $5.00. I remember $50 deductibles and just saw a homeowner with a $50,000 (that’s not a typo) deductible. Have our leaders lost sight of basic costs and values? Can a carrier’s  president making several million a year understand how obscure that income  appears to the man on the street making fractional amounts?

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Editor’s Feedback con’t lawmakers understand or perhaps even care about medical insurance costsWhy should they? Theirs is free. Some stockholders are putting pressure on CEO’s to take pay cuts for poor performance,   I wish our politicians could be equally penalized. If countrywide initiatives[ like California allows]  were permitted, I wonder how many would vote for our legislators to be removed from eligibility on any state or federal health program. If that were to happen  I bet we  would see a rapid solution to many of our current health care problems

I was glad to see NY DFS  is going to cut down on the number of banks

and insurance companies paying fines but admitting to no “guilt.”…. If they break the rules paying fines is appropriate but so is personal responsibility. If the culpable person cannot be identified, the CEO is guilty. That’s what the old phrase “the buck stops here” is about. It’s time to stop allowing some of our society to be “above the law.” It’s time to check on our leadership’s moral compass .     Some key words used, like fairness, need to be applied at all levels of our industry and at those who have  oversight of our country too!

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Recap of the Downstate Legislative Conference by Earl Eaton, CPCU

The Annual Downstate Legislative

Conference was held this year on October 23rd at Chateau Briand, in Carle Place. The conference presents an excellent opportunity for the three professional trade associations; CIBGNY, IIABNY, and PIANY to meet and discuss the most important legislative issues facing the memberships so that all three groups can present a united front Earl Eaton, CPCU

when meeting and lobbying members of the New York Assembly and Senate.

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Tom Faist, Esq., of CIBGNY, Jill Muratori,

of IIABNY, and Matthew Guilbault, Esq., of PIANY once again participated on the panel which was moderated by Jeffrey Greenfield, President of NGL, Group.

The main topics confronting the downstate

region focused upon Hurricane Deductible Trigger, Certificates of Insurance, Labor Law 240 & 241,

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Health Exchange Navigators, and a general recap of the problems arising out of Sandy.

According to the panelists there could be approval from the Governor on

the Certificate of Insurance Bill at anytime, however certain State Agencies are still against the bill. Labor Law 240 & 241 is receiving the attention of the politicians since many minority and woman led contractors are being hurt by the cost of insurance and complaining to their representatives. However they do not expect any real movement with Sheldon Silver as Assembly Speaker.

The lobbyists have pushed for the NY State of Health Navigators to be

licensed and have E&O insurance however that has not happened nor is it likely to. Finally there was a general discussion relating to Sandy where the Governor issued Executive Orders dictating to the insurance companies how many days they had to answer a claim, the number of days to inspect the damage and whether the homeowner could dispose of damaged property before an adjusted could inspect.

The Annual Downstate Legislative Conference takes place each year at the

end of October so please plan to attend next year.

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Downstate Legislative Forum

Joe Bosnack, Downstate President

Tom Faist Esq. CIBGNY lobbyist, Jill Muratori, IIABNY lobbyist, Matthew Guilbault, Esq. PIA of NY Director of Government & Industry Affairs. 35


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Joe Bosnack, Matthew Guilbault, Esq, Jill Muratori, Tom Faist Esq, Jeff Greenfield

Ken Hehir, Bruce Chester, Andrew Chong 37


Richard Signorelli, Nelson Gochez, Linda Fazzio, Vito Pietanza

Rino Pietanza, Vito Pietanza, Tom Faist, Esq, Joe Bosnack, Richard Signorelli & Alan Plafker 38


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Winter-Related Damage Causes Over a Billion Dollars in Insurance Losses Annually From: www.iii.org

NEW YORK, October 23, 2013 — With a devastating snowstorm

hitting South Dakota in early October and freezing temperatures recorded this week in Chicago, the Farmers’ Almanac predictions of a frigid winter and heavy snow for the 2013–2014 winter season in the U.S., are looking right ontarget.

Many winter-related disasters can be prevented if you take a few simple

steps to protect your home from freezing temperatures, snow and wind. And autumn is the perfect time to winter-proof your home, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).

Standard homeowners policies cover winter-related disasters such as

burst pipes, ice dams and wind damage caused by weight of ice or snow, as well as fire-related losses. Coverage for flooding is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and from some private insurance companies. Winter-related damage to cars is generally covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.

Melting snow can inflict significant damage to property and winter

storms are the third-largest cause of catastrophe losses, noted the I.I.I. Winter storms caused $38 million in insured losses in 2012, according to Munich Re.

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An ISO study shows that from 1992-2011, winter storms resulted in about $28 billion in insured catastrophe losses (in 2011 dollars), or more than $1 billion a year on average. The I.I.I. offers the following tips to prepare your home for the upcoming winter: Outside Your Home •Clean out gutters. Remove leaves, sticks and other debris from gutters, so melting snow and ice can flow freely. This can prevent ice damming, a condition where water is unable to drain through the gutters and instead seeps into the house causing water to drip from the ceiling and walls. •Install gutter guards. Available in most hardware and home stores, gutter guards prevent debris from entering the gutter and interfering with the flow of water away from the house and into the ground. •Trim trees and remove dead branches. Ice, snow and wind could cause weak trees or branches to break and damage your home or car, or injure someone walking by your property. Repair steps and handrails. This may prevent someone from falling and seriously being injured. Broken stairs and banisters can become lethal when covered with snow and ice. •Seal cracks and holes in outside walls and foundations. Use caulking to protect water pipes and make sure that skylights and other roof openings have proper weather stripping to prevent snowmelt from seeping in. 41


Inside Your Home •Keep the house warm. Set the thermostat for at least 65 degrees – since the temperature inside the walls, where the pipes are located, is substantially colder a lower temperature will not keep the pipes from freezing. •Add extra insulation to attics, basements and crawl spaces. If too much heat escapes through the attic, it can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. Water can then re-freeze, causing more snow and ice to build up. This can result in a collapsed roof, and can contribute to ice damming. Ideally, the attic should be five to ten degrees warmer than the outside air. Well-insulated basements and crawl spaces will also help protect pipes from freezing. You may also consider insulating unfinished rooms such as garages to keep pipes from freezing. •Have the heating system serviced. Furnaces, boilers and chimneys should be serviced at least once a year to prevent fire and smoke damage. •Check pipes. Look closely for cracks and leaks and have the pipes repaired immediately. Wrap exposed pipes with heating tape. •Install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect the system against increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can help prevent your pipes from bursting. •Make sure that smoke and fire alarms are working properly. Residential fires increase in the winter, so it is important to protect your

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family with working alarm systems. Also, consider installing a carbon monoxide detector, since a well sealed home can trap this toxic gas. •Learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located. If your pipes freeze, time is of the essence. The quicker you can shut off the water or direct your plumber to the problem, the better chance you have to prevent pipes from bursting. •Hire a licensed contractor to look for structural damage. If damage is discovered, have it repaired now rather than waiting for a problem to occur. Also, ask about ways to prevent water damage due to snow-related flooding. Plastic coatings for internal basement walls, sump pumps and other methods can prevent flood damage to your home and belongings.

If you are going to be away for an extended period, take special care. Turn

the water off and/or have the water system drained by a professional to keep pipes from freezing or bursting. Also, hire someone to check your home on a regular basis so that, if there is a problem, it can be fixed quickly, lessening any damage.

For more information on preparing your home against damage from

Mother Nature, go to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. RELATED LINKS Facts and Statistics: Winter Storms Video: Water and Flood Damage: What Is and Is Not 43


Big “I” CE Classes on L.I. IIABNY SEMINAR CALENDAR – First part of 2014 held in Suffolk, Nassau, Queens and NYC. The following seminars will be held at Belfor Restoration in Ronkonkoma, NY unless noted otherwise. 1/22/14 2/19/14 3/25/14 4/09/14 5/20/14

SHOP-NY Health Benefit Exchange…………………......(full day) NYS of Health Individual Market Certification……..….(full day) Absolute Liability-NY Scaffold Law & Courts……….(half day-am) Don’t Do the Crime if You Can’t Afford The Fine……..(half day-am) E&O LIVE ……….. Hyatt Regency LI, Hauppauge (half day-am)

The following seminars will be held at Four Points Sheraton, Plainview 3/13/14 NYAIP Producer Procedures……................................(1/2 day-am) 3/18/14 What’s New in Comm.Prpt & CGL? ………………..(1/2 day) 3/21/14 Personal Lines, 2014………….………………………..(full day) 3/26/14 Absolute Liability-NY Scaffold Law & Courts………(half day-am) 4/01/14 Affordable Care Act………………………..................(half day-am) 4/10/14 Don’t Do the Crime if You Can’t Afford The Fine….(half day-am) 4-29-14 Ins. Production Environment – AAI 83-B…………...(full day) 5/08/14 Specialized Insurance – AAI 82-C……………..……..(full day) 3/13/14 NYAIP Producer Procedures……................................(1/2 day-am) 5/15/14 NYAIP Producer Procedures……................................(1/2 day-am) 6/18/14 Professional Development (ACSR Mod 5)………...…(full day) The following seminars will be held at Adria Hotel, Bayside 2/21/14 NYAIP Producer Procedures………………………..…(half day-am) 6/20/14 NYAIP Producer Procedures………………………..(half day-am) The following seminar will be held at Swiss Re American Holding Co. in NYC 5/21/14 E&O LIVE ……………………………………..(half day-am) For a complete schedule and registration forms, including Online and “at your desk’ classes, go to the Education & Events Tab at www.iiaany.org. For more information, call IIABNY’s Education Department at 1-800-962-7950. 44


the Advertisers INSURANCE COMPANIES & MARKETS Magna Carta Companies Wanda Napolitano 1 Park Avenue New York, NY 10016 Toll Free: 1-888-ONE PARK Phone: 212-591-9500 Fax: 212-591-9621 NIF Group Michael Orlando, Nancy Williams 30 Park Avenue Manhasset, NY 11030 Phone: 516-365-7440 Fax: 516-496-7356 Email: nwilliams@nifgroup.com www.nifgroup.com Quaker Special Risk Camille Windler 226 5th Avenue, 4th Flr. New York, NY 10001 Phone: 516 428 0716. Fax: 732-223-9072 Email: salesattkr@aol.com Brian Botwinick Eatontown, NJ Toll Free: 800-447-4180 Email: bbotwinick@qsr-insurance.com

VANE Excess & Surplus Anthony Cacioppo 103 Fort Salonga Rd, Ste 4 Northport, NY 11768 Phone: 631-366-5353 Email: Anthony@VaneIns.com

INSURANCE SERVICES Pryor Personnel Agency Patricia Pryor Bonica 147 Old Country Road Hicksville, NY 11801 Phone: 516-935-0100 Fax: 516-931-7842 Email: ppryor1578@aol.com

RESTORATION SERVICES Belfor Property Restoration Gary J. Alexander 60 Raynor Ave. Ronkonkoma, NY 11779 Phones: 631-471-3131 x121 Fax: 631-471-2905

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SUFFOLK Big Eye INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS & BROKERS OF SUFFOLK COUNTY

IIABSC 150 Dartmouth Dr. Hicksville, NY 11801

Contact Us: info@suffolkagents.com

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Suffolk big eye nov dec 2013