IN THIS ISSUE: Customer service slumps, training solutions Six degrees of professional development
WE SHOT FOR THE STARS AND LOOK WHAT WE HIT
IN COMPANY ASSETS!
ACUITY ’s assets are skyrocketing to new heights! Just 10 years after reaching the $1 billion mark, ACUITY ’s assets have tripled to $3 billion. We owe our thanks to loyal independent agents in 22 states and our staff of nearly 1,000 insurance professionals for helping ACUITY achieve results that are truly out of this world!
Good people Make great partners!
Quote a middle market account with Harleysville, and watch your circle of trusted advisors grow in a hurry. First, there’s your field underwriter, who’ll understand your client’s business and recommend the right coverage. Next, your risk services specialist, who’ll assess the hazards of your client’s operation and propose solutions to address the challenges. And finally, when the account is especially large or complex, our claims business consultant can meet with your client initially, then later to discuss specific losses and trends. For contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers and more, team with our middle market professionals once and you’ll call us again and again. To learn more about this and other benefits of a Harleysville appointment, call 800-523-6344, ext. 5016, or visit our website.
Scan this tag to be sent directly to the agency recruitment section of our corporate website. Busines s | In land Marine | Person al | Life/Employee Ben efits | Flood | Human S er vices | www. harleys villegroup.com
Contents PRIMARY AGENT MAGAZINE
Riding out a roller-coaster economy A still jittery economy and too slowly firming market — among the challenges of multiplying competitors and evolving technology, to name a few — have left many agency owners with a sinking feeling. Rise to the challenge by getting back to basics with a focus on customer service.
Page 10 Six degrees of professional development No matter how you approach training and education, we have the options to meet your individual needs and, in turn, improve your sales and service. Here we offer a (slightly blithe) look at our award-winning professional development offerings. Pick your style, and then read what we have to offer.
20 Mission Statement Primary Agent delivers ideas to help Insurance Agents & Brokers’ members negotiate their unique position as guardians of trust between insurance consumers and companies while facing the challenges of maintaining a small business. Primary Agent also supports IA&B’s mission to preserve and advocate the American Agency System.
Get social with IA&B
Making the case for tech tools New technology tools permit independent agents and brokers to serve their clients more promptly and effectively in claims situations. Producers will play a critical role in carriers’ adoption and broader usage, so here we make the case for how these new technologies – claims download, real-time claim inquiry, real-time filing of First Notice of Loss (FNOL), real-time requests for loss runs, and Activity Notes — will materially improve workflows.
In every issue 3 4 5 6 8 13
My Events Chair of the Board’s Message Ask Our Experts State News Coverage Corner IA&B Partners
16 20 IBC IBC IBC
H.R. Headquarters Technology Update Advertisers Index Classified Ads Last & Least
All communications for publications, including news, features, advertising copy, cuts, etc., must reach the editor by 1st of month two months prior to publication. Advertising rates furnished upon request. Address inquiries to: Primary Agent Editor 5050 Ritter Road Mechanicsburg, PA 17055-0763 Phone (800) 998-9644 or (717) 795-9100 Fax (717) 795-8347 Periodical postage paid at Mechanicsburg, Pa. and additional entry post office. Postmaster: Send address changes to above address. Primary Agent (ISSN 1543-3110), Permit # 638-620, Issue # 2014-4 is published monthly by IA&B Service Group Inc., a subsidiary of IA&B. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. No material may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent of the publisher. The information in this publication is general in nature and is not intended to serve as legal, accounting, financial, insurance, investment advisory or other professional advice as to any reader’s particular situation. Users are encouraged to consult with competent legal, financial, insurance, investment advisory and or other professional advisors concerning specific matters before making any decisions and we disclaim any responsibility for any decisions or actions by readers. Statements of fact and opinion in Primary Agent are the responsibility of the authors alone and do not imply an opinion on the part of the officers or the members of the IA&B. Participation in IA&B events, activities and/or publications is available on a non-discriminatory basis and does not reflect IA&B endorsement of the products and/or services.
My Events A P R I L
2 0 1 4
William T. Hold: Dealing with Disasters
CISR Commercial Casualty I
William T. Hold: Dealing with Disasters
CISR Commercial Casualty II
CISR Commercial Casualty I
CISR Commercial Casualty I
E&O Coverage Standards
CIC Life & Health
Lehigh Valley, PA
CISR Commercial Casualty I
CISR Personal Auto
James K. Ruble
E&O Risk Management
Lehigh Valley, PA
P&C Licensing Study Course
William T. Hold: Comp, Crime & Cyber
William T. Hold: Comp, Crime & Cyber
E&O Risk Management
CISR Commercial Property
Timely topic presented by coverage expert Jerry Milton, CIC Insurance for contractors can be a lucrative segment of your book of business. This course reviews various property and liability exposures and discusses the policies needed to adequately insure contractors. Certain coverages are very much open to interpretation by the courts, and over the past several years there have been significant changes through rulings (including cases such as Kvaerner and Gambone) as well as ISO policy form updates. Dates & Locations May 14 – Lehigh Valley, PA June 3 – Philadelphia, PA
June 11 – Baltimore, MD July 22 – Pittsburgh, PA
August 13 – Mechanicsburg, PA August 14 – Newark, DE
For more information or to register, visit IABforME.com/contractors 
Board of Directors Officers G. Greg Gunn, CIC Chair of the Board Lemoyne, Pa. Diana M. Hornung Hanby, ACSR Vice Chair of the Board Wilmington, Del. Norman F. Basso, CPCU Immediate Past Chair of the Board York, Pa.
Members Henry “Butch” Bradley, Jr. Forest Hill, Md. E. Stephen Burnett, CIC, ARM Wilmington, Del. Richard F. Corroon, CPCU Wilmington, Del. N. Lee Dotson, CIC, AAI Wilmington, Del. Michael P. Ertel Columbia, Md. John L. Frankenfield Telford, Pa. John B. Hollister Milford, Pa. Jocelyn R. Howard-Sinopoli, CIC, CISR Butler, Pa. Robert S. Klinger, LUTCF, CPIA+ Germantown, Md. Douglas A. Loesel, CPCU Erie, Pa. Michael F. McGroarty Sr. Pittsburgh, Pa. Craig S. Mader Gambrills, Md. Ann Gallen Moll, CIC Reading, Pa. Joseph R. Pastor, CPCU, AAI Oil City, Pa.
G. Greg Gunn, CIC
Chair of the Board’s M
Welcome to the issue of Primary Agent magazine dedicated to education. And while you’ll find articles on the following pages about training for you and your staff, I’d also encourage you to turn the table and consider the topic from a different perspective — our role as educators of our elected officials. Many of our legislators have small-business backgrounds, but when you narrow the focus to our industry, you’ll find very few insurance agents in the state House and Senate. That’s where our IA&B government affairs team and, whether we like it or not, our money come into play. AgentPAC, our state association’s political action committee, is the vehicle our team uses to financially support and build relationships with legislators. In turn, when issues critical to our industry are discussed, those legislators who we’ve built a rapport with are apt to give us a seat at the table and to allow us to educate them. In many ways, our livelihood depends on our IA&B government affairs team’s ability to reach legislators. And their success depends on our financial support. Please don’t wait for your fellow agents to do something. This is about our industry and your future. Make this a priority in 2014. I did. Until next time,
G. Greg Gunn, CIC
Scott C. Rogers, CPIA* York, Pa. David B. Wasson Sr., CIC State College, Pa. Lawrence A. Wilson, CIC, CPIA, CPCU, ARM** New Castle, Del. * Pa. IIABA National Director ** Del. IIABA National Director + Md. PIA National Director
Our duty to educate
Richard M. Rankin, CIC Lancaster, Pa. April E. Ressler, CIC Altoona, Pa.
Editor’s note: To read more about AgentPAC or to contribute, visit IABforME.com/AgentPAC.
Ask our Experts QUESTION: Can a personal umbrella carrier exclude coverage because the underlying policy for a one-to-four family-dwelling property he holds for rental happens to be written on commercial paper? It is a residential property.
ANSWER: Personal umbrella policies are designed to cover personal liability exposures. So fundamentally, having the policy exclude any underlying policy that is commercial in nature makes sense. The one-to-four family dwelling policy is generally sold as a personal lines product. However, a carrier can treat it as a commercial exposure and place it on commercial paper1. When doing so, your personal umbrella may no longer provide coverage for that risk … if the trigger is the type of policy on which the underlying is written. It is important to have good working knowledge of your personal umbrella carrier’s requirements, but also some knowledge of the underlying policies.
2. Moving the underlying policy: If you insure the underlying policy, discuss with your customer the possibility of moving it to a market that will cover it on personal lines paper, if you have one. If you do not insure the underlying policy, you can draw your customer’s attention to the restriction, and see if the customer will give you a chance to quote it for him. This may give you an opportunity to round out the account. 3. Writing a commercial umbrella: Again, first check the underlying limits on the commercial policy. If the customer wants more and you have no other option, then you could try to secure a commercial umbrella.
First, what are the limits on the underlying commercial policy? – If the underlying policy is provided on commercial paper, it’s quite possible the limits are higher than they would be on a personal lines policy. They may even be as high as the umbrella contemplated by the insured. It’s not uncommon to have commercial limits upwards of $1,000,000, whereas the personal dwelling policy will be providing $300,000/$500,000. So if the umbrella you’re writing is for $1,000,000, your customer may be satisfied with the commercial underlying limit. If the limits are lower, or if your customer wants more, you have other options.
T his could be a company policy; or it could be an underwriting decision based on that specific risk … which can explain why some umbrella carriers will use this criterion, trusting the underlying carrier’s analysis.
HAVE A QUESTION? ASK OUR EXPERTS! Rely on our experts to answer your most perplexing questions. Visit the Ask Our Experts section of IABforME.com (find the link in the website footer) to submit your question and review answers to other frequently asked questions. Or email your question to us at IAB@IABforME.com. We look forward to hearing from you.
1. Writing with another umbrella carrier – First, you need to know your different personal umbrella carriers’ requirements: How do they treat rental properties? Do they provide coverage if the rental property is a one-to-four family dwelling? Does coverage hinge on the paper it is written on (personal v. commercial)? Do they provide coverage if the rental property is residential, regardless of the paper it is written on? Based on the answer to these questions, you may be able to write the umbrella with a carrier that uses different criteria and is willing to provide personal coverage over commercial paper for this type of exposure. 
Primary Agent | April 2014
State News Maryland Personal Auto forms facing revisions
Md. homeowners’ policies now subject to ACC law
Regularly update your agency management system to ensure you’re using the latest ACORD forms editions, including two revised Personal Auto forms effective later this year.
Read up on the anti-concurrent causation (ACC) provision. A new state law – which impacts all homeowners’ policies issued, delivered or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2014 – may trigger customer questions.
Applying updates to your agency management system ensures that you’re using the most recent ACORD form editions – and that you’re in compliance with licensing agreements. What licensing agreements? It is a violation to issue prior editions of a superseded ACORD form once a new form is introduced. Your obligation stems from the licensing agreement between ACORD and your agency management system vendor (AMS, Applied, etc.). Agency management systems introduce the latest ACORD forms through periodic updates … which all too easily can fall through the cracks at busy agencies. What form revisions are coming down the pike? On the horizon for Maryland are two revised forms: the Personal Auto Application ACORD 90 MD (2014/12) and the Personal Auto Application Section ACORD 290 MD (2014/12), effective in December.
Expect customers’ inquiries on the anti-concurrent causation (ACC) provision to continue in the months ahead. As reported in Agent Headlines, a new Maryland law requires homeowners’ insurers to notify policyholders of the ACC provision, describe the clause and encourage them to communicate with their producer or insurer for any additional information. While IA&B successfully lobbied to remove language from the final version of the bill which would have required agents to provide insureds with “a description, including an example of the manner in which the ACC clause may be applied,” you should nonetheless be ready to respond to inquiries on the subject. The new law took effect June 1 and applies to all homeowners’ insurance policies issued, delivered or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2014. For a refresher on how ACC clauses made their way into everyday contracts, and their impact on losses, review our online resource on the topic. IABforME.com/ coverage_issues/ACC
Time to recognize a CSR who’s gone above and beyond Show your appreciation for an exceptional CSR with a nomination for the Outstanding Customer Service Representative of the Year Award. Nominations are being accepted now, and completed entries are due May 1. For independent agencies, exceptional staff on the front line often lead to a healthy bottom line. So, if there’s someone in your agency (even yourself) who has provided exceptional customer service and deserves recognition, now is the time to nominate him or her for the Outstanding Customer Service Representative (OCSR) of the Year Award. Sponsored by the Society of Certified Insurance Service Representatives (CISR) and the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC), this awards program is the highest honor for insurance agency CSRs. Anyone may make a nomination, and it’s as easy as providing a name and contact information. Anyone whose primary duties center on insurance customer service is eligible to enter (a CIC or CISR designation is not required). It is recommended, however, that candidates have a minimum of two years of experience in the industry and sufficient experience to share through their essays. Nominations currently are being accepted, and completed entries (including an essay of approximately 1,000 words) will be due by May 1. IABforME.com/awards
Joint effort elevates brokers in Maryland health insurance exchange We launched an initiative this winter, along with two partnered associations, to connect Maryland Health Connection users (individuals and small businesses) with health insurance producers. Health insurance producers now have more direct access to individuals and small-businesses seeking coverage through the Maryland Health Connection. We partnered with the National Association of Insurance & Financial Advisors of Maryland and the Maryland Association of Health Underwriters – as well as the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange – to introduce the Producer Referral Program. The program allows those seeking coverage through the exchange to call a help line, where enrollees will be connected with licensed health insurance producers who can help individuals select an appropriate plan and assist small businesses with signing up for tax credits and plans before they are available through the Maryland Health Connection. (As a reminder, the exchange’s twicedelayed small business program is set to launch in April.) All producers who are certified to work within the exchange can request to participate. The program asserts health insurance producers into the exchange, calling attention to their existing – and underutilized – role as licensed, educated advisors. Contact us to participate: IAB@IABforME.com
Government relations outreach goes federal Your IA&B government affairs staff and fellow member agents met with Congressman Chris Van Hollen in February to discuss industry issues, including flood insurance and health care reform, producer licensing, and terrorism insurance. Part of our growing outreach efforts, the meeting afforded us the opportunity to connect with one of the most visible members of Congress.
CSI Day Save the date of April 15 for our annual CSI Day. Complete our 2014 Company Satisfaction Index survey that day for your best chance to win a $250 VISA gift card. Watch your email inbox for more information, and bookmark IABforME.com/CSI.
Primary Agent | April 2014
Coverage COR N E R
A NEW MANDATORY CGL ENDORSEMENT
JERRY M. MILTON, CIC Jerry M. Milton, CIC, teaches and consults on industry issues. The legal profession recognizes him as an expert on insurance coverages. He is also the education consultant for IA&B, working with CISR, CIC and continuing education programs.
The widespread use of and reliance on the Internet by American businesses has generated many new liability exposures that represent risks of economic loss rather than the traditional subjects of liability insurance – bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury. The Insurance Services Office (ISO) and the insurers have addressed some of these exposures by limiting coverage for electronic data to $2,500 under their Commercial Property forms and excluding property damage to another party’s electronic data under the Commercial General Liability policy.
the dissemination of confidential personal and financial data. Bank account numbers, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers and health information have all been the subject of widely publicized data breaches. Do Target, Neiman Marcus and Yahoo!, among others, ring a bell? In many of these cases, these breaches were malicious acts by hackers. In some cases, the breach was made public or revealed to others through inadvertence or incompetence. Regardless of how the breach occurred, it can be argued that the result is an “oral or written publication, in any manner, of material that violates a person’s right of privacy,” which is a covered personal and advertising injury offense under Coverage B of the Commercial General Liability policy.
However, one specific liability exposure connected to electronic data is still a legitimate subject of general liability insurance – data breaches that result in
According to ISO, liability resulting from electronic data breaches represents an exposure not contemplated by the insurance industry when the CGL language was drafted in the mid 1980s. Therefore, ISO has developed and filed with state regulators a mandatory endorsement for use with all standard CGL policies beginning May 1, 2014. This new mandatory endorsement is titled “Exclusion – Access Or Disclosure Of Confidential Or Personal Information And Data-Related Liability – With Limited Bodily Injury Exception (CG 21 06).” The title of the endorsement pretty much tells the whole story. Under Coverage B – Personal And Advertising Injury, it adds an exclusion for loss resulting from “any access to or disclosure of any person’s or organization’s confidential or personal
information, including patents, trade secrets, processing methods, customer lists, financial information, credit card information, health information or any other type of nonpublic information.â€? Similar language is also added to Coverage A â€“ Bodily Injury And Property Damage, replacing Exclusion p. â€“ Electronic Data. This new Coverage A exclusion has an exception for bodily injury, but only if arising out of â€œloss of, loss of use of, damage to, corruption of, inability to access, or inability to manipulate electronic data.â€? The bodily injury exception does not apply to the access or disclosure of a personâ€™s or organizationâ€™s confidential or personal information. Also filed with the CG 21 06 mandatory endorsement are two alternative endorsements. These two endorsements which can be used in lieu of the CG 21 06 are â€œExclusion â€“ Access Or Disclosure Of Confidential
Or Personal Information (Coverage B Only) (CG 21 05)â€? and â€œExclusion â€“ Access Or Disclosure Of Confidential Or Personal Information And DataRelated Liability â€“ Limited Bodily Injury Exception Not Included (CG 21 07).â€? ISO has also filed similar endorsements for use with their Umbrella and Excess Liability Coverage Forms, the Electronic Data Liability Coverage Form, and the Owners And Contractors Protective Liability Coverage Form. The message is clear. Donâ€™t expect the CGL to respond to any losses resulting from damage to another partyâ€™s electronic data or the disclosure of any personâ€™s or organizationâ€™s confidential data. â€œCyber Liability,â€? â€œInternet Liability,â€? â€œE-Commerce Liabilityâ€? â€œData Breachâ€? â€“ whatever you want to call it, you better be selling it.
Jerry talks insuring contractors If you like to read Jerryâ€™s take in Primary Agent, youâ€™ll love to hear it in person. Next month he will kick off a new program â€” Insuring Contractors. The eight-hour course tackles significant changes to contractorsâ€™ coverage based on recent court rulings and ISO policy form changes. May 14 LehighValley, Pa. June 3 Philadelphia, Pa. June 11 Baltimore, Md. July 22 Pittsburgh, Pa. Aug. 13 Mechanicsburg, Pa. Aug. 14 Newark, Del. IABforME.com/contractors
Yâ€™all take care!
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Coastal Agents Alliance, LLC
Riding out a roller-coaster economy How to reach new heights through customer service
A still jittery economy and too slowly firming market â€” among the challenges of multiplying competitors and evolving technology, to name a few â€” have left many agency owners with a sinking feeling. Rise to the challenge by getting back to basics with a focus on customer service.
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“The only stable source of income an agency has is its existing customers,” says Rita Hollada, CIC, CPCU, CPIA, an IA&B instructor and customer-service consultant for the insurance industry. “Keeping customers happy is a source of profitability through continued growth and new referrals.” Hollada cites a study that found agencies require up to four years to overcome the costs associated with the loss of an account. “Going out to get new customers is far more expensive than an agency may know,” she says. Industry professionals may be surprised by the value customers place on service as well. “Assuming that price is all that matters is a mistake,” says Hollada, pointing to another study. “Of the top 10 things that customers find most important when dealing with their insurance agent, price ranks sixth, while customer service is first.”
Service challenges The recent slumps in the economy and insurance market undoubtedly have affected the day-to-day operations of insurance agencies, and one of the strains is on customer service. “One challenge is doing more with less,” explains Hollada, “less premium but not less work or fewer customers.” In response to reduced income, some agencies are implementing voluntary furloughs and foregoing the replacement of retired employees. And those personnel changes can have a negative effect by disrupting hard-earned relationships between customers and their agency contacts. Additional challenges stem from technology. First there are carriers’ various delivery systems and degrees of automation. “The learning curve is phenomenal,” says Hollada.
Primary Agent | April 2014
Timeline of CISR Program revisions Think you know the designation? Think again. Last year was a landmark one for the 25-yearold CISR Program, thanks to a complete restructure and an added level of recognition. January 2013: The program ups its course offerings from five to nine, allowing participants to specialize in a certain area or mix and match courses to meet their professional or personal goals. July 2013: The National Alliance, which administers the program, announces a CISR Elite – a status awarded to those who take and pass all nine courses. Read more about the program and course offerings at IABforME.com/CISR.
Then there are the new sources of insurance information — much of it misinformation – that customers can easily find on the Internet. That creates situations when agency staff must re-educate customers, many of whom are confused and some of whom are angry.
Training solutions A little training can go a long way toward addressing these issues and improving service. IA&B offers Agency Operations through the CISR designation program, which teaches how to ask the right questions to qualify customers’ risk, and Dynamics of Service as a CISR designation update option, which focuses on communication skills. “Getting people-skills training is the easiest change agencies can make to improve their customer service,” says Hollada. “It’s not a given that employees know the importance of building rapport.” In addition to the CISR courses, IA&B offers in-house, customer-service trainings that can be customized to an agency’s specific needs. “The industry offers lots of technical training but needs to do more with relationships,” shares Hollada.
“The CISR Program has given me the opportunity to learn how to provide my customers with a broader understanding of their personal and commercial exposures. Participation in the program is a great first step towards becoming an insurance professional.” – Matthew M. Smyth, CISR
Read more about IA&B’s CISR courses and other customer-service offerings at IABforME.com/education. [ 11 ]
Insurance Agents & Brokers proudly recognizes Millville Mutual Insurance Company as one of its Platinum Partners. IA&B Platinum Partners dedicate the highest level of sponsorship to our organization.
FEATURED PARTNER Millville Mutual Insurance Company COMPANY PRESIDENT M. Paige Raski President COMPANY LOCATION 215 State Street, Millville, PA 800-262-8495 A.M. BEST RATING “A” (Excellent) WEBSITE www.millvillemutual.com
Millville Mutual company headquarters located in Millville, Pennsylvania
t Millville Mutual Insurance Company, it’s all about the policyholders. And as one of the four oldest continuously operating businesses in Columbia County, it’s been that way since 1875. Through a strong commitment to respond and adapt to the needs of their customers, Millville Mutual has been able to continue to provide affordable protection and peace of mind from fire, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances that can change your personal or professional life. Millville Mutual leverages a talented and experienced staff to provide customized service and prompt response to each and every one of its 62,000 policyholders. The company is devoted to building strong ties to both the rural and suburban areas throughout the state of Pennsylvania, where it is represented by more than 190 independent agencies that provide customized service and sound advice in selecting the right products to protect each customer. With $69 million of assets, $28 million in premium and $44 million in surplus, Millville Mutual is proud to announce that, due to the company’s financial strength and efficient operations, it has retained an “A” (Excellent) rating by AM Best Company, which is a rating it has maintained since 1973. [ 12 ]
This year, Millville Mutual is proud to introduce Shaun Smith, CEO of Albright Care Services in Lewisburg, PA, as a new member of the Board of Directors. Shaun brings valuable experience and insight to a company that is dedicated to improving its core services and creating value for its policyholders and local community. Building on Millville Mutual’s success in Pennsylvania, the company is now serving the state of New York through a wholly owned subsidiary, Millville Insurance Company of New York. Millville New York experienced strong growth in 2013, and with the addition of several key product lines this year, will be well positioned to provide the same level of affordable protection and quality service to residents in New York. In 2014, Millville Mutual will continue to focus on becoming an industry leader in customer service, developing more user friendly and interactive systems to handling billing and claims services. These advancements are all geared toward meeting the needs of their customers and supporting them in their time of need. Millville Mutual Insurance Company, along with the Board of Directors, would like to thank their customers, agency force and employees for their continued dedication and support in making 2013 a successful year.
Listed below are those companies that strongly support the independent agency system and Insurance Agents & Brokers. Thank you for your continued sponsorship.
WHAT IS IA&B PARTNERS? The IA&B Partners program gives company and allied businesses the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment of support to independent agents and receive maximum market exposure. As an IA&B Partner, you will also realize the benefits of IA&B membership to help you succeed in the insurance industry.
DO YOU SEE YOUR NAME? To become an IA&B Partner, choose the sponsorship package that matches your commitment of support. Contact the Member Sales Center at 800-998-9644, 717-795-9100 or visit us online at IABforME.com to get started.
PLATINUM LEVEL ACUITY Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group Donegal Insurance Group Erie Insurance Group Harleysville Insurance HM Insurance Group Insurance Agents & Brokers Service Group Inc Liberty Mutual Insurance MMG Insurance Company Millers Mutual Group Millville Mutual Insurance Co Mutual Benefit Group Penn National Insurance Swiss Re The Main Street America Group Utica National Insurance Group
BRONZE LEVEL Aegis Security Insurance Co Agency Insurance Company AmWINS Program Underwriters Inc Auto-Owners Insurance Company Bailey Special Risks Inc Briar Creek Mutual Insurance Company Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Conemaugh Valley Mutual Insurance Co Countryway Insurance Company Encompass Insurance Foremost Insurance Group GMI Insurance Goodville Mutual Casualty Company Guard Insurance Group Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance Company Harford Mutual Insurance Co Insurance Alliance of Central PA Inc
Insurance Placement Facility of PA
ISU Insurance Agency Network Progressive Westfield Insurance
Keystone Insurers Group Inc Lebanon Valley Insurance Company Mercer Insurance Group
Merchants Insurance Group
Access Insurance Company Allied Insurance American Mining Insurance Co Burns & Wilcox Limited Cumberland Insurance Group Farmers Mutual Insurance Company of Western Pennsylvania Frederick Mutual Insurance Co ICW Group Insurance Companies Juniata Mutual Insurance Co PSBA Insurance Trust Selective The Philadelphia Contributionship [ 13 ]
Mercury Casualty Mutual Aid Exchange Penn PRIME Municipal Insurance Reamstown Mutual Insurance Company Rockwood Casualty Insurance State Auto Mutual Insurance Company TAPCO Underwriters Inc The Brethren Mutual Insurance Company The Motorists Insurance Group The Mutual Service Office Inc Travelers Tuscarora Wayne Group of Companies Zenith Insurance Primary Agent April 2014
TRAINING & EDUCATION
Six degrees of professional development No matter how you approach training and education, we have the options to meet your individual needs and, in turn, improve your sales and service. Here we offer a (slightly blithe) look at our award-winning professional development offerings. Pick your style, and then read what we have to offer.
Traditionalist (with friends)
For those who prefer triedand-true, in-person learning, we offer over 175 traditional, classroom courses annually at locations throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Attend them to earn (or retain) your CIC, CISR or CPIA designation; to prepare for the Pennsylvania licensing exam; to earn continuing education credits; and to receive loss-control credit from your E&O carrier.
For those who prefer in-person learning — and have like-minded coworkers — our in-house training fits the bill. Gain knowledge (and CE), but eliminate the time and expense of travel. The same nationally recognized instructors you’ve learned from for years will come to you and even customize the training to meet your agency’s needs.
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Primary Agent | April 2014
Newbie (with self-starter skills)
For those who like to juggle — and wouldn’t have it any other way — we offer our on-demand training. Register for any of our six (and counting!) CE-approved courses, and then learn in your own place at your own pace (within 30 days). The format mirrors the classroom setting, allowing you to experience audio and video recordings of the instructor and easily ask questions.
For the industry newcomer who’s raring and ready to go, we offer four introductory courses — all online and approved for CE credit. Learn the “nuts and bolts” of insurance through weekly reading assignments and activities, interacting with fellow students on message boards, and emailing with your instructor. Each course runs approximately eight weeks.
For those who light a fire under themselves, our licensing self-study packages are ideal. Prepare independently for the Property & Casualty and the Life & Health licensing exams in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware. Each package contains a study guide, licensing test, chapter quizzes, state-specific law information and access to an online exam simulator.
For those with an insatiable thirst for knowledge, our bi-monthly Power Hour webinars provide updates and insight on timely topics. Tune in over your lunch hour (for free!) and hear from industry experts on coverages, agency management and more. Past topics have covered everything from vacated property concerns and lease exposures,to cyber liability and financial ratios.
Learn more at IABforME.com/education about how you can meet your training needs with courses that match your style.
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Primary Agent | April 2014
H E AD Q U ART E R S
THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT Unravelling the exempt vs. non-exempt mystery KAREN H. DIGIOIA Karen H. DiGioia provided this article on behalf of Mosteller & Associates, IA&B’s contracted human resources consulting firm. Reach out to Karen for more information on FLSA compliance or with other human resources questions. IA&B’s HR Solution© is a compilation of products and services – available exclusively for our member agencies – that simplifies establishing or improving your human resources program. It includes base-level consultation and discounted professional services from Mosteller & Associates. IABforME.com/emp_mgmt
Regulatory compliance. Exempt. Non-exempt. FLSA. Certainly not the stuff of best-selling novels or block-buster movies. Yet understanding which employees must be paid overtime and which don’t so that you are in compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) can seem as confusing as a suspenseful whodunit! Read on for clues – an understanding of the act and how you can ensure compliance – to help solve this mystery. To whom does the FLSA apply? The FLSA applies to many businesses, large and small. While the full definition gets a little bit more involved, in general terms, if a business has $500,000 or more in annual dollar volume of business, the FLSA applies.
What are the risks of non-compliance? Over the past several years, the Department of Labor has added over 300 new field investigators to the Wage and Hour Division with the purpose of looking into cases of noncompliance related to wage-and-hour issues and compliance with the FLSA.
Remember, it’s never a problem to treat an employee as non-exempt, so if you’re in doubt, classify the position as exempt and pay overtime. It’s also important to remember that it doesn’t matter what you call an employee or position – what matters is what they are doing in the course of carrying out their job.
Litigation of wage-
What “exempts” an employee? The FLSA works with what may seem like reverse logic: It begins with the assumption that employees are eligible for overtime pay and then provides guidelines for determining which employees are “exempt” from overtime pay. Everyone else is “non-exempt” and must be paid overtime, which is equal to one and a half times the regular hourly rate.
and-hour disputes is time-consuming and costly. The bottom line: You want to be in compliance with the FLSA. Litigation of wage-andhour disputes is timeconsuming and costly. The bottom line: You want to be in compliance with the FLSA. [ 16 ]
Primary Agent | April 2014
The FLSA includes very specific categories and definitions of employees who can be exempt from overtime. They include executive, administrative and professional employees, outside sales employees and certain skilled computer professions. As an understanding of these categories is critical to ensuring compliance, we’ll spend a good bit of time exploring each of these categories. With the exception of the outside sales exemption, each of the exemptions detailed below begins with a salarybasis test. This first test requires that the employee be paid a salary not less than $455 a week. This means the amount paid cannot be reduced when the employee works less than 40 hours in a week.
FLSA – background and overview The FLSA was first enacted in 1938 and has been amended repeatedly over the years – most recently in 2004. The purpose of this act was to “provide for the establishment of fair labor standards in employments in and affecting interstate commerce….” Administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, this act sets the standards for minimum wage and overtime pay for employees, and also includes child labor provisions.
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Detailed description of exemptions Executive: To qualify for the executive exemption, the salary-basis test and all of the following must be met: w Employee’s primary duty is managing the enterprise or managing a recognized department or subdivision of the enterprise w Employee must “regularly and customarily” direct the work of at least two or more other full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) w Employee must have the authority to hire and fire other employees, either directly or by making suggestions to hire, fire, promote or change status of other employees which are given serious consideration. Administrative: To qualify for this exemption, the “salary-basis test” and all of the following must apply: w Employee’s primary duty is the performance of office or nonContinued on page 18 [ 17 ]
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Continued from page 17 manual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers w Employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance Professional: To qualify for the professional exemption, the salary-basis test and all of the following must apply: w Employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in nature and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment w The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning w The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction Outside sales: To qualify for the outside sales exemption, all of the following must be met: w Primary duty must be making sales or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer w Employee must “customarily and regularly” be engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business
Skilled computer professionals: To qualify for the skilled computer professional exemption, the salarybasis test and all of the following must be met: w Employee is employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer or other similarly skilled worker in the computer field performing the primary duties described below: • Application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software or system functional specifications • Design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing or modification of computer systems or programs, including prototypes, based on and related to user or system design specifications • Design, documentation, testing, creation or modifications of computer programs related to machine operating systems • A combination of these duties, the performance of which requires the same level of skills. Highly-compensated employees: Highly compensated employees performing office or non-manual work and paid total annual compensation of $100,000 or more (which includes at least $455 per week paid on a salary or fee basis) are exempt from the FLSA if they customarily and regularly perform at least one of the duties of
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an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee as listed above. There are other employees who are considered exempt such as farm workers, amusement/recreation workers and automobile sales people, among others. As these are not relevant to the targeted audience of this publication, no detailed discussion of these exemptions is included. Still not sure whodunit? More detailed information can be found on the Wage and Hour Division’s website: http://www. wagehour.dol.gov. Wage and Hour also has a toll-free hotline available between 8 am and 5 pm. The hotline is 1-866-4USWAGE. Through HR Solution© – an IA&B member benefit – you can also call me for advice and clarification. I can be reached at 610-779-3870 or Karen@mostellerhr.com.
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Primary Agent | April 2014
Technology U P DAT E
MAKING THE CASE FOR TECH TOOLS How to enhance claims information and efficiency DONNA J. LAGOY AIT, ACE Donna J. LaGoy AIT, ACE, a client partner of Applied Systems, Inc. and chair of the ACORD Claims Download Working Group, penned this article. Before taking her current role, Donna was an independent agent, with many years of experience working for a national broker and then owning her own agency. She is dedicated to improving the technologies and workflows available to independent agents and brokers, both internally and with their insurance carriers. She has been deeply involved in ACT, AUGIE, ACORD and ASCnet. Donna can be reached at email@example.com. Donna prepared this updated article for the Agents Council for Technology (ACT). For more information about ACT, contact Ron Berg, ACTâ€™s incoming executive director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article reflects the views of the author and should not be construed
This article discusses technology tools that have been introduced to permit independent agents and brokers to serve their clients more promptly and effectively in claims situations. Claims download, real-time claim inquiry, real-time filing of First Notice of Loss (FNOL), real-time requests for loss runs, and Activity Notes all have great
promise to make agency workflows more efficient. Most of these new capabilities have already been introduced by some carriers, but we need to see much broader usage. The agents will play the critical role in making this happen, but first they need to be convinced that these new technologies will
as an official statement by ACT.
[ 20 ]
materially improve their workflows. This article seeks to make that case. Claims download One of the most exciting new opportunities is for the automatic downloading of new claims and claims status information into agency management systems. An ACORD standard has been
put in place for claims download, and several vendors and carriers have begun to implement the new capability. However, an agent might ask: “How exactly will claims download benefit me? I already have claim inquiry available via carrier websites or through my agency management system using real-time inquiry.” Or, the agent might say: “Why do I need download when I already receive an email or Activity Note into my agency management system that tells me there is a claim?” Real-time claim inquiry has been a great enhancement for agents and will continue to be so for up-to-the-minute information. But, it is only beneficial if the agent knows the claim has taken place! Further, real-time claim inquiry does not populate the agency management system’s database, and so the agent must enter the claims information into his or her system. Emails or Activity Notes1 are also great “incremental” steps, but again, the agent has to enter the claim into the agency management system and update the information as the status of the claim changes. The goal is for all of the latest features of technology to work hand-inhand to make the claims process as streamlined as possible.
Claims download critical in disaster situations The horrific storm seasons we have had in recent years provide an instructive example as to how claims download can help agencies. If an agent has had no power and has had clients reporting claims directly to the carrier, how does he or she know what claims have been filed? Once the agency finds out about the claims, who is going to enter the hundreds or thousands of claims into its agency management system? Who is going to update the status on each of the claims, as it is paid or closed? The agency’s employees are already working overtime under terrific stress, and they want the needed claims information to be handy in their system. They want to spend their limited time assisting their clients regarding the claim and demonstrating the value added that their agency provides to its clients. The last thing these employees want to spend hours upon hours doing is entering all of this claims information into their system. Claims download allows for all of the claims to be:
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w Automatically entered into the agency management system w Updated as the status is changed w Closed when the carrier closes it Claims download would save the typical agency hundreds of hours per year, as well as enable agency continued on page 22
Note that Activity Notes today are typically downloaded after the close of the business day. In the future, it is hoped that carriers will deliver time sensitive Activity Notes multiple times a day to their agents’ IVANS mailboxes and agencies will pick up those messages several times a day as well.
[ 21 ]
TECHNOLOGY UPDATE Continued from page 21 employees to provide better service to their clients should a claim occur.
Claims download, real-time claim inquiry, real-time filing of First Notice of Loss (FNOL), real-time requests for loss runs, and Activity Notes all have great promise to make agency workflows more efficient. 7.5 x 4.625 jgs_umbrella_7.4x4.625v1 2012
3) Overnight, the claims are processed via a batch process and downloaded into the agency management system.
Recommended claims workflow The question, then, is how do claims download, real-time claims inquiries and email or Activity Notes work most efficiently together? Consider the following workflow: 1) The claim is reported directly to the carrier by the client (FNOL reported by the agent is a different workflow and is addressed below.). 2) An email message or Activity Note is sent to the agency instantly notifying it of the loss.
4) A log is waiting for the agent in the morning, when he or she comes in to review what was attached (similar to policy download) and what went to suspense to be attached. 5) The claim is now in the agency management system and is ready to be serviced. 6) Claim inquiry can be used at this point to look at anything that has transpired during the current day, if necessary. An example would be that the adjuster had not been assigned when the claim was
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Primary Agent | April 2014
downloaded, and you need to get that information today.
for the claim. What a terrific service to be able to provide the client with this information on the spot! Even where the agent is using real-time FNOL, however, claims download still plays an important role, because it allows for the automatic updating of the status of the claim, including payments made, adjuster notes and the closure of the file.
7) Any updates to the claim will download each night (or at given intervals during the day, if the carrier and vendor provide this feature). Again, this download information will populate a log for review. 8) The agency is now in the position to run reports from the agency management system to track losses.
Real-time loss runs Requesting loss runs through the agency management system and receiving them back in real time from the carrier is another significant improvement for agents, providing clients with immediate service and saving considerable time for the agent.
First notice of loss (FNOL) claim reporting Another very important technology for agencies is real-time FNOL claim reporting, where the agent can submit the claim to the carrier and instantly get back the claim number and adjuster
Agents should advocate for these improvements with their carriers and then “walk the walk” by implementing them within their agencies when they are introduced by particular carriers.
continued on page 24
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[ 23 ]
continued from page 23 Agents play key role Whether we are talking about claims download or real-time claim inquiry, FNOL, loss runs or Activity Notes, agents will play the critical role in making these improved workflows a reality within our industry. Agents should advocate for these improvements with their carriers and then “walk the walk” by implementing them within their agencies when they are introduced by particular carriers. High agency usage will be the dominant factor in convincing additional carriers to leave the sidelines and join the game by implementing these new capabilities.
The future As exciting as these new technologies are, the future will require the industry to take yet another step, and that is to permit the agency’s clients to access their claims information directly from the agency’s website. Claims download and real-time claims inquiry will provide the foundation for this enhanced consumer capability. Consider once again what this would mean to an agency devastated by a disaster, struggling to make or receive phone calls of any kind. What a godsend it would be if anxious clients could go to the agency’s website and learn that their claim has been received and is in processing, and
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receive the assigned adjuster’s contact information. Organizations like ACT will continue to work with carriers and vendors to make this future a reality. Most important today, agents, carriers and vendors should continue to collaborate to harness the exciting technologies that are available to us now to significantly improve the overall customer experience and to make our distribution system more efficient and responsive.
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Ad Index ACUITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IFC Atlantic Specialty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Antique shopper hits one out of the park In honor of Opening Day, we turn our attention to baseball and, for an insurance spin, to baseball card collections in particular. Perusing an antique shop in 2009, Bernice Gallego unknowingly stumbled upon the first baseball card (ever) of the first professional baseball team (ever) — the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. What follows is the story, by the numbers, of the card’s next steps. $9.99 Price that Gallego offered to sell the card for on eBay (before the level of interest led her to pull the listing)
Coastal Agents Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . 9
$75,000.00 Price that Jeffrey Rosenberg paid Gallego for the card
EMC Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
$11,000.00 Commission that sports memorabilia specialist Memory Lane took for brokering the deal
Guard Insurance Group . . . . . . . . . . 24 Harleysville Insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
IA&B Partners Program . . . . . . . . . . 13
Sources: forbes.com ________________________________________________________________
IA&B . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Interstate Insurance Mngmnt. . . . OBC Mutual Benefit Group . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Pittsburgh I-Day . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Preferred Property Program . . . . . . 22 TAPCO Underwriters . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Estimated annual insurance policy premium
The Last & Least column is dedicated to the industry’s oddities – from creative claims and kooky coverages, to (tasteful) jokes and strange stories. Submit yours to IAB@IABforME.com, subject line: Last & Least. The editor will happily protect sources’ anonymity upon request.
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