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ALSO INTHISISSUE: ________________ How pollution liability policies differ Assessing an E&O culture 9 tips to keep data secure


Consistent, Determined & Loyal While everyone is talking about changes these days, we remain consistently committed to the values and people who have helped us get where we are today. We remain loyal to the independent agents who have delivered value to our customers every day for over 120 years. Of course, there have been changes like advances in technology, more aggressive marketing and expanded lines of business. At Donegal, we are determined to make any improvements we can to maintain a superior level of quality. We feel that consistency and loyalty are the rarest of commodities. If your insurance agency could use a little consistency please give us a call.

Call Rick Kelley, Senior Vice President

www.donegalgroup.com

800-877-0600


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Contents PRIMARY AGENT MAGAZINE Getting on board with IA&B’s Marketing Center The train has left the station: Branding your agency and marketing to consumers is no longer a “should do.” It’s a “must do.” Direct writers are chipping away at independent agents’ personal lines market share. It’s time to fight back by getting on board with the IA&B Marketing Center. Read on for a whistle-stop tour.

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Page 12 Positioning members for success in the battle for business IA&B’s fourth annual Executive Management Conference drew 150 independent agency owners and principals from throughout the tri-state area to historic Gettysburg, Pa. The two-day event combined first-rate learning opportunities with ample networking and — of course — a few Civil War history lessons.

Page 18

22

Orange County Chopper rolls into Executive Management Conference Fresh off of the Discovery Channel, the Trusted Choice® "Chopper for Charity" made a pit stop Dec. 11 at IA&B’s Executive Management Conference in Gettysburg, Pa.

Page 22 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

In every issue 4 5 6 8 10 23

Chair of the Board’s Message Member FAQ State News Preventing E&O Coverage Corner Glance at Events

25 26 IBC IBC IBC

IA&B Partners Technology Update Advertisers Index Classified Ads Last & Least

Subscriptions: Non-member price: $2.25 per copy or $15 per year. 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. Ride-along enclosed. Postmaster: Send address changes to above address. Primary Agent (ISSN 1543-3110), Permit # 638-620, Issue # 2013-2 is published monthly by IA&B Service Group Inc., a subsidiary of IA&B.

Copyright 2013. 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.


Imagine lower risk We’re specialists that keep you out of the heat PennPRIME is the municipal entity specialist that can clearly illustrate ways to reduce risk. Formed, owned, and governed by our members, PennPRIME offers an array of products and services that are custom-tailored for Pennsylvania’s cities, townships, boroughs, and authorities. Composed of two insurance Trusts, PennPRIME provides comprehensive property, liability and workers’ compensation coverage as well as unique service programs like grants, training opportunities and sample loss control policies. Imagine a relationship with an organization that has the leadership, HK]VJHJ`HUK7LUUZ`S]HUPHZWLJPÄJL_WLY[PZL[V[HRL[OLI\YKLUVM risk management off your shoulders. Breathe easier with the right coverage. Imagine yourself a member of PennPRIME‌call today!

‹  ‹^^^WLUUWYPTLJVT PennPRIME is a service program of the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities

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a Berkshire Hathaway company A strong company just got stronger! We are proud to have joined the Berkshire Hathaway Group – and give you one more reason to consider requesting a GUARD agency appointment. Visit www.guard.com/apply or call 800-673-2465, ext. 4567! Property and casualty insurance for small- to mid-sized employers – workers’ compensation coverage is our traditional specialty.


Board of Directors

Norman F. Basso, CPCU

Officers

Chair of the Board’s

Norman F. Basso, CPCU Chair of the Board York, Pa. G. Greg Gunn, CIC Vice Chair of the Board Lemoyne, Pa.

M

E

S

S

A

G

Robert B. Hall, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, ARM, ARM-P Immediate Past Chair of the Board West Chester, Pa.

Members

Good things are happening

Joyce M. Bailey, CIC, CRM, CPIW Newark, Del. Henry “Butch” Bradley, Jr. Forest Hill, Md. Timothy P. Burris Mifflintown, Pa. N. Lee Dotson, CIC, AAI Wilmington, Del. Michael P. Ertel Columbia, Md. John L. Frankenfield Telford, Pa. John B. Hollister Milford, Pa. Diana M. Hornung Hanby, ACSR Wilmington, Del. 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.

This is an exciting time to be an IA&B member. The mid-December Executive Management Conference was electric. Renowned instructors and eager independent agents met in Gettysburg to discuss today’s critical agency issues — creating a sales culture, providing 24/7 service, valuing an agency, living an agency brand. If you missed this acclaimed event, turn to pages 18-21 to read more about it. At the same time, IA&B launched a new Marketing Center. (Read more on page 12.) The initiative is the culmination of extensive independent agency research to identify and work to compile tools and services for members to enhance their marketing and branding efforts. In the ever-competitive world of personal lines insurance, this is a resource you cannot afford not to utilize. On top of these, your association is working to elevate and enhance its professional training efforts: from continuing free, members-only Power Hour webinars, to expanding on-demand course offerings, to updating licensing-preparation courses. It truly is an exciting time to be an IA&B member. I encourage you to get involved and take advantage of your membership and all it offers. Until next month,

Joseph R. Pastor, CPCU, AAI Oil City, Pa. April E. Ressler, CIC Altoona, Pa.

Norm Basso

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

Driving members to distinction. [4]

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Member FAQ QUESTION: I am getting married next week. How do I change my name on my producer license? Should I wait for the renewal? ANSWER: Good question. And no, you should not wait for the license renewal. Many producers may not realize that they need to notify the insurance regulator within a certain timeframe, and that timeframe is dictated by state law or regulation. Keep in mind that a change of name could also occur for an agency license and would be subject to the same procedure. In our three states, the requirements are as follows.

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? Email it to us at iab@iabgroup.com. Please use โ€œPrimary Agent FAQโ€ in the subject line of your message. You can also fax your question to717-795-8347. We look forward to answering your questions!

Delaware Proof of the name change along with a $10 fee needs to be submitted within 30 days of the name change. The basis is found under ยง 1707 of the licensing law. Maryland Changes to a license are addressed under ยง 10-117 of the Insurance Article, which provides that a producer has 30 days to notify the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) of a change. In practice, licensed producers can submit a Producer Licensing Service Request Form to the MIA and include a copy of a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order. The form can be faxed to 410-468-2399. Pennsylvania A licensed producer must notify the Pennsylvania Insurance Department within 10 days of the name change and attach appropriate documentation. The requirement is addressed in ยง 37.81 of the regulation. For more information on licensing requirements, log on to www.iabgroup.com and go to Agency Operations /Licensing.

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State News Primary Agent | February 2013

New member resources Notifying clients when selling or purchasing an agency Announcing to your current customers that you have purchased or sold your agency just became easier. IA&B developed a sample letter that you can personalize based on your own circumstances and use to notify your client base. The two samples have been added to the tools already available on the association’s agency perpetuation resources Web page. www.iabgroup.com/pa/ ag_perpetuation/resources

Del. non-resident license renewals due, no longer trigger notices Producers and agencies with non-resident licenses in Delaware: Your renewal is due Feb. 28 of every odd year. Delaware Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced late last year that renewal notices no longer will be mailed. Instead, the Delaware Department of Insurance will post them on its homepage 90 days prior to renewal date. Licensees are now responsible for checking the website to ensure they are up to date with renewal payments. http://delawareinsurance.gov/

Colony Specialty exits agents E&O market, IA&B responds Colony Specialty Insurance Company, an Argo Pro company, began its exit of the retail E&O marketplace this month. Nonrenewals of existing policies began Feb. 1. IA&B’s sales center — which is the organization’s independent agency, offering agency E&O and umbrella policies in Pennsylvania — is committed to working with its affected policyholders and to ensuring a smooth transition to a new carrier. Customers can expect to hear from IA&B representatives prior to their next renewal. In the meantime, questions can be directed to the sales center by calling 800-998-9644, option 2.

WELCOME

New Members Mooney Insurance Brokers Flourtown, Pa. Farmers Fire Insurance Agency Inc York, Pa. Church Insurance Specialists Inc Punxsutawney, Pa. Luckey Agency Inc Beaver, Pa. The Blystone Company LLC Hatfield, Pa. Dougherty & Conrad Insurance Services Media, Pa.

[6]


CGL and CP changes looming; IA&B class addresses revision Producers should start preparing for major changes scheduled to affect the Commercial General Liability (CGL) and the Commercial Property (CP) programs in the spring. Multistate filings submitted by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) have been approved for an April 1 effective date. From liquor liability, blanket additional insured, water exclusion or coverage for roof surfacing, and many more, the changes impact many different facets of the policies. To help members keep up with the revisions — and keep E&O at bay — IA&B developed a course (approved for 8 hours of CE) that will allow producers to understand how the changes expand or reduce coverage and, ultimately, how their insureds are impacted. IA&B members must start preparing for carrier implementation. As with any ISO filing, some carriers will automatically adopt the changes, others may delay the adoption, and others still may adopt some of them and file their own separate forms, picking and choosing the items they wish to retain. IA&B course dates and locations in Pennsylvania: March 5 – Mars March 13 – Mechanicsburg March 26 – Ft. Washington March 27 – Bethlehem April 30 – Erie May 9 – Wilkes-Barre May 23 – Lancaster June 20 – Altoona www.iabgroup.com/education

Last call for Member Agent Panel members Speak up now to speak out over the next two years. IA&B is recruiting participants for the 2013-2014 Member Agent Panel (MAP) cycle. Since 2003, MAPs have been instrumental in obtaining member feedback and, in turn, ensuring that IA&B evolves and remains relevant. Regional groups of IA&B members — typically agency principals and producers — and association leadership come together to informally discuss issues affecting agents. Beginning this year, participants will attend one three-hour meeting each April at one of nine locations throughout Pennsylvania. A statementof-interest form is available via the Web address below. www.iabgroup.com/ get_involved

In case you missed it … updates for the new year Amended surplus lines form in use Members spoke, IA&B listened, and the Insurance Department delivered. Effective Jan. 1, insurance producers no longer need to list the three carriers who declined the risk on the 1609-PR affidavit before placing a risk in the surplus lines market. (Seeking and documenting the three declinations is still required.) Based on consistent feedback during Member Agent Panel meetings, IA&B for some time discussed the issue with the Insurance Department and conveyed members’ dissatisfaction with [7]

the “diligent search” and overall antiquated surplus lines process. In September, the Insurance Department agreed to revise the 1609-PR form. While the development maintains the requirement to seek three declinations due to statutory restrictions, it is a step in the right direction. The association will continue discussions with the Insurance Department on other possible improvements to the process. In the meantime, members can access amended resources on how to submit compliant placements, as well as the revised form, by visiting the IA&B website. www.iabgroup.com/pa/ surplus_lines

Professional Employer Designation Act in effect The Professional Employer Designation Act, which took effect Jan. 1, is intended to regulate professional employer organizations (PEO) in the commonwealth. It applies to people engaged in the business of providing professional employer services through a PEO and outlines duties and agreements regarding taxation and benefits, including workers’ compensation coverage. The Pennsylvania Compensation Rating Bureau (PCRB) last fall submitted revisions to the Basic Manual in response to the new law. The filing adopts a new rule in Section 1, as well as three endorsements. www.pcrb.com (select “Filings”)


Preventing Primary Agent | February 2013

ERRORS AND OMISSIONS

HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR AGENCY’S OVERALL E&O CULTURE? CURTIS M. PEARSALL CPCU, AIAF, CPIA Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA, president of Pearsall Associates Inc. and special consultant to the Utica National E&O Program, supplied this article. Insurance Agents & Brokers Service Group Inc. is the exclusive agent for the Utica E&O program in Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania. For questions regarding this article or your E&O coverage, contact IA&B at 800-998-9644 or iab@iabgroup.com.

thought, here are some areas to consider:

The question posed in the headline is probably not easy to answer. After all, there are many issues to factor in making this determination. A better way to look at this is by comparing your E&O culture today with a certain point in the past. The question then becomes: Is your E&O culture stronger today than it was last year at this time? In a recent industry survey, 85 percent of the agencies that responded indicated an improvement over the previous year, with 70 percent of that 85 percent indicating a substantial improvement was made.

Management/leaders hip As with most businesses, the culture of the organization starts with management/ leadership. The staff will follow suit to the degree that management “walks the walk” and “talks the talk.” Thus, where it is readily apparent that agency management is committed to a strong E&O culture, that message will heavily drive staff behavior. Conversely, if agency management does not truly embrace an E&O culture, the agency is only fooling itself and will never achieve the desired level of E&O commitment.

Creating and maintaining a culture of constant improvement is key. It is probably best to evaluate your agency on a continuum. As you may not know where the end is, the goal is to be confident you are making progress and improving.

Staff engagement This area will undoubtedly heavily determine an agency’s E&O culture. Why? Agencies don't make mistakes, people do. Two agencies could have the

If your agency is unsure where it stands or if you have not given it much

[8]

same procedures and expectations, yet have a different culture within their respective shops. E&O is serious stuff, requiring every staff member that believes in the cause to perform their duties ethically and professionally. Because an agency’s staff involves many different functions and disciplines, assessing the agency’s culture requires an assessment of each person. While producers and CSRs are heavy drivers of E&O claims, virtually everyone in an agency, including the receptionist and claims team, has the potential to cause, and are causing, E&O claims. Educating your staff For the staff to perform their jobs professionally and efficiently, they must possess a high level of proficiency in the technical aspects of their positions. Your customers count on the staff’s expertise on an insurance matters. In addition, training in the areas


of sales, customer service and systems is also extremely important. As you develop goals for each of your staff, identify educational opportunities based on your assessment. This may include courses, designations, seminars, etc. Your local agents’ association is a great resource for this type of material. Moreover, exposure analysis checklists are an excellent tool for agencies to totally understand classes of business, and the various insurance issues and exposures. Educating your customers Many agencies would contend that the best customer is an educated customer. Has your agency undertaken a campaign to educate customers on various coverages and how these coverages respond? There are many approaches to accomplish this, including producing a printed or electronic newsletter to send to customers. There are many topics to address. Some apply regardless of the time of year, while others are more seasonal (e.g., boating, children going off to college, etc.). A great approach is to perform an annual agency review for each of your customers. This will help your customers understand their coverage and may also identify any exposures the customer has that are not properly insured. It is definitely better to discover and discuss these issues before a loss occurs as opposed to afterward. Documentation What is the quality and timeliness of the documentation in the customer’s file? For example, documentation stating “spoke with insured regarding their homeowners insurance” is unacceptable as it does not provide any real details. The best rule of

thumb for documentation is that another staff member should be able to review the documentation and know exactly what the issues are as well as any open items. Auditing To truly assess the E&O culture and commitment of the agency staff, it is necessary to review their files and the detail each contains. How well are agency procedures being adhered to? What is the level and quality of the file documentation? To effectively perform this function, develop an audit form addressing the key issues, and then perform periodic reviews of a pre-determined number of files for each staff member. While this takes time, it is a critical to discover any issues before they become a problem. Customer accountability It seems that with many E&O claims, the customer does not take any responsibility for the decisions made regarding his or her insurance program. Some possible approaches: w Provide options for the customer to consider and require the customer to sign off on the coverages and limits selected and rejected. w Send a cover letter with the policy to the customer requesting that the customer reviews the policy and advises your agency of any questions or problems. An example of such a letter: Enclosed please find the renewal of your Businessowners package written with XYZ Insurance Co. You will be receiving your premium invoice shortly. It is important that you take the time to read this policy to ensure your understanding of [9]

Education The author touts the importance of staff education — and recommends your local agents’ association for the training. Look no further than IA&B for award-winning continuing education programs that include loss-control seminars, licensing exam prep and special-topic programs in both classroom and on-demand formats.

www.iabgroup.com/ education

the limits and the coverages. If there are any questions, or if you wish to make any changes to this policy, please contact the agency promptly. The limits of insurance have been selected by you, and we can’t guarantee that the limit selected will be sufficient in the event of a major loss. Higher limits are available upon your request. Thank you for your confidence in our agency. We appreciate your business. Sincerely, Growth and improvement If you are unsure that the agency’s culture has been enhanced compared to last year, or even has regressed, don’t be disheartened. Start today on a path to growth and improvement. It will be time and energy well spent.


Coverage Primary Agent | February 2013

CORNER

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING = POLLUTION = CLAIMS

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 activities involved in shale gas extraction potentially create liability exposures, not only during the extraction process, but also for the transportation of the generated wastewater. Between one and eight million gallons of fluid and 80 to 300 tons of chemicals, collectively known as “fracking fluid,” are used to fracture a well. It is possible that a well will be fractured several times throughout its productive life. Fracking fluid consists of sand and water, and possibly up to 200 different types of chemicals. The specifics of the chemicals are usually not disclosed to the public because the fluids are a trade secret. Once injected into the well, between 60 and 90 percent of the fluids remain in the well. The flow-back water will not only contain the various chemicals that are part of the fluid, but also

natural constituents such as radon, metals, minerals and natural gas which were collected on its way down the well and back up again.

the wells, as well as hauling the waste water from the wells to disposal sites. Many of the wells are located in areas where the roadways are not designed for heavy truck traffic and may not be adequately maintained. This certainly increases the possibility of roadway accidents.

It is possible that some of the chemicals used to create the fluids have caused negative health effects on respiratory, neurological, central nervous and reproductive systems. However, the 2005 Energy Policy Act exempted hydraulic fracturing from the Safe Drinking Water Act and preserved the privacy of the composition of fracking fluid. Legislation is currently pending to reverse this portion of the Energy Policy Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency is reassessing the effects of fracking fluids on drinking water.

It’s obvious that the production of natural gas has definitely created all types of pollution exposures for the land owners, well owners, drilling companies and trucking companies. They can’t depend on their general liability and commercial auto policies to cover those pollution exposures. Anybody writing insurance for those folks knows that. The solution is a pollution liability policy.

The rapid expansion of wells has also created additional exposures due to the transportation of fresh water, sand and chemicals to

The question then becomes, “What are the terms, conditions and limitations of the particular pollution liability policy I’m writing?”

[ 10 ]


There is no standard pollution liability policy. No two are exactly the same. Warren Drilling Company was sued by a homeowner who alleged his drinking water was contaminated by the discharge of pollutants and industrial waste, including fracking fluids, and resulted from Warren’s operations. Warren forwarded the claim to its CGL insurer, ACE American Insurance Company. The ACE CGL had an “Energy Pollution Liability Extension Endorsement” attached. Ace denied Warren’s claim based on the language in their endorsement. The endorsement contained five requirements for a covered loss, including: 1. The discharge commenced abruptly and instantaneously and can be identified as having commenced entirely at a specific time on a specific date during the policy period; 2. The discharge was known by an insured within 30 days of the commencement of the discharge of pollutants; and

3. The discharge was reported to us within 60 days of the commencement of the discharge of pollutants. In a letter to Warren denying coverage, ACE stated that Warren failed to satisfy all five required conditions. A few years ago we used the terms “sudden” and “accidental.” The ACE endorsement uses fancy language but says the same thing. Obviously, this discharge was not “sudden,” and Warren did not know of the discharge within 30 days of the commencement and did not report the discharge to ACE within 60 days of the commencement. Warren settled this claim with the homeowner and has filed suit against ACE. The case of Warren Drilling Company, Inc. v. ACE American Insurance Company & Equitable Production Company is currently pending. Again, pollution liability policies have different terms, conditions and limitations. Be careful! Y’all take care!

ATLANTIC SPECIALTY LINES the “A” way — Attitude, Assistance, Adaptability

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Pollution Exposures & Coverages, one of IA&B’s newest on-demand courses taught by Jerry Milton, tackles common environmental exposures and the provisions of various Pollution Liability policies.

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As federal and state governments institute numerous environmental liability regulations, many businesses have become subject to increased environmental liability and financial loss exposures. The unendorsed CGL policy provides very little coverage for the discharge or release of a pollutant. And many insureds have no pollution coverage under their CGLs which have been encorsed with the Total Pollution Exclusion endorsement. A separate Pollution Liability policy is often needed.

OOO&9LD9FLA;KH=;A9D&;GE DIANNE SPRAGUE .)(&1,(&)..* BARBARA BEAVERSON 0((&+00&,+/Independently Owned Reliable & Experienced Underwriters

www.iabgroup.com/on-demand

[ 11 ]


MARKETING

Getting on board with IA&B’s Marketing Center A whistle-stop tour

The train has left the station: Branding your agency and marketing to consumers is no longer a “should do.” It’s a “must do.” Direct writers are chipping away at independent agents’ personal lines market share. It’s time to fight back by getting on board with the IA&B Marketing Center.


Primary Agent | February 2013

O

ver the past 10 years, independent agents’ sales in personal lines have plummeted. The lost market share equals $4.5 billion in net premium, which means more than $540 in lost commission.

While independent agents fall far short in advertising budgets compared to direct writers, they have strengths that their competitors lack. It’s a matter of communicating that value and leveraging it to reclaim market share.

Enter IA&B’s Marketing Center. The initiative is the culmination of several years of member research. It includes the base tools, services and education that small- to mediumsize independent agencies need to consider when evaluating their agency brand and marketing and communication efforts. The following pages detail the first generation of components.

Consumer Education You’re the expert. Position yourself as a trusted insurance expert and advisor. Stay visible to consumers (current customers and prospects) by communicating regularly on proper coverage, not about price. IA&B saves you the time and effort with a library of insurance information that you can use to respond to questions – or to proactively educate your target market. Vetted by insurance and legal experts and reviewed by independent agents, the content (see sidebar for topics) is truly turnkey, available as raw text for copying and pasting into an email, newsletter or other communication vehicle and as fully designed, customizable marketing flyers.

Visit the Marketing Center: www.iabgroup.com/pa/marketing

Consumer content topics w Collision Damage Waiver (for rentals)

Consumer Communication

w Condo Insurance Basics

You’re more than an 800 number. Differentiate yourself from direct writers by showcasing the service and expertise that you provide customers. And rely on a regularly scheduled agency newsletter or as-needed email blasts to serve as consistent, credible communication vehicles.

w Cyber Liability

IA&B makes it easy and cost effective for you to communicate with customers. Through partnerships with Strategic Agencies newsletter service and GetResponse email blasts, you have discounted access to print and electronic communication services. From customizable templates to simple mailing-list management, these offerings — combined with ready-made consumer content from IA&B (see above) — make consumer communication manageable.

w Employment Practices Liability Insurance w Flood Insurance & Water/Sewer Backup w Homeowners' Insurance w Insurance for College Students w Limited-Tort vs. Full-Tort w Personal Umbrellas

Trusted Choice®

w Why Choose an Independent Insurance Agent

You have a seal of approval. Leverage the national brand for Big “I” independent agents by promoting yourself as a Trusted

Look for additional consumer content in the coming months.

[ 13 ]


MARKETING

Choice agent. Join 26,000 independent agencies across the country that are adopting the brand and its increasingly recognizable logo as a symbol for trustworthy insurance service. IA&B offers the turnkey tools you need to live the Trusted Choice brand. From a step-bystep guide to branding, to logos, to ready-to-use ads that position you as a Trusted Choice agent, the Marketing Center resources simplify adoption of Trusted Choice.

Project CAP You can compete online. Compete in the digital marketplace — even without the advertising budget of a gecko. Utilize the joint power of Trusted Choice agents nationwide to collectively gain search engine optimization. IA&B connects you with Project CAP to expand your online presence and reach the increasing segment of consumers (75 percent, at latest check) who start their search for insurance on the Web. In addition to offering online marketing strategies, Project CAP will beat

Our value is crystal clear . 104 years of keeping promises to policyholders. 160 employees with a collective 3500 years! eexperience in the insurance industry.

years running as one of the the top 3 insurance carriers in our region, according to an agent survey. c consecutive years since 2009 on the list of Best Places to Work in Pennsylvania.

the numbers prove it.

our value is crystal clear. MBG. what a gem. MUTUAL BENEFIT GROUP Huntingdon, Pennsylvania www.mutualbenefitgroup.com

direct writers at their own game by channeling all Trusted Choice agents together into one search-engine-optimized force. Insurance shoppers will be funneled to trustedchoice.com, and then qualified leads will be dispersed to their local Trusted Choice agent.

Make-A-Wish® You’re a vital part of your community. Be an agent of change and support your regional Make-A-Wish chapter. You live and play, worship and raise your family in the same places that your customers do. Demonstrate your commitment to community by supporting the Make-A-Wish mission to grant wishes for local children with life-threatening medical conditions. IA&B simplifies joining the cause, the cause that Trusted Choice agents across the country are supporting. And when you join your fellow independent agencies to support Make-A-Wish, the benefit of your collective generosity on the charity — and the secondary benefits of advancing the image of the independent agency system and Trusted Choice brand — grow exponentially. IA&B provides opportunities to join in association-wide fundraising events and resources to support agency-level charitable giving.

PR/Media Relations You have a message worth hearing. Position yourself as the industry expert you are. Share your insurance insight

[ 14 ]


Primary Agent | February 2013

with consumers (customers and prospects) through local media outlets. IA&B streamlines media outreach. Resources include media outreach strategies, template press releases and a print-media contact database, along with step-by-step instructions on how to use each. IA&B simplifies your creation and implementation of a PR strategy.

Marketing Library You have a plethora of resources at your disposal. Take advantage of the 7resources available to you. Read up on the latest tricks of the

marketing and branding trade, written by experts who understand small businesses and the insurance marketplace. IA&B compiles what you need to know in one place. A dynamic resource library provides education on marketing and branding principles. The information shares the background necessary to best plan your agency’s course of action to regain personal lines market share. IA&B is committed to updating the library based on members’ feedback and changing needs.

Next Stop? Success These initial offerings are only the beginning. IA&B is invested in this initiative and committed to independent agencies’ success. The organization encourages member feedback and is poised to adapt and expand the Marketing Center in the months and years ahead. All aboard!

Umbrella Programs that Give You More Options Preferred Property Program gives you broader, more flexible coverage with a range of limits Our umbrella liability policies are written by XL Insurance with Chubb Insurance Group for the excess layer—two of the industry’s most highly rated carriers. We offer four umbrella limits, with coverage you can rely on. • $5 to $25 Million in umbrella coverage with up to $50 Million in total limits. • Hi-Rise apartments up to 35 stories eligible, with higher eligible by referral. • Excess of D&O, General Liability, Auto, Employers Liability, Employee Benefits and more. • Developer-sponsored boards eligible.

Contact us for a quote:

888.548.2465 A subsidiary of

info@umbrellaprogram.com www.umbrellaprogram.com

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Service is our specialty; protecting you is our mission ®

960 Holmdel Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733

INSURANCE

XL Insurance is the global brand used by XL Group pic’s insurance companies. Our XL policies are underwritten by Greenwich Insurance Company.

[ 15 ]


2012-2013 Board of Directors

Joyce M. Bailey, CIC, CRM, CPIW

Norman F. Basso, CPCU

Henry “Butch” Bradley Jr.

DAIAB Chairwoman AAA Mid Atlantic Newark, Del.

IA&B Service Group Chairman E.K. McConkey & Co. Inc. York, Pa.

Bradley Atlantic LLC Forest Hill, Md.

Timothy P. Burris

N. Lee Dotson, CIC, AAI

Michael P. Ertel Sr.

Sausman Insurance Agency Mifflintown, Pa.

DAIAB Vice Chairman Bellevue Insurance Services Wilmington, Del.

The Jacobs Company Inc. Columbia, Md.

John L. Frankenfield

G. Greg Gunn, CIC

Robert B. Hall, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, ARM, ARM-P

Franconia Insurance & Financial Services Telford, Pa.

IA&B Service Group Vice Chairman Gunn-Mowery LLC Lemoyne, Pa.

IA&B Service Group Immediate Past Chairman Francis Hall Insurance Services West Chester, Pa.

John B. Hollister

Diana M. Hornung Hanby, ACSR

Jocelyn R. Howard-Sinopoli, CIC, CISR

Rodgers-Olver-Polley Insurance Milford, Pa.

Thomas J. Hornung & Associates Wilmington, Del.

IA&B of Pennsylvania Vice Chairwoman C.W. Howard Agency Inc. Butler, Pa.


Robert S. Klinger, LUTCF, CPIA

Douglas A. Loesel, CPCU

Michael F. McGroarty Sr.

IA&B of Maryland Chairman PIA National Director Klinger and Associates Inc. Germantown, Md.

Loesel-Schaaf Insurance Agency Inc. Erie, Pa.

IA&B of Pennsylvania Chairman McGroarty & Bradburn Insurance Inc. Pittsburgh, Pa.

Craig S. Mader

Ann Gallen Moll, CIC

Joseph R. Pastor, CPCU, AAI

IA&B of Maryland Vice Chairman Craig S. Mader Insurance Agency Inc. Gambrills, Md.

Gallen Insurance Inc. Reading, Pa.

Barrâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Insurance Oil City, Pa.

April E. Ressler, CIC

Scott C. Rogers, CPIA

David B. Wasson Sr., CIC

Teeter Insurance Agency Inc. Altoona, Pa.

IIABA National Director The Glatfelter Agency York, Pa.

Wasson Insurance Agency Inc. State College, Pa.

Lawrence A. Wilson, CIC, CPIA, CPCU, ARM IIABA National Director S.T. Good Insurance New Castle, Del.


ASSOCIATION AT WORK

Positioning members for success in the battle for business 2012 Executive Management Conference in review

The battle lines are drawn and, thanks to the 2012 Executive Management Conference, IA&B members are better positioned to win business.

1 for photos See pages 20-2 erence. from the conf


Primary Agent | February 2013

IA&B’s

fourth annual Executive Management Conference drew 150 independent agency owners and principals from throughout the tri-state area to historic Gettysburg, Pa. The two-day event combined first-rate learning opportunities with ample networking and — of course — a few Civil War history lessons.

Learning The conference kicked off on Tuesday, Dec. 11 with “Developing, Marketing and Living Your Agency Brand,” an afternoon-long workshop taught by Robert Allen Paul, president of Company of One. Attendees learned how to take the marketing concepts used by Fortune 500 companies and repurpose them to develop and share their agency’s unique brand. Wednesday, Dec. 12 offered a full day of workshops. Participants chose their path among concurrent sessions to customize the learning to their individual agency needs. Nationally recognized instructors — including Chris Burand, Steve Anderson and Maureen Gallagher — presented on staff evaluations and producer compensation, agency valuation, social media and 24/7 service, and creating a sales culture.

Networking No insurance-industry conference would be complete without an opportunity to press the flesh. Attendees and company reps talked shop at the sponsor welcome reception on Wednesday evening. Then they, along with their guests, enjoyed exclusive access to the Gettysburg Museum & Visitor Center for a private screening of the short film “A New Birth of Freedom,” a walk through the restored Gettysburg Cyclorama and entry to exhibit galleries.

Conference sponsors and exhibitors A special thanks to these sponsors whose generous support made the 2012 Executive Management Conference possible. Benefactor sponsors: Donegal Insurance Group Great American Insurance Group Harleysville Progressive Partner sponsors: Cumberland Insurance Group The Farmers Fire Insurance Company Foremost Insurance Group Frederick Mutual Insurance Company Highmark Casualty Insurance Company Key Risk Mercury Insurance Group MMG Insurance Mutual Benefit Group Ohio Casualty Penn National Insurance Prime Insurance Company Westfield Insurance

2012 Annual Meeting Preceding the Executive Management Conference, the IA&B Board of Directors held its Annual Meeting, where association leadership (see pages 16-17 for a directory) recapped the year’s accomplishments and highlighted initiatives planned for 2013. Company representatives met with attendees throughout the two-day conference. [ 19 ]


ASSOCIATION AT WORK

EMC 2012

1

2

3

5

4


Primary Agent | February 2013

1.

Attendees spent the first afternoon learning about developing, marketing and living their agency brand.

2.

On day two attendees chose among break-out sessions to customize their learning experience.

3.

Robert Allen Paul, insurance industry veteran and marketing expert, led the session on agency branding.

4.

A welcome and networking reception kicked off the event.

5.

Attendees mingled with sponsors during breaks.

6.

Day one concluded with exclusive access to the Gettysburg Museum & Visitor Center.

7.

Tuesday evening ended with a fireside dessert reception at the museum.

8.

The museum tour featured a private screening of the short film, â&#x20AC;&#x153;A New Birth of Freedom.â&#x20AC;?

6

7

8


ASSOCIATION AT WORK

Orange County Chopper rolls into Executive Management Conference Members gear up to support Make-A-Wish

Fresh off of the Discovery Channel, the Trusted Choice® "Chopper for Charity" made a pit stop Dec. 11 at IA&B’s Executive Management Conference in Gettysburg, Pa. Trusted Choice, the consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers, commissioned Orange County Choppers to create the custom motorcycle to raise money for the MakeA-Wish Foundation®. Following its debut on the Sept. 17 episode of "American Chopper," the bike began its yearlong, cross-country travels, which will culminate in its auction to benefit Make-A-Wish. The chopper's Gettysburg stop coincided with the launch of IA&B’s regional charitable-giving campaign, spearheaded by independent insurance agents to benefit Make-A-Wish.

Be an insurance agent of change! Join fellow independent agents in supporting Make-A-Wish. www.iabgroup.com/pa/marketing Upper left: Trusted Choice agents across the country are hosting the chopper over the coming months to support Make-A-Wish. Middle: Orange County Choppers customized the motorcycle for Trusted Choice. Lower left: Rosann Cusumano Elinksy, of the Cusumano Insurance Agency in Pittsburgh, strikes a pose with the chopper.


Glance at Events FEBRUARY & MARCH CALENDAR Date February 12

Topic

Location

CISR Agency Operations E&O Risk Management Seminar

Erie, Pa. Philadelphia, Pa.

12-14 13

P&C Licensing Study Course CISR Personal Auto William T. Hold: Learning From Losses

Mechanicsburg, Pa. Philadelphia, Pa. Pittsburgh, Pa.

14

CISR Agency Operations

Altoona, Pa.

19

CISR Personal Auto CISR Personal Auto

Reading, Pa. Dover, Del.

20 20-23

CISR Personal Auto CIC Personal Lines

Baltimore, Md. Harrisburg, Pa.

21 27

CISR Personal Auto William T. Hold: Learning From Losses

Mechanicsburg, Pa. Salisbury, Md.

5

CISR Personal Auto Commercial Changes: Property & CGL Revisions

Hagerstown, Md. Pittsburgh, Pa.

5-7 6

L&H Licensing Study Course CISR Agency Operations

Philadelphia, Pa. Lehigh Valley, Pa.

7 11

CISR Agency Operations CISR Personal Residential

York, Pa. Philadelphia, Pa.*

11-14 12

CIC Personal Lines William T. Hold: Learning From Losses CISR Personal Auto

Erie, Pa. Lancaster, Pa. Philadelphia, Pa.*

13

Commercial Changes: Property & CGL Revisions

Mechanicsburg, Pa.

13-14

CISR Agency Operations James K. Ruble

Philadelphia, Pa.* Ellicott City, Md.

14 15

CISR Commercial Property CISR Commercial Casualty II

Philadelphia, Pa.* Philadelphia, Pa.*

19 20-23

CISR Agency Operations CIC Commercial Casualty

Pittsburgh, Pa. Newark, Del.

20

William T. Hold: Learning From Losses

Mechanicsburg, Pa.

21

CISR Personal Auto William T. Hold: Learning From Losses

Pittsburgh, Pa. Baltimore, Md.

26

Commercial Changes: Property & CGL Revisions

Philadelphia, Pa.

27

CISR Commercial Casualty I CISR Personal Auto Commercial Changes: Property & CGL Revisions

Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Lancaster, Pa. Lehigh Valley, Pa.

March

* = CISR Marathon Week

[ 23 ]


Platinum Profile Insurance Agents & Brokers proudly recognizes Liberty Mutual Insurance as one of its Platinum Partners. IA&B Platinum Partners dedicate the highest level of sponsorship to our organization.

FEATURED PARTNER Liberty Mutual Insurance PRESIDENT Mike Winner, Business Insurance Mid-Atlantic Region REGIONAL HOME OFFICE Fairfield, Ohio REGIONAL OFFICES Camp Hill, PA; Columbia MD; Fairfield, OH; Lexington, KY

“We are committed to a local, agency-focused culture that delivers the responsive service and relations that agents value and need to be successful and grow profitably with us.”

REGIONAL LEADERSHIP David Lamparella, Regional Vice President, Chesapeake; Donald Waardenburg, Regional Vice President, Pennsylvania

~ Mike Winner

UNDERWRITING OFFICES Camp Hill, PA; Columbia, MD; Delaware Valley, DE; Pittsburgh, PA;

NATIONAL ACCOUNTS LEADERSHIP Thomas Kelley, Regional Director, Mark Morneau, Senior Underwriting Manager

NATIONAL ACCOUNTS UNDERWRITING OFFICE Bala Cynwyd, PA A.M. BEST RATING “A” (Excellent) WEBSITE www.libertymutualgroup.com/business

W

e believe that behind every accomplishment you’ll find hard work and a commitment to excellence. That belief has been a big part of our success. Liberty Mutual Insurance offers commercial lines products and services to businesses of all sizes exclusively through independent agents and brokers. Since 1997, Liberty Mutual Insurance has assembled a nationwide independent agency distribution network that combines local decision-making authority and front-line services with the resources and scale of a national carrier to foster strong agency relationships that share in the company’s growth and success.

For agents in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region, an appointment with Liberty Mutual Insurance now delivers a single point of access to standard commercial lines products and services for small, midsize and large businesses through the company’s local territory managers. In addition, National Account executives are available to help with placement of larger, more complex accounts. Agents and brokers may also access specialty coverages including excess casualty, programs, and umbrella. Liberty Mutual Insurance consistently ranks in the top 100 of the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations based on revenue.


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

PLATINUM LEVEL

BRONZE LEVEL

ACUITY Berkley Mid-Atlantic Group Donegal Insurance Group Erie Insurance Group Harleysville Insurance HM Insurance Group Insurance Agents & Brokers Service Group Inc

Aegis Security Insurance Co

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Encompass Insurance

MMG Insurance Company Millers Mutual Group Millville Mutual Insurance Co Mutual Benefit Group Penn National Insurance Selective Swiss Re The Main Street America Group Utica National Insurance Group

GOLD LEVEL Progressive Westfield Insurance

Center at 800-998-9644, 717-795-9100 or visit us online at www.iabgroup.com to get started.

AmWINS Program Underwriters Inc Auto-Owners Insurance Company Briar Creek Mutual Insurance Company Builders Insurance Group Chubb Group of Insurance Companies Countryway Insurance Company First General Services Foremost Insurance Group Goodville Mutual Casualty Company Guard Insurance Group Harford Mutual Insurance Co Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance Company Insurance Alliance of Central PA Inc Insurance House Insurance Placement Facility of PA Keystone Insurers Group Inc Lebanon Valley Insurance Company Mercer Insurance Group Merchants Insurance Group Mercury Casualty Penn PRIME Municipal Insurance

commitment of support. Contact the Member Sales

Agency Insurance Company

SILVER LEVEL

Reamstown Mutual Insurance Company

Access Insurance Company Allied Insurance American Mining Insurance Co Cumberland Insurance Group Frederick Mutual Insurance Co Juniata Mutual Insurance Co PSBA Insurance Trust The Philadelphia Contributionship

State Auto Mutual Insurance Company

Rockwood Casualty Insurance TAPCO Underwriters Inc The Brethren Mutual Insurance Company The Motorists Insurance Group The Mutual Service Office Inc Travelers Tuscarora Wayne Insurance Company Zenith Insurance Primary Agent February 2013


Primary Agent | February 2013

Technology U P DATE

9 TIPS TO KEEP AGENCY DATA SECURE

This article was written for Agents Council for Technology (ACT) by Kate Gluck, director of marketing, and Paul Fuller, EVP – product management, of Strategic Insurance Software (SIS). Kate and Paul can be reached at kate.gluck@sisware.com and pfuller@sisware.com. This article reflects the views of the authors and should not be construed as an official statement by ACT.

Benjamin Franklin once said that distrust and caution are the parents of security. The expression seems remarkably fresh and relevant in today’s world, especially when it comes to protecting sensitive client data. In fact, this caution is becoming more and more necessary. In an age of highly portable data (and of increasing identity theft)1, independent agents have an ever-increasing responsibility to keep a lock on their client data. State and federal privacy and data breach notification laws and regulations, such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), put pressure on you to keep your

clients’ sensitive personal data safe. Even more important, if a data breach were to occur, your company’s reputation would take a nosedive. In an attempt to simplify a complex area, this article will touch on nine things — some basic and some not-so-basic — that an agency can do to mitigate risk of a data security breach. 1. Keep data in a passwordprotected, encrypted space. Because so many of us these days carry our computers around with us, there is always danger of them being lost or stolen. While most people are honest, unfortunately the

1 Kristin, Finklea M. "Identity Theft: Trends and Issues." Federation of American Scientists. Congressional Research Service, Feb. Web. 22 Oct. 2012.

[ 26 ]


Primary Agent | February 2013

same cannot be said for everyone, and precautions must be taken to store client data in a way that is inaccessible to unauthorized users. The best way to do that is to encrypt and password protect it. There are three easy ways to do this: Store data in your agency management system — Because your agency management system is password protected and data it sends over the Internet can be encrypted, data that is saved in your system or sent via Real Time, secure email or a Virtual Private Network has some measure of safety from prying eyes as long as the proper protocols are followed. Data retained on most agency management systems, however, is not encrypted, so it is extremely important to keep your server in a secure location if housed within your agency or, if you use your vendor’s online system, to have confidence in the security measures practiced by your vendor. Encrypt a folder on your hard drive — While your agency management system is a good location to store most client data, it is almost inevitable that you will have things saved outside of your system, such as on a laptop or USB flash drive. We recommend that the agency strictly limit the employees and instances where client personal data can be kept on such mobile devices and then only for a specific use, after which time the data is deleted from such devices. The trick is to keep this data secure as well. The first option for securely storing confidential information outside of your agency management system is to encrypt space on your hard drive. While this may sound complicated, in reality it is rather simple, so long as you know what to do.

w To create an encrypted space — essentially a password-protected folder that you can save files to “on the fly” — our recommendation is that you use the very good (and free) TrueCrypt software. The open-source software is available for download at (http://www.truecrypt.org/), as is a step-by-step beginner's tutorial on how to create and use a TrueCrypt container. w Once you get the system installed and in use, the beauty of encrypted space is fourfold. First, in many cases it’s free. Second, the simple step of creating and saving to a single file provides an added layer of protection. Because you and you alone decide where you want to file your encrypted folder, anyone trying to gain unauthorized access would not only need the password, they’d also need to know where to look. Third, it’s mobile. You can copy and backup the password-protected file anywhere. Lastly, it won’t slow down your machine. Summary: creating encrypted space on your machine is a convenient and controllable way to protect data that doesn’t cost performance. Encrypt the entire hard drive — If you’d prefer not to worry about having to remember to save confidential information to one specific folder, another option is to encrypt your entire hard drive. From a user standpoint, essentially all this would mean is an extra login. From a security standpoint, it is about as secure as you can achieve, short of prohibiting that such data be kept on such portable devices. So secure, in [ 27 ]

fact, that if you were to forget your password, the likelihood you’d even be able to get back in is slim. One option to do this is BitLocker (available in the Ultimate and Enterprise editions of Windows 7 and Vista and in the Pro and Enterprise versions of Windows 8.) Another is the aforementioned TrueCrypt. Something to consider when deciding whether to encrypt your entire hard drive or just space on your hard drive is that in some cases, particularly with older computers, encrypting the hard drive may slow the performance of your machine somewhat. Summary: The beauty of encrypting your entire hard drive is that if your machine gets stolen, without the password, no one can make sense out of it. The whole hard drive becomes a puzzle. Smart phones and tablets — Agent use of these devices is growing exponentially, and they pose additional security risks. Personal data might be contained in emails received from the client. Agency employees should take care to delete these emails promptly and not transmit this kind of data from these devices via unsecure email. In addition, the agency should make sure its employees have activated the password protection on these devices and should employ a remote wiping technology, so that if the employee loses or misplaces the device, the agency can restore the device to its original manufactured state with all of its data removed. In addition, some larger agencies are starting to employ software on the mobile device that walls off and secures business applications and data.


TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

2.Create “strong” passwords and keep them secure. Because your password is the first line of defense in preventing unauthorized file access (whether to your agency management system, your encrypted file or your entire encrypted hard drive), it is important to create strong passwords and store them in a safe place. Best case scenario would be not to write them down at all. If you must write them down, don’t carry them around with you or leave them in an easily accessible place. Microsoft offers the following suggestions for creating a strong password2: w Make sure it is at least 8 characters long. w Make sure it does not contain your user name, real name or company name. w Make sure it does not contain a complete word. w Make sure it is significantly different from other passwords you have used. w Make sure it contains at least one uppercase letter, one lower case letter, one number and one symbol. To protect yourself against a brute force hack, an attack where all possible character combinations are tried in an effort to crack your password, increase the length of the password. Though longer passwords may be tougher to remember, they are definitely a safer option.

3. Change passwords often. Experts have different opinions as to how often passwords should be changed. Our best advice on this is to set a standard for your agency (whether it be every month, every three months or every six months) and enforce that policy agencywide. Of course, if you ever have any reason to believe that your password has been compromised, it should be changed immediately. Many systems require this from you and do so for good reason. It is much harder to hack systems that require frequent password resets. It adds a level of complexity for the hacker that can be both a deterrent and a safeguard if there is a breach. As you know, carrier portals continually request password changes from all of their users to ensure fraudulent access is minimized. Make sure your agency management system has password management capabilities so when you change your password on the carrier site, you can change your password in the agency management system and retain your Real Time access. Changing these passwords for multiple employees, carriers and other entities is cumbersome. The good news is that there is an industry movement underway to streamline these processes. The ID Federation (http://idfederation.org/) is a not-for-profit group dedicated to creating the trust framework to enable agencies and others to use a digital identity provided by a trusted identity provider to authenticate themselves with carriers and other

business partners in place of passwords. Look for vendors to emerge to start to provide these digital identities to agencies in the coming year. 4. Keep user permissions tightly controlled. Unfortunately, one of the biggest password-related problems we’ve seen across the board is that many agencies not only share their agency management system passwords among staff members, they leave the user permissions wide open. Because of the sensitivity of the data stored in the system, the only ones who should have access are those who use it day in and day out. Use your user permissions well. The better systems will have fairly comprehensive permission lists that are assignable by individual user. Make sure you: w Understand the levels of permission you can set within your system. w Understand the access that each of your team members needs to your system to perform their job optimally. w Implement based on your agency’s best practices. w Make sure employees understand that they should not share their passwords with any other employee or person. For example, many agency systems have permissions to dictate who can pull data in a mass fashion from your system. Take the time to understand these permissions and

2 “Tips for Creating a Strong Password.” Windows. Microsoft, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/ Tips-for-creating-a-strong-password.

[ 28 ]


Primary Agent | February 2013

who needs to have access. Do your producers need to be able to export a client list with sensitive data? Do your CSRs? If not, consider implementing this permission to restrict their ability to do so. 5. Remember to log out. While it may seem simplistic, remembering to log out is one of the more important steps you can take towards keeping your data secure. As long as you are signed in, it doesn’t matter how many layers of security you have or how good your password is — anyone who can get their hands on your computer or mobile device can access your data.

Most systems will have an automatic log-out feature that you can set. For example, if you are not active on a computer for 10 minutes, you will be logged out of the system. Make sure you are using this effectively. If you walk away from your office with your system left open and this auto log-out feature is not active, you essentially give the keys to your kingdom to anyone that walks in the door.

Use Real Time — As emphasized in the ACT article, Agency Strategies to Send & Receive Personal Data Securely, Real Time offers a much more efficient and secure method to handle transactions with carriers than email. When you send a file using Real Time, communications are automatically encrypted and kept within both the agency’s and carrier’s management systems.3

6. Protect outbound data. While everything we’ve discussed up until this point has related to the data residing on your computer, protecting your outbound data is just as essential, if not more so. Here are a few quick tips:

Secure your email with TLS (Transport Layer Security) email encryption — ACT has published a number of articles outlining the basics of TLS encryption. Rather than duplicate these efforts, we suggest the following reading:

3 Yates, Jeff. "Agency Strategies to Send & Receive Personal Data Securely." Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. ACT, Agents Council for Technology, n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012.

Acquisition Strategy

#11

LOSS CONTROL SERVICES

“ Reducing losses adds value for your clients.” Chad Veach, Engineering Services Supervisor Provide more than protection to your clients. Provide the added value of EMC’s no-fee loss control services, which could help reduce the cost of their insurance. It’s just one of the many reasons policyholders Count on EMC®.

Valley Forge Service Branch: 800.333.3622

|

www.emcins.com

Home Office: Des Moines, IA

© Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2013 All rights reserved

[ 29 ]


TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

w Protect Your Clients with Secure Email Using TLS w TLS Email Encryption — Frequently Asked Questions w Insurance Carriers Enabled for TLS Email Encryption for the Agencies TLS is the industry-recommended, secure email solution for business partners where there are frequent email communications going back and forth, such as between agencies and carriers. TLS is an open standard that is transparent to end users, but it requires that it be activated in the email servers of both partners. Most agencies are also likely to need to employ a proprietary email solution for use with their clients (or set up a secure client portal on the agency website), for those instances when sensitive personal data is transmitted to the client, such as that contained in the insurance policy. When storing/saving client emails, attach them to files within your password-protected agency management system instead of saving them in the Outlook application. 7. Use security software. If you are using a reputable, onlinehosted agency management system, the data in your system should be protected with Internet and server firewall data protection, malware and anti-virus protection, as well as weekly security patch updates to Windows and Internet and server firewall data protection. You should be receiving maintenance window

updates from your agency management system provider that let you know these things are being kept up-to-date. If your agency management system is housed within the agency, you should make sure similar security hardware and software are employed. To protect data saved outside your agency management system, we also recommend that you use one antivirus program and a spyware scanner regularly, and keep your PDF reader (usually Adobe Acrobat Reader) updated and on the latest version.

article, Free, Public Wi-Fi Can Be Dangerous to Your Health when he wrote, “You go to an airport or other hot spot and fire up your PC, hoping to find a free hot spot. You see one that calls itself "Free Wi-Fi" or a similar name. You connect. Bingo — you've been had! The problem is that it's not really a hot spot. Instead, it's an ad hoc, peer-topeer network…”4 Fortunately, there are things you can do to protect your data, yet still access the Internet while you are on the road. Here are a few suggestions:

While this paper will not recommend one particular vendor, below are a number of vendors that supply both a standalone anti-virus package, along with a suite of security software for your machine. w McAfee w Symantec w Sophos w AVG w Microsoft Security Essentials In addition, it is recommended that you update your Microsoft operating system with the latest patch levels on your machine. For more information on the latest patch levels for your operating system, visit www.microsoft.com. 8. Be careful when using public Wi-Fi. While free public Wi-Fi is certainly convenient, if you don’t protect yourself against data thieves and hackers, that convenience could will come at a price. Steve Anderson put it quite succinctly in his Tech Tips

4 Anderson, Steve. "Free, Public Wi-Fi Can Be Dangerous to Your Health." Steve Anderson.com Tech Tips. Ed. Steve Anderson. n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012.

w NEVER pick a “free” wireless network that is not identified clearly as a usable network by the provider. For example, most hotels and all Panera restaurants have clearly named networks and written instructions for accessing. Be careful not to use the network that advertises itself only as “FREE-WIFI!” w ALWAYS select the public network option when prompted. This uses Windows technology to make your device as undiscoverable as possible on the network. This can be hacked, but it is a critical first step. w Read the terms and conditions that come up if prompted (e.g., at Panera); make sure you are familiar with the security the specific Wi-Fi network is offering, and the associated liabilities. w Use a virtual private network (VPN) when accessing your


agency’s system. A VPN is a relatively inexpensive way to ensure secure online access wherever you are. Three examples of providers offering VPN solutions designed to provide a secure online experience — even in a free, public Wi-Fi environment include: HotSpot Shield (http://www.hotspotshield.com/); GoTrusted (http://www.gotrusted.com/) and Witopia (https://www.witopia.net/)

you attach to your computer that will provide access to the Internet over a wireless carrier’s cellular network. These are available, for a fee, from the major cellular providers. Many 3G and 4G smartphones can also substitute for the wireless card for a small extra fee per month and data charges. 9. Create a securityminded agency culture. You want to have a clear understanding throughout the agency as to the major information security risks facing your firm, grounded in a written security plan and written procedures implementing the plan that are

w Purchase and use a wireless Internet card. In very nontechnical terms, a wireless Internet card is a small device

consistently applied. It is also critical for you to have a good understanding of the information security requirements imposed by the state and federal privacy and data breach notification laws and regulations that are applicable to your agency. A common requirement of these laws, in addition to having and implementing a written security plan, is to appoint a security coordinator who takes ownership of the information security issue within the agency. Most important of all, it is essential for you to train your employees so that they have a good awareness of the security risks

Cross-Sell Strategy

#7

DATA COMPROMISE COVERAGE

“ Don’t let clients compromise on data compromise coverage.” Tanya Wentzel, Des Moines Branch Marketing Manager

An incident of data compromise can have a negative impact on your clients’ credibility and profits. You can help protect them by adding EMC’s data compromise coverage to their insurance program. It’s just one of the many reasons policyholders Count on EMC®.

Valley Forge Service Branch: 800.333.3622

|

www.emcins.com

Home Office: Des Moines, IA

© Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2013 All rights reserved

[ 31 ]


TECHNOLOGY UPDATE

Coastal Homeowners Insurance facing the agency, or in the words of Franklin, a healthy sense of â&#x20AC;&#x153;distrust and caution.â&#x20AC;? Many avoidable security breaches result directly from employee mistakes, because they are unaware of the risks. Agencies should ask their employees to commit to the requirements of the firmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s information security plan and procedures, and the agency should regularly audit for compliance. ACT has created a prototype agency information security plan that agencies can use as a starting point in creating their own plan. In addition, see the Security & Privacy section of the ACT website for a wealth of additional securityrelated information. Summary Some of these tips can easily be implemented; others will take a bit more time. When it comes to file- and hard-drive encryption, setting up VPN security measures or TLS email encryption, and standardizing security software across your agency, we highly recommend you get your IT consultant or department involved in the planning and implementation. The important thing, however, is to start: Define and outline security measures and make them a standard requirement for everyone in your office. __________________________ Note: Products mentioned in the above article should not be considered product endorsements, just suggestions for where you can go to learn more.

ISO HO3/HO6 Immediate Quotes 15% commission on new and renewal business Primary and Secondary Homes are eligible.

Sharon Karlsson

Coastal Agents Alliance, LLC

Phone: 201-407-7151 skarlsson@coastalagentsalliance.com

Personal Liability coverage in a five-minute phone call.

Call. Quote. Bind. 4+/)TAPCOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;4%0635'064#/&130.15%#--%'/5'3'340/#-+#$+-+5: %07'3#)'%#/$'2605'&$06/&#/&&'-+7'3'&50:063'.#+-+/$0926+%,-:#/&#%%63#5'-: &63+/)0/'(+7'.+/65'1*0/'%#-- '340/#-+#$+-+5:.#&'4+.1-'  =+.+54(30. 50  = .'&+%#-1#:.'/5+/%-6&'& =15+0/#-)0-(%#35%07'3#)'#7#+-#$-' =3'.+6.4#4-08#4  =#3,'54#7#+-#$-'(031'340/#-6.$3'--#

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The TAPCO Service Pledge = â&#x20AC;&#x153;A>3#5'&/0/#&.+55'&  %#33+'r = 0.1'5+5+7'13+%+/g = #4510-+%:563/#306/& = /*064'(+/#/%+/)#7#+-#$-'

1,000 Strong

[ 32 ]

For an appointment, contact:

= 6+%,%-#+.4*#/&-+/) =   

 %3'&+550:063 1'340/#-+;'&TA" 6%,4!+4#&'$+5%#3& 8+5*'#%*10-+%:

= !+4##45'3#3&#/&H  1#:.'/54#%%'15'&

More than 1,000 classes of P&C business written under binding authority.

800-334-5579 www.gotapco.com


Classified ADVE RTI S E M E NTS

SOUTHEAST PA PRODUCERS & AGENCIES Professional agency since 1926 located in Feasterville, Bucks County, Pa. Call for confidential information and a review of our services. Contact Ray Reinard at 215-375-8600, Ext. 119.

If you would like to place a

Jokes of the month

Classified Advertisement, simply fax your ad on company letterhead to 717-795-8347, and we will take

Duck Hunting

care of the rest.

Two actuaries are duck hunting. They see a duck in the air, and they both shoot. The first actuary's shot is 20 feet wide to the left. The second actuary's shot is 20 feet wide to the right. The actuaries give each other high fives because, on average, they shot it. Source: Insurance Networking News

Barn Fire

Ad Index Atlantic Specialty Lines Inc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Coastal Agents Alliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Donegal Insurance Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 EMC Insurance Companies . . . . . . . . . . . .29, 31

Larry's barn burned down, and his wife, Susan, called the insurance company. Susan told the insurance company, "We had that barn insured for fifty thousand, and I want my money." The agent replied, "Whoa there, just a minute, Susan. Insurance doesn't work quite like that. We will ascertain the value of what was insured and provide you with a new one of comparable worth."

Guard Insurance Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3

There was a long pause before Susan replied, "Then I'd like to cancel the policy on my husband."

IA&B Partners Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25

Source: www.YoungInsure.com

Insurance Club of Pittsburgh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

----------------------------------------------------------------———————------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@iabgroup.com, subject line: Last & Least. The editor will happily protect sources’ anonymity upon request.

Interstate Insurance Mngmnt. . . . . . . . . . . . .OBC Mutual Benefit Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 PennPRIME Insurance Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .3 Preferred Property Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 TAPCO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32


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Interstate has been writing commercial transportation insurance for over 40 years and our dump markets are now stronger than ever! If you have clients hauling bulk dump commodities, our A+ rated carriers can provide auto liability, physical damage, cargo, G.L. and non-trucking liability for many commodity classes:

Coal (PA, MD & WV only) Sand/Gravel/Stone

Dirty Dirt Aggregate

Demolition Debris Scrap Metal

We can also offer your clients several coverage enhancements: r r r r r r r r

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Contact your Interstate underwriter today for a quick, competitive quote or email your applications to submissions@interstate-insurance.com. Call today for more details.

In Pennsylvania, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Virginia & West Virginia 2307 Menoher Blvd. Johnstown, PA 15905 814-255-7878 1-800-452-0297 Fax 814-255-6010

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Primary Agent - February 2013 - PA Edition