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IN THIS ISSUE AUGUST 2018 - VOL 14 ISSUE 9

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21 Clever Alexa Commands You Will Use Again & Again

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Bad Faith Required Misconduct By Insurer: More Than Refusing A Claim

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Auto Insurers Double Down On Ads & Digital As Shopping Stagnates

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Agent Busted Embezzling From Employer

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Flight MH370: What Happened?

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Law Firm Declares Lloyd’s “Utterly Failed” Homeowners After Volcano

Protecting Your Portfolio From Tariffs & Trade Wars - By Matt Treskovich, CPA

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The Insider Advisor: Focus - More Illusive Than Ever

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Agents Sentenced To Combined 10 Years In Life Insurance Fraud

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Sanctimonious, Sensitive, Supercilious Snowflakes

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Geico Reminds How To Spot A Flood Vehicle

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How (And Why) To Write A Press Release - A Short Primer

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Special Report: Apple & Google Speed Ahead In Safer Design Of Vehicle Infotainment Technology

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Unbelievable Vintage Ads - Another In Our Series Of Ads From The 30s, 40s, 50s & 60s.

Office 365 Email Attacks Continue Relentless Rise

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Florida Warns Firefighters Of Dangers of Electric Vehicle Fires

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AAA: Gas Prices Are Proving Volatile This Summer

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Roofing Contractor Arrested For Insurance Fraud - Employer Also Sought

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Kim Komando Barry Zalma

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Breaking News

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AUGUST 2018 INSURANCE - POLITICS - TECHNOLOGY - PEOPLE A Publication of AdMax Corp., Inc. Corporate Offices P.O. Box 31551 Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33420 Ron Manera, Publisher/Senior Editor Join Me On Linkedin: HERE Follow Me On Instagram: @rmanera 561.718.0745 • ron@insurmedia.com

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TECHNOLOGY

21 CLEVER ALEXA COMMANDS YOU WILL USE AGAIN AND AGAIN Really Cool Tech Info - From Kim Komando

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ore than any other device, Alexa has become our closest approximation of artificial intelligence. She has a voice and personality, and if you ask the right question, she’ll even get sassy with you. Users even refer to Alexa as “she.” We usually prefer to say her name, rather than the name of the device itself, Amazon Echo. Recently, Alexa has made the news as it was reported that a Portland, Oregon couple’s Echo recorded their conversation and sent it to a friend on their contact list. Amazon apologized saying simply Alexa assumed the wrong command was issued. You might be surprised by what Alexa has recorded you saying. My Echo recordings included conversations that had no words even sounding like Alexa. AUGUST 2018

listen now while you read this article. You can find my “Komando on Demand” podcasts on iTunes, Google Play or where you get your podcasts. Most striking of all is that Alexa can learn. She amasses skills, day by day, and these skills improve over time. She gets to know you, and she learns from the sound and cadence to love your voice. Together, millions of Echo owners are nurturing this imaginary friend, crowdsourcing her education like a legion of human mentors. Click here to learn how to hear and delete anything your Alexa has recorded. In fact, I recently released a special podcast about Alexa and how it records and saves conversations. Click here to Table of Contents

You can also make your own Alexa questions and answers. I played a practical joke on my son.

See Kim Komando Pg 38

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CLAIMS & THE LAW

BAD FAITH REQUIRES MISCONDUCT BY INSURER THAT IS DISHONEST, MALICIOUS, OR OPPRESSIVE Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE Negligence in Adjusting In Alexandra Sims v. State Farm appeals the district court’s grant Claims is Not Enough to Mutual Automobile Insurance of summary judgment to State Company, United Policyholders Farm on the bad faith claim, Prove Bad Faith

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o prove the tort of bad faith it is necessary that the plaintiff prove that the insurer acted with affirmative misconduct without a good faith defense, and that the misconduct must be dishonest,

Amicus on Behalf of Appellant(s), No. 17-1333, United States Court of Appeals For the Eighth Circuit (July 3, 2018) the Eighth Circuit was asked to reverse the district court’s grant of summary judgment to State Farm on plaintiff’s bad faith tort claim and on an evidentiary rulings on the underinsured motorist coverage claim.

and an evidentiary ruling on the underinsured motorist coverage claim.

FACTS

In 2008, while a senior in high school, Sims was involved in a two-vehicle crash. Her car was rear-ended by an underinsured 16-year-old who was texting Join Barry Zalma’s Blog: while driving. Sims suffered http://www.zalma.com/blog numerous soft-tissue injuries as Alexandra Sims sued her a result of the crash. Sims sued insurance carrier, State Farm the underinsured driver and malicious, or oppressive in an Mutual Automobile Insurance he settled for $50,000, which attempt to avoid its liability Company (State Farm), for the was the limit of his insurance under an insurance policy. It tort of bad faith, violation of coverage. Sims filed a claim is more than refusing to pay the Arkansas Deceptive Trade for her remaining damages the person insured what is Practices Act (ADTPA), and for under her own underinsured demanded or what the insured damages on an underinsured motorist policy, provided by believes if fair and reasonable. motorist coverage claim. She State Farm, seeking the policy

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE, practiced law in California for more than 43 years as an insurance coverage and claims handling lawyer. He now limits his practice to service as an insurance consultant and expert witness specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith and insurance fraud almost equally for insurers and policyholders. He also serves as an arbitrator or mediator for insurance related disputes. He founded Zalma Insurance Consultants in 2001 and serves as its only consultant. 6

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AUGUST 2018


limit of $100,000. She submitted past medical expenses of about $21,000, and expert reports that predicted future medical costs and economic losses that well exceeded the policy maximum. She also attached medical records documenting her injuries.

had already received from the underinsured driver, Sims’s damages were between $66,297.12 and $101,297.12. He provided his calculations to Rodriguez and asked for authority to settle Sims’s claim for up to $99,786.72. Rodriguez replied that most of Sims’s medical expenses were from 2008 and it was unclear from the records whether she was still

As to the bad faith claim, the trial court found that Sims “has not shown that State Farm has committed any affirmative act of dishonesty, oppression, or malice” as required by Arkansas law. Sims does not contest the district court’s ADTPA ruling on appeal.

State Farm assigned the claim The case proceeded to trial to claims adjuster Dean Ripley. on the underinsured motorist Ripley sought the claim. At trial, Sims assistance of a State Farm sought to introduce To prove the tort of bad faith evidence that State medical professional to help assess the medical corporate the plaintiff must prove more Farm’s records Sims had policies incentivized than the insurer failed to provided. This review claims adjusters pay what plaintiff wanted. There was indicated that Sims had (like Ripley) and received treatment for claims supervisors clearly good reason not to succumb to “soft tissue” injuries for (like Rodriguez) plaintiffs’ demands or the jury would longer than the typical to deny claims have found damages. Bad faith, a tort I six-week period. Ripley, regardless of their in consultation with find to be overused and abused, requires merit. The district claims supervisor Oscar court excluded activities that are dishonest, malicious, Rodriguez, sought this evidence as clarification from Sims’s or oppressive. Plaintiff abused the tort irrelevant and likely treating chiropractor. to confuse the issues.

of bad faith by insisting on this trial and could have avoided trial by negotiating reasonably with State Farm.”

The chiropractor explained that Sims suffered from torn ligaments, an injury that could not be expected to heal in six weeks, could not be repaired by surgery, and was likely permanent. After receiving this information, Ripley suggested that State Farm might want to ask for an independent evaluation of Sims’s injuries, but Rodriguez asked Ripley to prepare an offer of settlement based on the information he already had. Ripley estimated that, after deducting the $50,000 Sims AUGUST 2018

After trial, the jury returned a $75,000 verdict for Sims. receiving treatment. In his view, Because Sims had already “a sympathetic jury would value recovered that sum from the this claim at [$]100,000 at most,” underinsured driver ($50,000) and he authorized Ripley to and State Farm ($25,000), settle for a maximum of $50,000 judgment was entered for State (the estimated value of the claim Farm. minus the $50,000 from the underinsured driver).

ANALYSIS

Negotiations proceeded with The Arkansas Supreme Court no success. Sims sued State has explained: “[I]n order to be Farm who paid Sims $25,000 for successful a claim based on the undisputed medical expenses See Zalma Page 36 after the suit was filed. Table of Contents

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NEWS

J.D. POWER: AUTO INSURERS DOUBLE DOWN ON ADS AND DIGITAL INVESTMENT AS SHOPPING STAGNATES

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OSTA MESA, Calif.: 26 April 2018 — There’s never been a more competitive environment for auto insurers in the battle to win and retain business. According to the J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Insurance Shopping Study,SM a combination of record-low volumes of new insurance shoppers, consistent price competition among insurers and emerging “insurtech” disruptors on the horizon have forced auto insurers into aggressive customer courtship mode. With less differentiation in the marketplace, insurers are investing heavily in new digital capabilities to improve the insurance shopping process and in national advertising to build their brands.

and Casualty Insurance Practice at J.D. Power. “Auto insurers looking to differentiate and win new customers are making big bets with digital—such as in personalization—that meet customers’ growing expectations for improved interactions.”

Following are some key • Insurtech findings of the 2018 study:

• Brand reputation is a top driver: Brand reputation is the top driver of consideration, contributing 29% of what influences an insurance shopper to research an insurer’s offerings. Accordingly, the top 10 insurers in terms of total market share now write 72% of all business in the country, up from 64% in 2000. While a strong brand, among other “We’re entering an era of factors, can help drive traffic, consumer-centric insurance a strong value proposition that will likely be marked by a remains essential in driving surge in new digital offerings quote and close rates. and serious efforts by insurers to improve the auto insurance • Delivering a consistent shopping experience,” said Tom omnichannel experience Super, Director of the Property 8

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is critical: Among auto insurance shoppers, 45% use multiple channels when purchasing a policy, illustrating the need for insurers to develop digital capabilities that support the rest of their business functions, not replace them

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customer awareness still low: While insurtech companies have raised more than $7.1 billion globally since 2012, the level of awareness of alternative insurance models is still relatively low among insurance shoppers. Just 6% of prospective customers indicate being aware of at least one of the following companies: Lemonade, Metromile, Trov and Sure. Less than half of shoppers who are aware of a given provider would consider doing business with them in the future.

See Insurers Double Down Page 12

AUGUST 2018


NEWS

AUGUST 2018

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NEWS

OFFICE 365 EMAIL ATTACKS CONTINUE RELENTLESS RISE

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ew York, July 31, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -Attacks targeting business email accounts continued to climb in the second quarter, according to data released today by specialist insurer Beazley. Hardest hit were organizations using Office 365, the popular cloud-based productivity solution. Email compromises accounted for 23% of incidents reported to the Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services team during the second quarter of 2018. The attacks were broadly distributed across industry sectors. Business email compromises are efficient for the hacker because the compromise of a single account gives the hacker a platform from which to spear phish within and outside the organization. They have soared in popularity since the beginning of last year. Although potentially very damaging, with costs that can exceed $2 million, attacks of this kind are also relatively easily preventable. Two-factor 10

The Underwriter’s Insider

authentication can help, as can employee training. Disabling the ability for third-party applications to access Office 365 can also reduce the likelihood of an attacker using PowerShell, a task automation and configuration management system, for reconnaissance.

publication showing data breach trends, provides detailed industrylevel data on the evolution of cyber threats. Beazley plc (BEZ.L) is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America and Asia. Beazley manages six Lloyd’s syndicates and in 2017 underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $2,344 million. All Lloyd’s syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.

Beazley’s underwriters in the United States focus on writing a range of specialist insurance products. In the admitted “Business email compromise market, coverage is provided by attacks are among the more Beazley Insurance Company, Inc., expensive data breaches we see,” an A.M. Best A rated carrier licensed said Katherine Keefe, head of BBR in all 50 states. In the surplus lines Services. “Years of emails often need market, coverage is provided by to be combed through to identify the Beazley syndicates at Lloyd’s. personally identifiable information or protected health information Beazley is a market leader in many that has been compromised. In the of its chosen lines, which include majority of cases, multiple inboxes professional indemnity, property, are compromised.” marine, reinsurance, accident and life, and political risks and The July edition of Beazley Breach contingency business. Insights, Beazley’s quarterly Table of Contents

AUGUST 2018


NEWS Continued From Page 8

AUTO INSURERS DOUBLE DOWN ON ADS AS SHOPPING STAGNATES

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Directs are winning purchase experience battle: Overall satisfaction among shoppers who purchased insurance from companies that primarily sell directly to the customer is 846 (on a 1,000-point scale). This compares with a score of 842 among shoppers who purchased insurance from companies that primarily sell through independent agents and 834 among those who bought from insurers Shopping Study who primarily sell through Insurance measures auto insurance exclusive agents. shopping, purchase behavior and purchase experience satisfaction Study Rankings among customers who recently Erie Insurance ranks highest purchased insurance. Satisfaction among auto insurers in providing is measured in three factors a satisfying purchase experience, (in order of importance): price; with a score of 877. This marks distribution channel; and policy the sixth consecutive year Erie offerings. Insurance has ranked highest in the study. Auto-Owners Insurance The study is based on responses ranks second (870) and American from more than 15,000 shoppers Family ranks third (860). who requested an auto insurance price quote from at least one Now in its 12th year, the U.S. competitive insurer in the past 12

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nine months and includes more than 50,000 unique customer evaluations of insurers. The study was fielded in April, July and October 2017 and January 2018. For more information about the U.S. Insurance Shopping Study, visit http://www.jdpower.com/ resource/jd-power-us-insuranceshopping-study. J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. AUGUST 2018


NEWS

AUGUST 2018

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NEWS

FLORIDA WARNS FIREFIGHTERS OF DANGERS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE FIRES, DIRECTS OFFICE TO OFFER TRAINING

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ALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis issued the following safety alert for Florida firefighters and fire service professionals regarding the highly combustible lithiumion batteries in electric vehicles such as in Tesla or Chevrolet Volt vehicles. CFO and State Fire Marshal Patronis directed his office to offer a training course for Florida fire departments to help our first responders better understand how lithium-ion battery fires should be handled. Although electric batteries aren’t necessarily more prone to fire than gasoline, these kinds of vehicle fires are different from gasoline fires: • A National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) report on the vehicle accident in Fort Lauderdale involving a Tesla found that the battery reignited in the aftermath of the crash. • This vehicle crash required 200 to 300 gallons of water and foam to extinguish initially. However, the battery ignited again.

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• According to the Department when dealing with electric of Highway Safety and Motor vehicle fires.” Vehicles, in 2017, 16,116 electric vehicles were registered in Florida 1. Identify the make and model and 231,015 electric and gas of vehicle so that they know hybrids. where the battery is located and how to best shut down the vehicle if possible. 2. Be prepared to use more than just water for electric vehicle fires, and note that fires could also be burning inside one of the protective compartments, invisible to the first responder. CFO and State Fire Marshal 3. Be aware of the possibility Jimmy Patronis said, “New that a lithium-ion battery fire technology helps us live our could reignite. If not entirely lives more efficiently, but that discharged, the stored energy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t inside the battery could cause understand and tackle the risks a second or even third fire. that can be associated. In 2017 4. Keep electric vehicles that there were more than 16,000 have been in an accident electric vehicles registered in away from buildings or other Florida and more than 231,000 structures because of the electric/gas hybrids. Our fire possibility of reignition. departments around the state 5. Understand that electric should be equipped with the vehicles are silent and may still latest information on how to be on even if it’s not audible. best manage electric vehicle The voltage from the vehicle fires so that they can do their job could shock a first responder. safely and effectively. 6. Always wear self-contained breathing apparatuses when “It’s important that firefighters fighting and overhauling a and fire service professionals lithium-ion battery fire as are aware of the following some vehicles can emit toxic potentially life-saving practices vapors. Table of Contents

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NEWS

AAA: GAS PRICES ARE PROVING VOLATILE

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olatility is the trend for July gas prices as the rate for crude oil rises and drops amid lingering geopolitical concerns. In the U.S., the first half of the month saw pump prices increase from $2.85 to $2.89, while the second half is proving cheaper with the national gas price average down to $2.84 today. The national average has not been this low since early May.

be on a downward slope at the moment. If demand and supply stay consistent, prices have the potential to stabilize barring any major events – geopolitical or natural disasters,” said Jeanette Casselano, AAA spokesperson. “The market is also following this up and down trend lately. Last week, crude prices dropped below $70/bbl for the first time since June, but then returned above the price point to close out the week.”

the only state to see gas prices increase, Montana ($2.93) was the only state whose gas price average held steady, while all other states saw prices drop as much as 13 cents.

Today’s national gas price average is four cents cheaper than last week, two cents cheaper than last month, but 57-cents more expensive than a year ago. Motorists can find gas for $2.76 “July gas prices have been on a or more at 52 percent of stations roller coaster ride, but appear to On the week, Hawaii (+1 cent) was across the country.

Quick Stats

Mr. Zalma recently published on Amazon.com with links at the Zalma Books site with the following volumes: AUGUST 2018

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The nation’s top 10 least expensive markets are: Alabama ($2.54), South Carolina ($2.54), Mississippi ($2.54), Arkansas ($2.58), Louisiana ($2.58), Oklahoma ($2.60), Virginia ($2.61), Tennessee ($2.61), Texas ($2.61) and Missouri ($2.61).

The nation’s top 10 largest monthly changes are: New Mexico (-13 cents), Arizona (-12 cents), Nevada (-8 cents), Delaware (+8 cents), Utah (-8 cents), Nebraska (-7 cents), Ohio (+7 cents), Texas (-6 cents), Idaho (-6 cents) and California (-5 cents).

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS California Agent Busted Embezzling From Employer

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alifornia announced that Zachary Dale Jackson, 31, former insurance agent of Santa Maria, was sentenced to three years of formal probation, time served, and ordered to pay restitution totaling $4,388.92 after pleading guilty to one felony count of insurance fraud for embezzling from his employer. After receiving a complaint from the insurance company, CDI investigators found that while working as an agent for the company, Jackson falsified insurance documents related to his own personal insurance claim. He also embezzled funds from the insurance company by writing multiple checks, totaling $4,388.92, to himself from the company’s account. The department’s investigation led to Jackson’s arrest in November 2017. Jackson’s agent license is revoked and he is barred from transacting the business of insurance. The case was prosecuted by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

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Georgia Men Arrested For Staging Slip‐And‐ Fall Accidents

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tlanta, GA – Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced that arrest warrants were issued to three men for their participation in a staged accident ring operating in South Georgia. Germain Baynard, 20, Ryan Law, 21, and Demetrius Lee, 22, each of Thomasville,

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Ga., face felony charges related to the crime.   Authorities are currently seeking a fourth suspect, Keronda Bell, 46, also of Thomasville.      Special Fraud Agents in Hudgens’ office and the National Insurance Crime Bureau alleged the men staged slip‐and‐fall accidents at various businesses in Brooks, Colquitt and Thomas counties. The investigation revealed that Bell was the ringleader, planning the slip‐and‐falls and filing the fraudulent claims. 

AUGUST 2018


THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS

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Image Credit: Creative Commons

Recent study published in Circulation, shows that regular cycling workouts in the range of 10.5 hours weekly can reverse heart damage caused by age and

a sedentary lifestyle. After 2 years in the study, “the cardio exercisers boosted their VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen they could use) by 18 percent and improved the elasticity of their left ventricle muscle by more than 25 percent. Their peers in the control group, meanwhile, saw no improvements.” 10.5 hours invested in cycling workouts may be a substantial time investment - but worth it.

AUGUST 2018

USG Announces Hire of Travers, Pray in Tampa, FL

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SG is pleased to announce the hire of Kate Travers, Associate Producer/Broker, and Eric Pray, Associate Producer/ Broker in the Tampa, Florida office in an effort to continue the expansion of USG’s national footprint. Travers joins USG with a background in insurance law. Kate has 10 years of experience in the insurance industry and 15 years of experience in law, focusing on insurance law. In her position as Associate Producer/Broker, she will use her years of experience and knowledge to build her own book of business and increase USG’s footprint in the Southeast territory. Pray brings 15 years of customer service and 4 years of insurance industry experience with him to USG. He was mostly recently with All Risks in Tampa. Pray will use his past experience to develop his book of business in the Southeast territory.

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Flight MH370 What Happened?

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viation experts now believe that MH370’s captain was suicidal and intentionally manipulated the aircraft’s controls steering it off-course SW across the vast Indian Ocean. Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah cut-off all of the aircraft’s communication systems and failed to respond to any attempts by ATC to contact the plane. Only a

tiny amount of wreckage has ever been recovered from the missing Boeing 777 which disappeared on March 8, 2014 while heading from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijng with 239 people onboard. The wreckage, washed ashore on Reunion Island in Madagascar

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Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Reverse Age-Related Heart Damage - On A Bike


NEWS - FINANCIAL

PROTECTING YOUR PORTFOLIO FROM TARIFFS AND TRADE WARS By Guest Contributor Matthew Treskovich, CPA/ PFS, MBA, CFP®, CMA

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or much of the past few months, talk of tariffs and trade wars has dominated the news. For the past several decades, US trade policy has consistently favored globalization. Trade policy has favored the easy movement of goods across borders. US policy has also allowed the easy movement of production from the United States to other counties. Policymakers in the US and abroad now seem to be more

Long term investors should focus on their financial plan instead of the headlines. Investing in great companies in America and the world is still the best way for investors to achieve and maintain financial independence.”

willing to enact policies that restrict trade. This could indicate that globalization is decelerating. There are other signs of declining globalization, with production of goods being moved back into the United States. What does a decline in globalization mean for investors? Globalization has generally been a positive trend for investors. Large US companies have generally benefited by being able to move production overseas. This allowed those companies to reduce costs and increase profits. Moving production overseas has also had negative impacts on investors.

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bout the author: Matt is the Chief Investment Officer of the firm of

CPS Investment Advisors with 18 years of experience in financial services also serving as the CFO of an insurance brokerage. With a Master’s degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis on accounting from the University of Phoenix, Matt is a CPA licensed in Florida and holds the AICPA’s Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation. Matt is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). and received a Certificate of Distinguished Performance from the IMA for achieving a CMA exam score in the top ten worldwide. In 2017, he was awarded an AICPA Standing Ovation for exemplary professional achievement in personal financial planning services. Treskovich also is certified as an Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designee by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC). He is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants, former President of the Mid Florida Chapter and former Treasurer of the IMA Florida Council. 18

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By James 4 [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Almost seventy percent of the US economy is personal spending. Lower wages and job losses due to globalization have reduced personal spending. This effect has offset some of the benefits of globalization for investors.

Headlines in the news change every day, but economic fundamentals don't change overnight. Talk of tariffs has been in the news since January. So far, only a small number of imports are subject to new import taxes. Other countries are starting to enact their own tariffs in response, but it will be time for the effects to show up in the economy. If tariffs have a large negative effect on the economy, it is possible they could be removed as quickly as they were created.

The biggest risk to investors is the uncertainty that could come with shifting to a less-globalized system. In the stock market, uncertainty usually means volatility. Higher volatility doesn't always mean lower returns, but it can cause investors to make mistakes that can cost them money. For long term investors, the key to surviving a trade war is having The headlines move faster a properly diversified, wellbalanced portfolio. Investors than the fundamentals

AUGUST 2018

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who have concentrated positions in companies that could be hurt by tariffs should consider diversifying their portfolios. Long term investors should resist the temptation to make changes to their portfolios based on shortterm news. This is especially true when the news is more about politics than economics. In the short run, escalation of tariffs and talk of trade wars could cause market volatility. Long term investors should focus on their financial plan instead of the headlines. Investing in great companies in America and the world is still the best way for investors to achieve and maintain financial independence.

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SPECIAL REPORT: AAA

AAA: APPLE AND GOOGLE SPEED AHEAD IN SAFER DESIGN OF VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY

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ASHINGTON, D.C. (June 27, 2018) – Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto are less distracting to drivers when compared to built-in vehicle infotainment systems designed by automakers, according to new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. While many of today’s infotainment systems create potentially unsafe levels of distraction by allowing drivers to perform complex tasks like programming navigation or sending a text, CarPlay and Android Auto were 24 percent (5 seconds) faster on average than the vehicle’s native system when making a call and 31 percent (15 seconds) faster when programming navigation. This

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The Underwriter’s Insider

difference is critical, as drivers who take their eyes off the road for more than two seconds double their risk of a crash.

to use while driving, this research shows that smartphone-based software has the potential to offer a simpler, more familiar design that is less confusing to drivers, AAA is encouraged by these and therefore less demanding.” findings, as they indicate that popular infotainment systems The AAA Foundation for Traffic can be designed in a way that Safety teamed with researchers is less distracting. Distracted from the University of Utah to driving is responsible for more evaluate five vehicles – 2017 and than 390,000 injuries and 3,500 2018 models – to determine the deaths every year. amount of visual and mental demand placed on drivers by “Google and Apple are proving CarPlay, Android Auto and each that it is possible to reduce vehicle’s native infotainment the level of demand in-vehicle system. While CarPlay and infotainment technology places Android Auto can still create on drivers,” said Dr. David Yang, potentially unsafe levels of executive director of the AAA distraction and should not Foundation for Traffic Safety. be used to perform complex “While improvements are tasks when behind the wheel, necessary before any of the they decrease the demand systems can be considered safe placed on drivers compared to

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AUGUST 2018


similar technologies offered by automakers. Researchers found that CarPlay and Android Auto did not differ significantly from one another in the level of overall demand. A rating scale was used to measure the visual (eyes-off-road) demand, cognitive (mental) demand, and the time it took drivers to complete a task using the systems. The scale ranged from low to very high levels of demand. A low level of demand equates to listening to the radio or an audiobook, while very high demand equates to an industry standard that produces AUGUST 2018

demand similar to balancing a checkbook while driving. Both CarPlay and Android Auto generated an overall moderate level of demand while the native vehicle systems created very high levels of demand for drivers. AAA recommends that industry strive to design in-vehicle technology systems that do not exceed a low level of demand. “Automakers are experts at building safer cars, but Google and Apple are more skilled at building safer vehicle infotainment technology,” said Marshall Doney, AAA’s president and CEO. “By leveraging their strengths, the two industries must Table of Contents

work together to significantly improve the design, functionality and safety of these technologies.” AAA cautions that not all vehicles are created equal when examining the overall performance of CarPlay and Android Auto. The interface design of some vehicles’ native systems resulted in additional menus and text on vehicle touchscreen displays, which increases the overall workload on drivers. Each vehicle’s system also influenced what features were locked out while the vehicle was in motion when using Android See Safer Infotainment Page 40 www/underwritersinsider.com

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PRAGER U’S WILL WITT FINDS THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN PUBLIC OPINION ON TAXES - AND REALITY

WATCH HOW THEY FILMED THOSE ICONIC “TOP GUN” SEQUENCES!

UNBELIEVABLE VINTAGE ADS

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othing illustrates the changes in our national culture better than vintage ads from the Mad Men era or earlier - many of which would be considered over-the-top sexist, politically incorrect or just plain unbelievable today.

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he ad reads, “Now the mistress of the house can go right ahead with some of those childhood dreams planning lovely meals for her man.” It seems those days, when a woman’s highest calling and fondest dream was “taking care of her man,” may be long gone. Today’s husband had better learn to cook!

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AUGUST 2018


NEWS

GEORGIA: ROOFING CONTRACTOR ARRESTED FOR INSURANCE FRAUD; EMPLOYER ALSO SOUGHT

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tlanta, GA – Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens announced today that Fraud Investigators in his office have arrested a Columbus, Ga., roofing contractor and have issued warrants on his employer for intentionally vandalizing the roofs of two homes in Muscogee County. Investigators alleged that the men damaged the houses in an attempt to benefit from the insurance claim payouts.

February 2018, Gonzales solicited his roofing inspection services to homeowners in Columbus and Midland, Ga., to help determine if recent weather events had caused damage to their roofs. Once on the rooftops, Gonzalez, along with Zuckerman would vandalize shingles and other material to mimic wind damage. Video surveillance of the homes provided to investigators shows the two

in higher costs for all consumers.” Commissioner Hudgens would like to thank the National Insurance Crime Bureau for their assistance with the investigation, and the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office for their support in making the arrests. Insurance fraud is a felony that carries a penalty of two to ten years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.  

Arrested yesterday and booked into the If you have any Muscogee County information regarding Jail was Mark Phillip the whereabouts of David Zuckerman, 58, of Gonzalez, you are urged 4201 Weems Road to contact the Muscogee in Columbus. He is County Sheriff’s Office at charged with two 706‐653‐4225. counts of Insurance      Fraud and two counts The Georgia Department of Second Degree of Insurance’s Fraud Mark Phillip Zuckerman, 58, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Damage to Division investigates Property. His employer, various forms of fraud in David Gonzalez, 33, is wanted on men creating the destruction. insurance, including health, life, the same charges. auto, and property insurance. “Anyone who tries to create a Anyone with information about Gonzalez operates America’s fraudulent claim in Georgia will be this case or another possible Roofing in Columbus. arrested,” Commissioner Hudgens fraud scheme should call the said. “This type of fraud can drive Department’s Fraud Hotline at Investigators found, that in up insurance premiums resulting 1‐800‐656‐2298. 24

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AUGUST 2018


NEWS

FOSTER LAW FIRM DECLARES LLOYD’S LONDON “UTTERLY FAILED” HOMEOWNERS AFTER HAWAII VOLCANO ERUPTION Two Puna Victims File Suit for Deceptive Practices

pay displaced homeowners even the basic living expenses promised in their policies in the aftermath of this terrible human tragedy,” said Jeffrey Foster, an attorney representing homeowners who have lost everything.

living expenses promised to them in their insurance policy by Lloyd’s in exchange for their years of premiums.

The day before the eruption, Lanell Haysmer suffered a stroke resulting ILO, Hawaii, July 25, 2018 in a coma. While attending to his (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -The lawsuit lays out in graphic wife at Hilo Memorial Hospital, Nearly 800 homes in the Puna District on Hawaii Island detail the alleged negligent Philip Haysmer learned his home have been destroyed by fire and treatment of two senior citizens and all of their possessions had other causes in the aftermath of in failing health who were victims been destroyed by fire. With the exception of a the Kīlauea eruption. filled water tank, Dozens of Puna the Haysmer’s homeowners who lost home and all its their homes carried a contents, including homeowner’s policy their vehicle, with Lloyd’s of London were completely who has failed to honor destroyed by the fire. local homeowners’

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certificates of insurance, according to a lawsuit filed in Hawaii’s Third Circuit State court today.

The Haysmers filed a claim with their home insurance agent on May 23, 2018 and, as of the filing of their lawsuit, “As one of the few have received very home insurance of Lloyd’s alleged deceptive little information and none of the providers in the Puna area near the Kilauea Volcano, Lloyd’s of practices. Philip J. Haysmer, 77, benefits they paid for when they London, their underwriters, and his wife Lanell D. Haysmer, 70, purchased the policy that was their agents, their adjusters, and are now living out of a neighbor’s supposed to protect them and affiliates have utterly failed to garage and have yet to receive any their home. honor commitments and assist insurance payment from Lloyd’s homeowners. Lloyd’s has failed to - even the meager emergency See Claim: Lloyd’s Failed Page 30 AUGUST 2018

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“The Final Authority on Everything!” WARNING!

The Advisor has been known to be politically incorrect and may send certain Millennials scurrying to their safe space. Also not recommended for Progressives who are easily offended. Please read at your own risk.

Focus: More Illusive Then Ever

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ear Advisor: It’s 10:30 this morning and I haven’t accomplished a thing yet today. I did, however, spend 15 minutes reviewing my Facebook feed and sharing a couple of funny posts, until I spent 20 minutes reviewing an email from WebMD talking about a condition my aunt suffers from just before I had to check the “likes” on my Instagram account. Then there were the emails. Out of 22 emails so far today, only one was from a customer - and I’ll get around to answering that one later. The others were about 26

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ADVISOR

sales on cookware, sporting goods and one broccoli recipe - all stuff I had been searching for on the ‘Net yesterday. Then there were half a dozen “click bait” links on my favorite news site on topics I’m even embarrassed to mention. Help! H.B. Dallas Texas. Well, H.B., you are not alone, and the lack of productivity you describe is seems to be a serious national issue. A 2013 study showed the average person could concentrate for 12 seconds on a task before

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being distracted and the count had dropped to 8 seconds by 2018. Psychologist Caroline Beaton stated in a recent Independent UK column, “our attention problem is due to both lack of focus and focus on the wrong things.” The human mind evolved to pay attention a couple of key stimuli. One group includes items of safety, sustenance and the other on fast moving objects that may represent food sources or predators. Yet in the modern world, we are overloaded

AUGUST 2018


: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/.

with so much information. “Concentrating on what’s novel and fast is no longer as useful for our survival and success,” Beaton explains.

a lot of competition and the result is expensive. The National Resource Center on ADHD claims the cost of distraction to the nation ranges between $143 and But the human mind continues $266 billion every year. to seek out data in a world where that data is mostly useless distraction. While we know scrolling through entertaining, if useless, social media posts is unproductive, it satisfies our deep-instincts in a way that a spreadsheet or replying to that customer email does not. For a highly distractible personality, surfing the In a note, our work, especially Internet while on a work repetitive, routine work, has schedule is like an alcoholic AUGUST 2018

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trying to stay sober while working as a bartender . The unlimited distractions may be just too much with which to contend. What’s the solution?

Want to laser-focus on your work tasks? There are a thousand experts, but they mostly agree on a few key strategies: Set clear goals. Know what you want/need to accomplish today. Prioritize your tasks! Begin with the most important and See FOCUS Page 31 www/underwritersinsider.com

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FREE CLASSIFIED RULES: Submit all ads online at: www.underwritersinsider. com/classifieds. Ads must be less than 501 characters plus a title line. Eligible free classifieds include help wanted, position wanted, personal ads, agency for sale/purchase, or the one-time sale of an item or items. Place Ad HERE! REGULAR CLASSIFIED RULES: Submit all ads online at: www.underwritersinsider. com/classifieds. Only $1.00 per word, including title line and response info. Payment must be received prior to print date. Ads run 3 mo.

Experienced Commercial 220 CSR Cape Coral/Fort Myers FL Established commercial lines agency seeking: self motivated, detail oriented professional. The successful candidate should have a minimum of 3 years experience in commercial lines, excellent computer skills, dependable, ability to follow up and follow through and have an unwavering commitment to the service your clients. Professional designations such as CIC, CPCU, CRM or ARM a plus. In return, you will have the opportunity to join a committed group of individuals in a growing, privately owned multi lines agency.Industry leading benefits and compensation package working with a group of experienced professionals low turnover environment. All Information and replies will be kept strictly confidential fairway34@hotmail.com 18-1

FREE CLASSIFIEDS! HELP WANTED — POSITION WANTED 4 — SALE ITEMS

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Job Opportunity : Agents and Customer Service Reps What You Will Need: • Property/Casualty State Insurance License* • Life/Health State Insurance License* • A valid driver’s license What We Require: • Strong track record of professional success, ideally in external sales. • A strong natural market and presence in the local community. • A fearless attitude around prospecting new customers and cold calling. • A desire to succeed and build a network of clients. Note: Insurance licenses are not required to apply, but your ability to obtain the licenses is required when a hiring decision is made. Contact: sabrina.curry@best1300.com 18-5

Agent/CSR wanted, Ft. Lauderdale Area

Independent P&C agency is seeking to employ a licensed agent and/or csr, with experience in nonstandard and standard auto, homeowners, commercial auto and property insurance. Fulltime position M-F 9am - 6pm and every other Saturday 9am - 3pm. Must have a GREAT attitude and know how to be a team player. Email resume to Marlinsii@aol.com. 17-11

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Loss Control Rep Wanted Consulting firm looking for experienced loss control reps in FL and AL. Fee based work. Contact: buds@narco.biz 18-7

440 or 220 Needed in Tampa

Needed Agent or Customer service rep, must have knowledge of personal lines and have a great personality for established Family owned agency. Send resume. idcccorp@msn.com 17-10

Experience CSR/ agents wanted! Palm Beach/Ft. Laud Access Insurance underwriter, LLC has two positions available, great pay commensurate with experience along with outstanding benefits! Work with one of the largest and fastest growing agencies in Florida! Call or email Phil Wardell, pwardell@accessaip.com or 954-565-4666 ext. 252 pwardell@accessaip.com 18-06 AUGUST 2018


Experienced CSR Wanted - Jacksonville

Experience Commercial CSR Wanted Duluth GA

Experienced CSR? Looking for a new opportunity? Come join our winning team and Jacksonville’s Best Place to Work at We Insure! Inquire today by emailing nick.dakuginow@weinsuregroup.com

We are a mid sized agency, looking to add to our family environment insurance agency. We are not related but have a great time together. Voted Best in Gwinnett for 7 yrs in a row. Best in Duluth 2 yrs. Must be able to handle a large volume of direct bill accounts. Multicarrier experience and Hawksoft Agency use is a plus. Bilingual is also good but not a requirement.

Contact: nick.dakuginow@weinsurgroup.com 18-7

Looking for Agents working in the Business Marketplace !

Add Business Consulting to your core insurance practice. Open new doors to Business & Professional Owner’s. You do not need to change any contracts for this opportunity. Go to: http//www.strydeadvisors. com/information/stryde.cfm? id=136713&page=lifeandfinanc ial This is a nationwide opportunity. More information needed contact me at: nwinsuranceagencies@gmail.comnwinsuranceagencies@gmail. com 18-06

220-440 Agent for Port St. Lucie Agency (PT-FT ?) Please fax your information to: (772)879-1002 or e-mail to: amerinsur@aol.com Thank You... amerinsur@aol.com 17-11

CLASSIFIEDS! HELP WANTED — POSITION WANTED 4 — SALE ITEMS

CLICK HERE!

larrytalbert@talbertservices.com 17-11

Looking to buy a P&C agency in PB county. Please call 561-584-0732 Efax: (561) 829-2055

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Wholesale Broker Professional Liability Sarasota FL Our client is a national MGA with a wholesale brokerage division and is seeking to hire an experienced Professional Liability (all lines considered) Broker to join their team. Relocation to Sarasota, FL. is required. Excellent commission options for an experience Wholesale Broker. Call: Lloyd Kushner 800-797-1412 yoursearchfirm.com lloyd@yoursearchfirm.com 18-4

AUGUST 2018

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NEWS

CALIFORNIA AGENTS SENTENCED TO A COMBINED 10 YEARS IN LIFE INSURANCE SCHEME

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OS ANGELES, Calif. — Former insurance agents Ali Kakande, 38, and Sulaiman Lutale, 36, pleaded no contest to multiple felony counts of insurance fraud, grand theft, and forgery after falsifying life insurance applications to collect over $150,000 in unearned commissions.

The investigation found Kakande and Lutale conducted this advanced commission scheme by illegally using licenses from other licensees and obtaining personal information for the fraudulent applications by recruiting applicants with money and promises of free life insurance policies. They also stole identifying information Kakande was sentenced to and on some polices had six years in state prison and themselves as the purported ordered to pay $105,129.90 policyholders. in restitution. Lutale was sentenced to four years in The applications submitted state prison and ordered to pay to the insurance carriers $45,680.36 in restitution. contained misrepresentations and fabricated information, Kakande and Lutale were including false occupations, arrested in April 2017 after an income, net worth or beneficiary investigation by the California information. Some of the Department of Insurance and applications also contained U.S. Immigration and Customs forged signatures of the alleged Enforcement’s (ICE), Homeland applicants. Security Investigations (HSI) revealed Kakande and Lutale Generally, premium payments submitted over 200 fraudulent were not paid by the applicants, life insurance policy applications but instead paid from accounts to various life insurance carriers owned by Kakande or Lutale, or to collect over $150,000 in from accounts opened by other unearned commissions. individuals who assisted them in carrying out the scheme.

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Continued From Page 25

LAW FIRM SAYS LLOYD’S “UTTERLY FAILED” HAWAII HOMEOWNERS According to Foster, an email was sent to the Haysmers allegedly from their Lloyd’s adjuster stating, “I have heard from 3 others with the same policy as yours and all 3 have informed me they have yet to receive any denial letter, that tells me something is going on at Lloyd’s ….” Foster added, “Lloyd’s London has done nothing in over two months to help these displaced homeowners. Filing our action today, we hope, will bring Lloyd’s foot-dragging to an end.” Highlighting Lloyd’s alleged inaction, the lawsuit outlines a vivid difference. Within days of the event, GEICO adjuster Mr. Victor Heung, contacted the Haysmers, traveled to Pahoa and presented them with a total loss check for Philip’s burned pickup truck; money they desperately needed to buy clothes and other essentials.

AUGUST 2018


THE INSIDER ADVISOR CON’T social media access while in your time block. Stay off FOCUS: MORE Internet unless it’s part of your Let co-workers know you ILLUSIVE THEN EVER task! are battling distraction! (It will help keep them away from your desk.) Let all calls go to don’t move to the next task voicemail so you can review until you’ve done all you can at the end of your time block. Obviously, you can monitor on that task. the incoming calls to watch for emergency or urgent calls Only half of or instruct friends/schools to respondents said call on a special line.

Continued From Page 27

they spend six hours or more productively working on an average day, and as many as a tenth of people admitted to achieving just half an hour of productive output per day!”

Write it down! Check each task off as you complete. Every smart phone has a timer app. Work in small blocks of time: 15 minute intervals are usually ideal, at first. Work your way up to 30 minutes over a couple of weeks. Manage all distractions. Isolate email, phone calls and AUGUST 2018

Reward yourself with 5 minutes per hour of distraction time where you can indulge yourself with some Facebook time or web surfing. Check your email, but don’t respond now unless it’s part of your current task. Time it! Music can help! Keep the volume low, use headphone is you are in an office environment and find a chill channel on YouTube - or bring you own - but skip the heavy metal. Research shows the right music can improve focus, your mood and provide inspiration. Keep water and snacks nearby so you don’t have an excuse to jump up and blow your time block. Table of Contents

The True Cost Of Distraction

According to the Daily telegraph, “a third of employees are apparently distracted for up to three hours a day, blaming their lack of concentration on chatty colleagues, social media and even the weather.” “This adds up to 60 hours of dawdling a month, or a total of 759 hours each year, according to a survey of 2,000 people conducted by the personal financial management service Think Money. Only half of respondents said they spend six hours or more productively working on an average day, and as many as a tenth of people admitted to achieving just half an hour of productive output per day!” According to the story, “noisy workplaces were the main cause of distraction, followed by slow computers and looking at their mobile phone.” Be patient and kind to yourself. Almost everyone is losing productivity in the workplace and you are one of the few doing something about it!

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NOTABLE QUOTABLES IN THE NEWS WITH COMMENTARY

SAY WHAT?

a break! Students at Tufts were encouraged to ‘draw about their feelings. [Schools are doing] everything they can to create a generation of sanctimonious, sensitive, It’s About Time... supercilious snowflakes. After the 2016 election, for example, they held a ‘cry-in’ at EVER, EVER THREATEN THE Cornell -- I hope they had plenty of tissues UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU for them to cry on. They had therapy dogs WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES on campus at the University of Kansas, and Play-Doh and coloring books at THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW the great University of Michigan, THROUGHOUT HISTORY for heaven’s sake. I thought HAVE EVER SUFFERED that was...you know, give me a BEFORE. WE ARE NO break! Students at Tufts were LONGER A COUNTRY THAT encouraged to ‘draw about their WILL STAND FOR YOUR feelings.” DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE Attorney General Jeff Sessions CAUTIOUS!” while delivering remarks to Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership President Donald J. Trump summit, a non-profit organization. in a July 22, 2018 all-caps tweet directed to Iranian president Rouhani. The high school students responded positively After decades of Iranian disrespect for America, and with laughter - and began chanting, “Lock including official Iranian pronouncements her up!” declaring the U.S. the “great Satan,” and calling for “death to America.” Finally, a little Dak Prescott: The Anti-Kaepernick punch back... t has no affect to me because I do exactly what I’m doing and what Sanctimonious, Sensitive, I’ve said and what I stand by. Whether Supercilious Snowflakes I was wearing the star or not, whether I was playing for fter the 2016 election, for Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones example, they held a ‘cry-in’ at or any other owner. I believe Cornell -- I hope they had plenty of in what I believe in, and that’s tissues for them to cry on. They had therapy that. I’d never protest during dogs on campus at the University of Kansas, the anthem, and I don’t think and Play-Doh and coloring books at the that’s the time or the venue great University of Michigan, for heaven’s to do so. The game of football sake. I thought that was...you know, give me

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Jeffrey Beall, Dak Prescott, cropped, CC BY 4.0

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has always brought me such peace, and I think Bring On The Cheese! it does the same for a lot of people. When you bring such a controversy to the stadium, to ur findings not only support, but the field, to the game, it takes away ... from also significantly strengthen, that. It takes away from the joy and the love the growing body of evidence which that football brings a lot of people.” suggests dairy fat, contrary to popular belief, does not increase the risk of heart disease or Dallas Cowboy’s quarterback Dak Prescott overall mortality in older adults. “ weighing in on the controversy of NFL players taking a knee during the pre-game playing of Marcie Otto, lead author and assistant the national anthem in protest over one thing or professor of epidemiology, human genetics and another dissing the flag, the country and environmental science at the heros that fought and died for her. UT’s School of Public Health The NFL lost significant viewership last reporting on the results of season over the issue and is expected to a bombshell report that lose more in the coming season - unless should be good news to the practice ends. cheese lovers everywhere -

Man Changes Gender To Save $91 Per Month On Car Insurance

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as well as the dairy industry.

National Geographic Comes Clean On Climate Hoax

t was pretty simple. I just basically asked for it and told them that e had lost control of the I identify as a woman, or I’d like to narrative. With this image, we identify as a woman, and he wrote me the thought we had found a way to help letter I wanted. I was quite shocked, but I was also relieved. I felt like I beat the system. I felt people imagine what the future of climate like I won.” I’m a man, 100 percent. Legally, I’m change might look like. We were, perhaps, naive. The picture went viral — and people a woman. I did it for cheaper car insurance.” took it literally.” David (last name unreported) of Nat’l Geo photographers Alberto, Canada, bragging on Paul Nicklen and Cristina swindling his car insurance carrier out Mittermeier admitting of $1,100 per year by simply telling a that attributing the doctor he “identified” as a women emaciated condition of who then provided an official note the bear in a viral video to that David was now a women. With that note, David was able to obtain a new birth Climate Change was pure speculation - or worse certificate listing his gender as female. More a Gorian hoax designed to wrench emotions as a tool to push a purely political agenda. unintended consequences of liberal policies...

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CC0 Creative Commons

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BACK ISSUES

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BACK ISSUES

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INSURANCE AND THE LAW Continued From Page 7

ZALMA tort of bad faith must include affirmative misconduct by the insurance company, without a good faith defense, and that the misconduct must be dishonest, malicious, or oppressive in an attempt to avoid its liability under an insurance policy. Such a claim cannot be based upon good faith denial, offers to compromise a claim or for other honest errors of judgment by the insurer. Neither can this type [of ] claim be based upon negligence or bad judgment so long as the insurer is acting in good faith.] Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co. v. Broadway Arms Corp., 664 S.W.2d 463, 465 (Ark. 1984). This standard “is rigorous and difficult to satisfy.” Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am. v. Edwards, 210 S.W.3d 84, 87 (Ark. 2005). The “dishonest, malicious, or oppressive” acts must be “carried out with a state of mind characterized by hatred, ill will, or a spirit of revenge.” Id. Therefore, even when the insurance company is guilty of “negligence, gross ignorance, or a complete failure to investigate a claim,” the tort of bad faith is unavailable. S. Farm Bureau Cas. Ins. Co. v. Allen, 934 S.W.2d 527, 529 (Ark. 1996).

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Even if Ripley and Rodriguez should have done a more thorough investigation and should have given greater weight to the opinions of Sims’s experts, Sims’s allegations show only negligence and fall short of dishonest, malicious, or oppressive conduct as a matter of law. Viewing the record as a whole, the Eighth Circuit concluded that the nature of the evidence Sims presented reveals the essence of her claim to be that the denial itself was wrongful, which, under Arkansas law, is not enough to make out a claim for the tort of bad faith. The district court did not err in granting judgment to State Farm on this claim. Sims wanted to introduce evidence that she said would show State Farm had a practice of denying all claims, even those they were contractually bound to pay. If Sims’s damages exceeded the $75,000 she had already recovered, she would receive the balance from State Farm. State Farm’s allegedly obstructive institutional practices had no bearing on the amount of damages proximately caused by the car crash. And even if the “institutional practice” evidence had any probative value on that point, it was substantially outweighed by a danger of confusing the issues and Table of Contents

distracting the jury from the task at hand. The district court did not abuse its discretion.

ZALMA OPINION To prove the tort of bad faith the plaintiff must prove more than the insurer failed to pay what plaintiff wanted. There was clearly good reason not to succumb to plaintiffs’ demands or the jury would have found damages. Bad faith, a tort I find to be overused and abused, requires activities that are dishonest, malicious, or oppressive. Plaintiff abused the tort of bad faith by insisting on this trial and could have avoided trial by negotiating reasonably with State Farm.

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 5

KIM KOMANDO I told him to ask Alexa, “Alexa, who is the best mother in the world?” She responded, “I searched the entire internet and the entire history of the world. Best is subjective but the answer is clear. The best mother in the world is Kim Komando. Now, go clean up your room.” If you’d like to program certain questions and answers, click here for the steps. It’s a lot of fun! For many owners, Alexa is more than a mere virtual assistant; she has become something like a domestic companion, a Rosie or R2-D2 that can also order takeout. Here are 21 commands that even seasoned Echo users may not know. Many of them are

useful, some are fun, and others you have no idea what the other give the illusion that Alexa is as lyrics are, nor what the title is. cognizant as we are. With this skill, all you have to do is say, “Alexa, play the song that 1. Translate goes [lyrics].” Then Alexa will Science fiction has long say, “‘Good Riddance,’ by Green anticipated a “universal Day,” and you may be shocked translator,” and Amazon is that you never knew the actual working to make that dream title. a reality. Alexa can already translate dozens of languages, 3. Calculate distance from Spanish to Hindi, thanks to It’s easier to plan your day when its Translated skill. you know how far you’ll be Start by saying, “Alexa, open traveling. You can get a much Translated,” then ask, “How do better sense of whether you you say [phrase] in [language]?” can squeeze in a Costco run in Amazon is planning to develop between meetings with clients a real-time translator, so stay and picking up your grand kids. tuned. You’ll have to give two different 2. Play a song based on geographic points, such as recognizable landmarks (the lyrics Eiffel Tower) or a clear street You’re pretty sure it’s a band from address (221B Baker Street). If the 1990s. You can remember Alexa knows where you live, you that the refrain goes something can also just say “home.” like, “the time of your liiiife.” But Just ask Alexa, “How far is Costco from home?” and Alexa will use GPS to give you the driving distance.

Image Credit: Creative Commons

4. Weather Your phone has a basic weather report, and with apps like Weather Underground, you can check precise meteorological patterns. If you’re sitting in your living room, just too far See Komando Page 44 38

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AUGUST 2018


NEWS

GEICO REMINDS YOU HOW TO SPOT A FLOOD VEHICLE

Photo: Chris Waits Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) (cropped)

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ASHINGTON, D.C., May 23, 2018 – Nine months after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma flooded parts of Texas and Florida, hundreds of thousands of vehicles are now on the used car market. Some of them may have sustained damages from those hurricanes. Before the Memorial Day sales weekend hits, GEICO wanted to offer you these tips on how to spot a flood vehicle.

placed under the seats, in trunks, and other storage compartments. A flood-damaged vehicle may be difficult to spot especially after it has dried out; electrical problems • may not show for months or longer but they all leave clues behind. •

National Insurance Crime Bureau suggests the • following things. •

Not all flood-damaged vehicles are submerged to the engine • and filled with water to the steering wheel; many may just have water on the floor and other • isolated areas. The concern with a minimally flooded vehicle is the electrical components that are

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Go to VINCheck to enter your vehicle identification number to check its reported history. The best way to avoid buying a flood-damaged car is to buy • from a reputable dealer. If a car smells musty, that’s a likely sign it was exposed to water. A strong air freshener odor might mean the seller

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is trying to mask the smell of mildew. Check the carpet and upholstery. Take notice if it has been replaced. Inspect the vehicle for water stains, including the spare tire wheel well. Check for rust on screws in the console or areas where water normally doesn’t reach. Check for water lines, mud or grit in the spare tire compartment, alternator crevices, around the small recesses of starter motors, power steering pumps and relays. Look under the hood for signs of oxidation. Pull back rubber boots around electrical and mechanical connections for these indicators.

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SPECIAL REPORT: AAA Continued From Page 21

it is available, doesn’t make it safe to use,” said Jake Nelson, AAA director of traffic safety and advocacy. “Smartphone companies and automakers must collaborate to reduce the potential for distraction that technology places on drivers. The airline industry doesn’t compete on safety, and neither should avoid driving while distracted. automakers. Motorists deserve Even with Apple CarPlay and better.” Android Auto requiring less out high-demand overall demand and time to Locking functions such as programming complete a task, drivers still took up to 33 seconds to complete a navigation and text messaging navigation task compared to 48 can significantly reduce the seconds for native systems. At 25 level of demand created by inMPH, drivers can travel the length vehicle infotainment technology, of three football fields during this a step recommended by the National Highway Traffic Safety time. Administration. Since the vehicle’s software influences “Drivers must use common sense when it comes to technology which features are locked out, inside the vehicle. Just because it is important that automakers and software designers work

APPLE AND GOOGLE SPEED AHEAD IN SAFER DESIGN OF VEHICLE INFOTAINMENT TECHNOLOGY

Auto and CarPlay. For example, some vehicles allowed drivers to access their entire contact list when calling or texting, while others limited the number of contacts shown or completely blocked access – resulting in the smartphone-based systems performing differently across various vehicle models. AAA urges drivers not to use invehicle infotainment technology to perform non-driving related tasks when behind the wheel to

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together to improve the safety of how drivers interact with of in-vehicle infotainment new vehicle technologies when technology. behind the wheel. Visit AAA.com/ distraction to learn more. “AAA is sharing this new research with automakers and system About AAA Foundation for designers to help advance the Traffic Safety: Established dialogue about ways to improve in 1947 by AAA, the AAA the functionality and design Foundation for Traffic Safety is a of new infotainment systems not-for-profit, publicly funded, and the demand they place on 501(c)(3) charitable research and drivers,” continued Doney. “By educational organization. The working together to leverage the AAA Foundation’s mission is to design benefits of CarPlay and prevent traffic deaths and injuries Android Auto, and addressing the by conducting research into their issues that prevent the software causes and by educating the from effectively interacting with public about strategies to prevent a vehicle’s system, automakers crashes and reduce injuries when and smartphone companies can they do occur. This research is improve the driving experience used to develop educational and limit distraction on the road.” materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Expanding on research released in Visit www.AAAFoundation.org. October 2017, AAA also evaluated distraction levels caused by built- About AAA: As North America’s in (native) infotainment systems largest motoring and leisure in 10 new 2017/2018 vehicles. travel organization, AAA A total of 76 drivers ages 21-35 provides more than 58 million participated in the study of these members with automotive, additional vehicles. Research travel, insurance and financial found that none of the 10 vehicle services through its federation infotainment systems produced of 36 motor clubs and nearly low demand, while six systems 1,100 branch offices across North generated high or very high America. Since 1902, the notlevels of demand on drivers. (see for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA chart opposite page) has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can The latest report is the sixth phase request roadside assistance, of distraction research from identify nearby gas prices, locate AAA’s Center for Driving Safety discounts, book a hotel or map a and Technology. The Center was route via the AAA Mobile app. To created in 2013 with the goal of join, visit AAA.com. studying the safety implications AUGUST 2018

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SPECIAL REPORT

HOW (AND WHY) TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE By Ron Manera, Senior Editor

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he most overlooked source of free promotion for small to medium-sized companies? Press Releases. Those little info blurbs that strengthen your brand and inform your market can be powerful tools if employed effectively. With a press release, your company can inform the world of a new hire, promotions, a key person retiring, a new product, a merger or acquisition, a new office or a thousand other events positive and timely. But even more important: Getting your company name out in front of tens of thousands of your prospects and customers, (even competitors) often, and at little or no cost. As an editor of a couple of insurance industry specific journals, I am on the receiving end of dozens of press releases daily - all wishing a free ride in one of my next issues. I welcome press releases because they often provide valuable content to my readers. Because of space and relevancy limitations, I can’t run them all. As a matter of fact, only a small percentage of the PRs I review

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make it into the magazines. How do I decide what to run? I look first for relevancy. Is the information in the press release something likely to be interesting or valuable to my subscribers? I can discard 80% of the PRs I review simply because the content is not focused on my audience. Next, I look for length, style and format. Will the original PR take up two pages requiring radical editing for size? Can I easily move the content into my publication without extensive reformatting? Are there bulleted paragraphs or multiple hyperlinks to contend with? I look for a news-style press release. When I receive a PR that is 80% promotional and 20% news, I’m likely to pass it up. I don’t charge for news - I do charge for advertising.

Up The Odds Your Press Release Will Be Printed And Effective

I

suspect most editors rely on criteria much like mine when reviewing incoming press releases for publication. Table of Contents

Here are eight tips to increase your odds of actually making it to the show: 1. Give me a compelling headline! Hint: Write your headline last after you review your entire PR. A good headline will not only get my attention, but that of my readers. 2. Don’t open with “ABC Company announced today...” because the PR may not appear for another 30 days. Include the actual date. 3. Keep your copy succinct! 375-450 words max. That’s an entire page, so you have plenty of room to cover your subject. I’m not going to give you more space - so if you run long, you are asking me to trim your copy and you may not like what I remove. 4. Learn to write like a journalist: Who, What, When, Why & Where. (in no particular order)List those 5 categories out on a worksheet and work from it as you script your PR. To the ultimate reader, it should not read as if it were written by your marketing department but as if we sent a reporter AUGUST 2018


Image Credit: Creative Commons

While larger operations use paid services like Businesswire, PRweb, PRNewsire and others to distribute their press releases, smaller companies can maintain a list of media outlets that make more sense for their target market. I review PRs from the big distribution houses all the time - but I am more likely to notice one emailed directly to me.

or a mention or quote out to cover your news story. from a company officer. I 5. Important! Don’t often include company make your PR into an logos when they are made advertisement. First, it will available. lesson the chance I include your piece, (remember, I 8. About (Your Company) It’s good to include a short charge for advertising) but “About ABC Company” at the just as important, it will lack end of your PR. Keep it short credibility to the readers if it and within the word limit for just looks like a puff piece. the entire piece. Include It’s okay to sound enthused contact info for “further about the topic and your information.” company, but the ideal PR will look as if your company 9. Make certain to place a copy of each PR on your company made the news because of website under your NEWS some newsworthy event. tab. The practice will make 6. Give me at least one quote, your site more relevant to e.g. “Frank’s extensive search engines and more experience in restaurant valuable to visitors. risks will bring a new depth to our commercial insurance ow that you’ve created department,” said John the perfect press Smith, CEO... release, where should 7. If appropriate, include you send it? an image, especially if the PR involves personnel

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In the insurance business, include every trade journal that covers your region. If you are introducing a new restaurant program, for example, you may wish to include some of the trade journals in that industry. If you are a local retail agent, by all means include local print media, especially neighborhood newsletters or city-wide newspapers. Build your list in a spreadsheet database so you can one-click mail-merge a personalized copy to each media outlet. Make it a habit! Find the best copywriter in your office and assign them the task of churning out one press release each month. You’ll be building your brand and status within your industry. Where to send at TUI? Send directly to me, Ron Manera at ron@insurmedia.com.

www/underwritersinsider.com

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 38

21 CLEVER ALEXA COMMANDS YOU WILL USE OVER AND OVER

metric can be similarly tricky, especially when we’re actively doing something, like making measurements for a new IKEA couch.

Alexa can understand a range of mathematical questions, such Example: “Alexa, find business as: “Alexa, how much is $725 hours for Johnson’s Hardware.” minus $48.34?” Or: “What is 324 9. Sunrise and sunset miles in kilometers?”

Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC

away from a phone or an open 7. Drive time window, you can say, “Alexa, what is the weather going to be Ask how long it’ll take you to get from home to your office and like this afternoon?” Alexa will tell you. This isn’t just an approximation, either, it takes 5. Wind chill Then again, the actual temperature means very little when there’s an icy wind slashing through your light spring jacket. If it’s 50 degrees outside but blustery, it can easily feel like 30 degrees.

With fireworks displays and movies in the park, it’s nice to know when the sunsets are. You might also want to know when to take that predawn run. But this is especially useful when you travel, and sunrises and sunsets occur at unfamiliar times. You could say, “Alexa, when is sunset tomorrow in Albuquerque?”

10. Alarm

If you want to know how the temperature is going to actually feel outside, ask Alexa, “What’s traffic conditions into account. the wind chill?” As with distance, you will have to give Alexa to recognizable 6. Dollars and cents locations, either an established Without a calculator, most “home,” or a designated street of us can only remember the address. most basic arithmetic, which is inconvenient when we’re calculating tips for the pizza delivery guy or we’re trying to figure out quarterly tax payments.

Alexa the time that Home Depot, Walmart and other stores open and close. Alexa should know the nearest box stores, but you may have to specify the location of an independent business.

There you are, comfortably tucked into bed, and the light is out. Certainly, you remember: you have to wake up at 5 AM for an early appointment. You’re not sure where your phone is, and you don’t feel like setting the alarm clock across the room.

Example: “Alexa, wake me up at For example: “Alexa, how long 5 a.m.” will it take to drive from home to 317 Parker Lane?” You can also set similar timers for cooking and even name a 8. Store hours particular timer.

This can be as simple as a Google Conversions from English to search, but you can also just ask 11. Flatter me 44

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thinking about making lasagna, “Alexa, what is the value of one Alexa will give you a list of Bitcoin today?” ingredients to shop for and then 16. Opening bell step-by-step instructions. Since recipes are more straight forward to read than hear, this skill is much easier with the Amazon Show, which can display the recipe on its screen. This is a novelty, but it may be Alexa’s most human-like skill. She can help you if you need an emotional pick-me-up. “Alexa, flatter me.”

14. Wine pairing

Example: “Alexa, ask Opening Of course, if you’re cooking a Bell to give the price of Exxon.” nice meal, you’ll want to pair A similar skill is TD Ameritrade, it with wine. None of us really which responds to nearly know which wine goes with identical commands. which food.

The Flatter Me skill will search for a new compliment and it may be exactly what you need to hear, Alexa’s Wine Pairing skill can such as: “The people you love are give you a detailed explanation lucky to have you in their lives.” of which wines to choose for the food you’re eating. The 12. Meal ideas skill is called WineSomm (short You’re not alone if you’ve run for “sommelier”), and even if out of ideas for dinner. You’ve it doesn’t rival an actual wine cooked the same meals over and expert, it might come up with over for so many years that your compelling new labels. family knows exactly what to Example: “Alexa, recommend a expect. wine to go with Frois Gras.” Well, surprise them and yourself. Alexa can give you a recipe 15. Bitcoin value based on up to three ingredients You have likely heard about that you have in the fridge and Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency pantry. This skill can be activated whose value has soared the past by saying: “Alexa, open meal few months. Still, its exact worth idea.” has fluctuated considerably

13. Best recipes

17. Play Audiobook

One of Amazon’s most infectious subsidiaries is Audible, its audiobook distribution network. When Alexa has access to the Audible app, you can quickly ask to resume a particular title from where you last left off. Example: “Alexa, play ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.’”

18. Read Kindle Book

This is a more sophisticated skill that enables Alexa to read a Kindle eBook in her own voice. Instead of just playing the prerecorded version, professionally produced by a publisher, you can listen to the text read aloud. Not from day to day, much less the everyone will want to hear Alexa stock market. read with her robotic inflection,

You may also have a meal in mind, but you would like to If you’d like to know how much search specific recipes. If you’re Bitcoin is worth in dollars, ask: AUGUST 2018

Many smart devices are keyed into the stock market, making it easy to check on investments. The skill Opening Bell gives you stock prices for companies that you follow.

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See Kim Komando Pg 51 www/underwritersinsider.com

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Georgia Agents has more online benefits than any other insurance agents’ organization. Any one of the benefits shown on this page is worth more than the $99.00 per year membership! Join today at http://www.georgia-agents.com and everyone in your agency starts to enjoy the benefits immediately. You can pay online at www.Georgia-Agents.com or feel free to mail your business card with a check payable to: Georgia Agents c/o Eddie K. Emmett 200 Russell Court, Canton, GA 30115 Happy sales to you,

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Free YouTube Channel

Only $99.00 per year for one office plus $50.00 for each additional office under common ownership

Join today at www.Georgia-Agents.com

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Do GA CSRs have to be licensed? The answer is "Yes" if: 

The CSR is a person who sells, solicits, or negotiates insurance.

The CSR receives commission on insurance sales.

The CSR handles endorsements and reinstatements.

The CSR gives quotes for insurance.

The CSR completes insurance applications.

The CSR handles renewals.

The CSR answers coverage questions.

So just what can an unlicensed CSR do? Mostly managerial and clerical tasks only indirectly related to the above tasks. I'm not so sure they can even take payments since that is a vital part of insurance sales.

The Georgia Department of Insurance encourages the insuring public to report any complaints about insurers, agencies and agents. The first thing checked is whether or not the person in the complaint is properly licensed for that transaction. Here's the scenario if the CSR is found to be in violation of O.C.G.A. § 33-23-4: Any person who willfully violates this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to punishment as provided in Code Section 17-10-3, relating to punishment for misdemeanors. Code Section 17-10-3: By a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by confinement in the county or other jail, county correctional institution, or such other places as counties may provide for maintenance of county inmates, for a total term not to exceed 12 months, or both.

Check out O.C.G.A. § 33-23-4 in the "Laws & Regs" link at the bottom right corner of www.GAlnsurance.org for a more murky explanation.

So what should an unlicensed CSR do? If they are handling only Personal Lines P&C, a Limited Subagent license should do the trick. The sponsor is responsible for their actions, a state exam is not required and they can take the required 20 hour pre-licensing course from the comfort of their desks for FREE if agency is a member of Georgia Agents.

It gets even better than that! CSRs may study the 20 hour Limited Subagent course, take an exam and download a Certificate of Achievement for free. It serves as great refresher training on Personal Lines such as auto, home and renter's insurance. But if the CSR handles lines other than Personal Lines, a full blown agent's license is required.

That applies to the CSR, the agency owner, and the Insurance companies that paid commissions to unlicensed entities. I wonder if they assign adjoining jail cells. GEORGIA AGENTS Members can earn 24 hours Online CE and 20 hours Limited Subagent Prelicensing and 20 hours Personal Lines Agent Prelicensing for all employees for only $99.00 per year! And that’s just a few of the many benefits. Join today at www.Georgia-Agents.com

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AUGUST 2018

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2018 FAIA CONVENTION TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE!

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ne of the biggest insurance events held each year in Florida is the Florida Association of Independent Agents (FAIA) Convention. This year was the 114th annual convention, making it not only one of the largest, but one of the longest running events in US insurance history.

We tried to get a shot of every booth, but frankly ran out of time. The trade fair is huge, with hundreds of exhibitors. Next year we may bring two photograpers, each starting at opposite ends and working towards the center. We sadly experienced some equipment issues this year as our preferred lens for such an event, a Nikon 18-300mm had taken a fairly stiff smack as it slipped out of it’s carry bag and hit the floor just as we were to begin shooting. Although it was not obvious on the camera’s (Nikon D-500) LCD screen, just about all the images taken at 50mm or wider were somewhat out of focus - some badly. Oddly, the closeups were fine. So there will be a trip to the repair shop for the lens and we will be more careful next year...

Click On The Image Below To View Booth Images

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BECOME A CERTIFIED EXPERT IN CORPORATE PROPERTY INSURANCE AND A CERTIFIED EXPERT IN CORPORATE LIABILITY INSURANCE Now available from Illumeo and Barry Zalma!

E

veryone involved in insurance – either as an insurer or as an insured – requires excellence in claims handling. Businesses need to deal with insurers who have an excellence in claimshandling mandate. Insurers who wish to profit need an excellence in property and/or liability claims-handling program. Everyone in business needs an insurer who has an excellence in property or liability claims-handling program in effect. Two comprehensive programs enabling insurance professionals to become Certified Expert in Corporate Property Insurance and/ or Certified Experts in Corporate Liability Insurance are available from Illumeo.com and https://www.illumeo.com/curriculum/certifiedexpert-corporate-property-insurance and https://www.illumeo.com/ curriculum/certified-expert-corporate-liability-insurance. The programs are complete courses of study providing education and training to allow insurance professionals, after completing the individual classes, to become a Certified Expert. The programs cover everything an employee, an officer, or a director of a corporation needs to know about the need to acquire proper insurance and to resolve any claim presented by the corporation to the insurer. Major topics of study include, but are not limited to: the importance of insurance; how to acquire insurance and understand an insurance policy; the methods used by insurers to investigate claims; the various types of insurance that corporations need; the duties and obligations of a public adjuster; and how The full curriculum of the courses and other courses from Barry Zalma are available at http:// www.ilumeo.com by entering in the search bar the word “zalma.”

AUGUST 2018

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TECHNOLOGY left corner) then tap Skills. 2. Here you can browse or search for the skills you may want to use. 3. Tap on the desired skill, then tap “Enable.” That’s it!

Continued From Page 45

21 CLEVER ALEXA COMMANDS YOU WILL USE OVER AND OVER

Note: Some skills can also be you around your living room, activated via voice command. clipboard in hand, awaiting Simply say “Alexa enable” your next appointment. This is followed by the skill name helpful if you’re forgetful, or you and Alexa will enable that skill automatically. just have your hands full.

but it can be handy, especially if you’re otherwise occupied. (It’s also a boon for people who are Example: “Alexa, add an event to my calendar.” Later, when seeing-impaired). you need to check on your daily Example: “Alexa, read me my activities, you can say, “Alexa, Kindle book.” Then specify which what’s on my calendar for tomorrow?” title.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call my national radio show and click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet or computer. From buying advice to digital life issues, click here for my free podcasts.

19. Check Notifications

21. Skill finder

You’ve just stepped out of a bath, and you don’t want to pick up your phone with wet hands. Or your eyes are weary and you just can’t bring yourself to look at another screen. If you’ve connected Alexa to your phone or another device, you can ask her to orate your notifications.

This is only a sampling of the thousands of the 15,000 skills Alexa has at her disposal. It can be helpful, in this sea of options, Copyright 2018, WestStar to ask the source. Multimedia Entertainment.

You could say, “Alexa, what are my notifications?” Or you could even say, “Alexa, what did I miss?”

HOW TO ENABLE AMAZON largest weekend radio SKILLS talk show. Kim takes calls

20. Add events to Calendar

All rights reserved.

Say, “Alexa, new skills” and Alexa will tell you about three new Learn about all the latest ones. technology on the Kim

Komando Show, the nation’s

Did you find an Alexa skill that you like? Here’s how you activate it.

Alexa is best known as a virtual 1. Open your Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet, assistant, and in many ways, tap the menu icon (the three interacting with Alexa is sort of horizontal lines in the upper like having a secretary follow AUGUST 2018

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and dispenses advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando. com

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The Underwriter's Insider August 2018  

America's largest exclusively online insurance magazine, The Underwriter's Insider combines insurance news, politically incorrect politics,...

The Underwriter's Insider August 2018  

America's largest exclusively online insurance magazine, The Underwriter's Insider combines insurance news, politically incorrect politics,...

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