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IN THIS ISSUE DECEMBER 2019 VOL 15 ISSUE 12

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7 Clear-Cut Signs You’ve Been Hacked

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Doctor’s Insurance Fraud & Malpractice Causes Revocation of License

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Turn Your Health Savings Plan Into A Retirement Plan

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IBM Makes Higher Quality Weather Forecasts Available Worldwide

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Alexa Laser Attack Comp Rates Down In Florida - The Meaning of Life - IRMI Energy Risk & Insurance Conference

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California Agent Busted After Allegedly Leaving A Client Uninsured In 2018

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Florida CFO Patronis Announces Peter Penrod As New Chief Of Staff

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A Guide To Health Savings Accounts

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Blue Origin Announces National Team To Offer A Human Landing System For NASA

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Focus: More Illusive Then Ever - The AdvisorWeighs In

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Trump Economy Exploding - Driving Dems Nuts • Romeny A “Feckless Old Lady? • Radicalized Islamist Murders 3

It’s Time To Bring U.S. Headlight Standards Out Of The Dark Ages

AAA, Consumer Reports, J.D. Power And The National Safety Council Unite To Adopt Common Naming For Advanced Driver Assistance Tech

FTC Stops Student Loan Debt Relief Scheme That Allegedly Bilked Consumers of $ Millions

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How (And Why) To Write A Press Release

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2019 FAIA & LAAIA Trade Fair Booth Images

PREFER TO READ OFFLINE? DOWNLOAD & VIEW PDF: HERE!


PAGE 8 - MATT TRESKOVICH

Special Report Page 27 Blue Origin Announces National Team To Offer A Human Landing System To NASA

HOW (AND WHY) TO WRITE A PRESS RELEASE THAT ACTUALLY GETS PUBLISHED

PG 38 FEATURES

INSURANCE AND THE LAW PAGE SIX

2019 FAIA & LAAIA TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE! PG 40

5 6 8 11

Kim Komando

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Breaking News

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Insider Advisor

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Back Issues

Barry Zalma Matt Treskovitch Advertise

Say What?

Page 6 New Zalma Claims Books Now Available! Story...

Cover Image: © Ron Manera


DECEMBER 2019 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: @rj.0521 561.718.0745 • ron@insurmedia.com

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DECEMBER 2019


TECHNOLOGY

7 CLEAR-CUT SIGNS YOU’VE BEEN HACKED Really Cool Tech Info - From Kim Komando gadget may very well be infected with viruses, trojans or worms.

BY KIM KOMANDO

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mart hackers don’t get caught. They break into your device, steal everything they can, and finish without a trace. Sometimes they leave a trail of destruction in their wake – malware, weird ads, confused relatives, and even a drained bank account or stolen identity.

Malicious software usually runs in the background, secretly eating up your gadget’s resources while it’s active. Here are tools you can use to pinpoint those nasty applications. If an application that you don’t recognize is hogging your computer resources, it’s likely a virus.

It’s pretty easy for hackers to do their job. Most people are ambivalent, but you don’t have to be. Click here for 5 security mistakes you’re probably making right now.

PC: Use Task Manager

Computers, phones, routers, and down to the 1. Your gadget suddenly innocent webcam are vulnerable slows down to cybercriminals. One of the side-effects of malicious software is a slow So what if they’ve already gadget. Software gets sluggish, broken in, yet you don’t even or constantly freezes, or even know they’re there? Here are crashes. If you start noticing clear-cut signs that you’ve been some of these symptoms, your hacked. DEDEMBER 2019

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There are a few ways to see what processes your computer is running. The easiest is to bring up Windows’ built-in Task Manager. Just use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + ESC and go to the Processes tab.

See Kim Komando Pg 36 www/underwritersinsider.com

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CLAIMS & THE LAW

DOCTOR’S INSURANCE FRAUD & MALPRACTICE CAUSES REVOCATION OF LICENSE Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE Claiming No Point to Participate in Hearing Causes Doctor to Lose License

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hysicians, like all professionals, must be licensed by the state. Failure to fulfill the duties imposed on a physician by statute can result in a loss of the right to practice medicine. More importantly, acting criminally, misleading patients, or hurting patients will most often cause a doctor to lose his or her license. In Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure v. Jon M. Strauss, M.D., NO. 2015-CA-001919-MR,

Commonwealth of Kentucky Court of Appeals, (November 8, 2019) Dr. Strauss and his counsel did everything possible to delay the revocation proceedings rather than presenting a

FACTS

Following judicial review of an order entered by Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure (“KBML”) revoking the medical license of Jon M. Strauss, M.D., on December 10, 2015, the Jefferson Circuit Court, Division Join Barry Zalma’s Blog: Nine, remanded the matter to http://www.zalma.com/blog KBML for further proceedings to include a review of the entire administrative record. KBML defense – perhaps because timely appealed, believing none existed. In part the delay the Jefferson Circuit Court’s actions kept him “practicing” decision was contrary to plain medicine for about nine years statutory language and binding until the Kentucky Supreme authority. Court and the Kentucky Court of Appeals finally deprived Challenges by Dr. Strauss to a him of the right to practice 2010 KBML order placing him on medicine. probation went to the Supreme Court of Kentucky that rendered

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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its Opinion in Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure v. Strauss, 558 S.W.3d 443 (Ky. 2018), reh’g denied (Nov. 1, 2018), cert. denied, 139 S.Ct. 1354, 203 L.Ed.2d 590 (2019) (“Strauss I”), which became final on November 1, 2018. In August 2011, KBML received a grievance alleging Dr. Strauss demonstrated erratic behavior and engaged in a poor standard of care, failed to properly monitor his patients’ chronic conditions, engaged in questionable prescribing practices, committed insurance fraud, engaged in unethical and unprofessional behaviors, and abandoned patients. After a lengthy investigation, on June 20, 2013, a complaint was issued against Dr. Strauss’ medical license and an emergency order of restriction was entered contemporaneously which prohibited Dr. Strauss from prescribing, dispensing, or professionally utilizing controlled substances during the pendency of the complaint. A hearing proceeded and Dr. Strauss identified no defense witnesses, exhibits, or evidence upon which he intended to rely. When the matter was called, counsel for Dr. Strauss indicated neither he nor Dr. Strauss would participate because “there is no point to it.” Counsel DEDEMBER 2019

stated his belief the process was flawed, illegitimate, and a sham. After some discussion, both Dr. Strauss and his counsel left the hearing. The hearing

A doctor who fails to deal reasonably with his patients and engages in insurance fraud is anathema to the medical profession. That he was able to fight the action of the state to revoke his license for ten years is a ridiculous abuse of the intent of the licensing law and establishes a need for improvement in the system and the actions of the courts. In this case, since there was evidence of criminal conduct – insurance fraud – the purpose of the statutory scheme could have been resolved by the arrest and conviction of the doctor.” officer subsequently issued a recommended order finding Dr. Strauss in default. KBML, through its hearing panel, Table of Contents

issued an order of revocation. Dr. Strauss sought judicial review and the trial court entered an order concluding the factual basis of the KBML order finding Dr. Strauss in default was supported by substantial evidence. However, the trial court remanded the matter upon finding KBML’s hearing panel abused its discretion when it reviewed only the complaint, recommended order, and exceptions, rather than the entire administrative record as required by KRS1 13B.120(1).

THE APPEAL The sole issue before the court of appeal was whether state statutes required KBML to review the entire administrative record prior to rendering its final order. The Kentucky Supreme Court has provided clear and definitive authority on this precise question in Strauss I. There, after a lengthy discussion of the issue, the Supreme Court stated: “In sum, the Board is charged with considering the record including the recommended order and exceptions. The extent of the record consideration beyond the recommended order and exceptions is a matter committed to the Board’s sound discretion. Contrary to Strauss’s See ZALMA Page 35 www/underwritersinsider.com

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ANALYSIS - FINANCIAL

“InvestmentZen”Credit: www.investmentzen.com

TURN YOUR HEALTH SAVINGS PLAN INTO A RETIREMENT PLAN By Matthew Treskovich, CPA/PFS, MBA, CFP®, CMA

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Health Savings Account, also known as an “HSA”, is a tax-advantaged savings account. These accounts were created by Congress in 2004 as a way for Americans to save money for future medical expenses. Smart savers have realized that the tax advantages of HSAs make them a powerful retirement planning tool. 8

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Triple Tax Advantage Congress gave HSAs three big tax advantages to encourage their use: • •

Contributions to an HSA are tax-free. Your account balance can be invested in the stock market and grow tax-deferred. Withdrawals are tax-free if you spend the money on qualified medical expenses. Table of Contents

Unlike many retirement plans, there is no income limit for HSA contributions. The contribution limits for HSAs are calculated separately from retirement plans. This means that, if you otherwise qualify, you can contribute to an HSA after maxing out your other retirement plan contributions. Even high-income earners who can’t make a deductible IRA or Roth IRA contribution can still make deductible HSA contributions.

DECEMBER 2019


withdrawals to reimburse yourself for eligible expenses you’ve paid out of pocket. As long as you save your receipts, you can make a withdrawal at any time, while allowing your HSA investments to continue to grow tax-deferred. Using Your HSA as a Retirement Plan

Saving in an HSA To be eligible to contribute to an HSA, you also need to be covered by a special type of health insurance policy, called a high-deductible health plan. You can make pre-tax contributions by payroll deduction if your employer offers an HSA health plan. You can also make taxdeductible contributions directly to your Health Savings Account. Either way, the contributions reduce your taxable income. The limit for contributions in

2020 is $3,550 for an individual, or $7,100 for a family. Starting in the year you turn 55, you can contribute an additional $1,000. Once you sign up for Medicare, you can no longer contribute to an HSA. However, the money in your account is yours, and can still be spent according to the HSA rules.

After you reach age 65, money in your HSA can be withdrawn for any purpose, without tax penalties. Your HSA account can still be used for qualified medical expenses. Withdrawals that aren’t used for eligible expenses are taxed as ordinary income.

Most retirees will incur significant expenses during Getting Money Out of an HSA medical retirement. HSA funds can be used Withdrawals from an HSA are tax-free if you are reimbursing yourself for qualified medical expenses. There is no time limit on See HSP Into Retirement Plan Pg 25

About 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.

DEDEMBER 2019

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DECEMBER 2019


BUSINESS ATTORNEY • Mergers & Acquisition • Corporate Setup • Landlord Leases • Startups • Trade Secrets • Business Plans • Enterprise Development • Non-Compete Agreements

Phillip T. Crenshaw, PA

Legal Representation In Florida Member of Florida Bar (1971) Business Development Services Available In All Venues 1615 Forum Place Barristers Bldg. • Suite 500 W. Palm Beach • Florida 33401 561.439.6100 • Crenlaw.com DEDEMBER 2019

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Phillip T. Crenshaw, Esq.

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REPORT: AAA

AAA’s research shows the importance of allowing Adaptive Driving Beam Headlights on U.S. roads

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RLANDO, Fla. (Apr. 16, 2019) – Driving at night carries the highest fatality rate for both drivers and pedestrians but could be made safer by headlight technology already on the roads in Europe and Canada. New research from AAA found that European vehicles equipped with adaptive driving beam headlights (ADB) increase roadway lighting by as much as 86 percent when compared to U.S. low beam headlights.

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AAA believes this technology, not presently allowed by U.S. standards, is the first real solution to providing more light for drivers at night and AAA supports changes in the law to allow ADB to be used to its full capability. “Driving at night doesn’t have to be such a risky undertaking for Americans,” said John Nielsen, managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair, AAA. “The technology not only exists but is being used in other parts of the world to effectively provide the amount of light needed to keep drivers and pedestrians safer.” Previous AAA research found that a majority of Americans (64 Table of Contents

percent) do not regularly use their high beams. This means when driving at moderate speeds like 40 mph with low beams on, motorists will not have enough time to appropriately react to something or someone in the roadway. High beams, however, improve forward illumination by 28 percent in comparison and are much more effective at providing the proper amount of light when traveling at higher speeds. With ADB, the high beams are always on and when another vehicle is detected, that area is shaded to prevent glare that would otherwise interfere with the other driver’s field of vision.

DECEMBER 2019

Image: © 2017 Rainbow_Wolf_Gaming. Licensed under CC-BY.

IT’S TIME TO BRING U.S. HEADLIGHT STANDARDS OUT OF THE DARK AGES


Some newer U.S. vehicles are equipped with a similar technology that automatically switches between high and low beam, which does help to address this issue and increase visibility, but only when other vehicles aren’t present. However, once an oncoming or preceding vehicle is detected, the car will switch from high to low beams, thus losing the benefit of the additional light. Another shortcoming in the U.S. standards is how headlights are assessed for regulatory compliance. Currently, just the headlamp assembly is evaluated as a stand-alone part. This is done by static testing in a lab, which does not capture critical aspects of on-road illuminance and performance, especially when evaluating a dynamic technology like ADB. The performance of these systems is dependent on the presence and location of other vehicles, as well as the camera/sensor, software and mechanism used to control the beam pattern. “Real-world driving does not take place in a lab,” continued Nielsen. “Roads vary in so many ways – some have hills, others sharp turns – by not conducting track testing, a lot of valuable insight is missed into how headlight technology could be enhanced.”

DEDEMBER 2019

Following a petition from Toyota, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed an amendment last fall to allow manufacturers the option of equipping vehicles with ADB systems. AAA submitted comments to NHTSA regarding the proposed changes along with supporting primary research in an effort to provide insight into the performance of ADB as it exists today.

Monitor and adjust driving speeds when traveling on unlit roads at night to allow enough time to detect, react and stop the vehicle in order to avoid striking a pedestrian, animal or object in the roadway. If your car’s headlamp lenses are anything but crystal clear, have them restored or replaced to improve light output. AAA engages in research, surveys and a significant amount of automotive testing on new and emerging vehicle technologies to help educate the driving public and keep the roadways safe. Previous research in this area includes the use of high beam versus low beam (U.S. only) and the impact of deteriorated headlights on nighttime visibility.

“AAA supports adaptive driving beam headlights and NHTSA’s work in this area to consider changing the current standards,” said Jill Ingrassia, managing director of Government Relations &Traffic Safety Advocacy. “Allowing ADB will not only improve roadway visibility but the safety of every driver and pedestrian who must travel at night.” About AAA A new headlight standard and testing protocol could still be a few years away, which means drivers should take other precautions when driving at night. AAA recommends: When driving after dark on unlit roadways, use high beams whenever possible. There is a difference between seeing the roadway markings, signs, and other vehicles, versus being able to perceive a non‐reflective object in your path. Table of Contents

AAA provides more than 59 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and nearly 1,100 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

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SPECIAL REPORT - AAA

AAA, CONSUMER REPORTS, J.D. POWER AND THE NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL UNITE TO ADOPT COMMON NAMING FOR ADVANCED DRIVER ASSISTANCE TECHNOLOGY

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ovember 20, 2019 – As leaders in consumer advocacy, traffic safety and industry advice, four organizations – AAA, Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and the National Safety Council – have come together to adopt standardized naming for advanced driver assistance technology in an effort to reduce confusion. To help educate consumers on the benefits, limitations and proper use of these technologies, the four organizations are calling on all safety organizations, automakers

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and journalists covering the the terminology often seems to automotive industry to join them prioritize marketing over clarity. in adopting these terms. As a result, the four organizations Automotive technology have agreed on standardized continues to evolve quickly with naming that is simple, specific and 93% of new vehicles offering based on system functionality. at least one advanced driver It is believed that, by adopting assistance system (ADAS) feature. common terminology across Earlier this year, AAA research systems, consumers will have a found that consumers are faced better understanding that this with as many as 20 names for a technology is intended to assist single ADAS feature, varying by and not replace an engaged driver. vehicle manufacturer. This can These terms are not meant to cause confusion. And while the replace automotive manufacturers’ technology has the potential to proprietary system or package improve safety and save lives, names; rather, they are meant to Table of Contents

DECEMBER 2019


achieve clearer and consistent information on window stickers, owner’s manuals and other marketing materials on generic system components. At this time, five categories have been created to group technology by type. The naming list will be continually refined as these organizations work with stakeholders and policymakers and as new systems come to market. For details on the full list, click here.

About AAA AAA provides more than 60 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and nearly 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully taxpaying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com.

action on behalf of consumers’ interests. Unconstrained by advertising or other commercial influences, CR has exposed landmark public health and safety issues and strives to be a catalyst for pro-consumer changes in the marketplace. From championing responsible auto safety standards, to winning food and water protections, to enhancing healthcare quality, to fighting back against predatory lenders in the financial markets, Consumer Reports has always been on the front lines.

FREE INSIDER SUBSCRIPTION!

About J.D. Power J.D. Power is a global leader in consumer insights, advisory services and data and analytics. These capabilities enable J.D. Power to help its clients drive customer satisfaction, growth and profitability. Established in 1968, J.D. Power has offices serving North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe. About the National Safety Council

The National Safety Council (nsc. org) is a nonprofit organization Consumer Reports is an whose mission is to eliminate independent, nonprofit preventable deaths at work, in membership organization that homes and communities, and works side by side with consumers on the road through leadership, to create a fairer, safer, and research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 Congress, healthier world. For more than 80 NSC advances this mission by years, CR has provided evidencepartnering with businesses, based product testing and ratings, government agencies, elected rigorous research, hard-hitting officials and the public in areas investigative journalism, public where we can make the most education, and steadfast policy impact.

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NEWS - TECHNOLOGY

IBM MAKES HIGHER QUALITY WEATHER FORECASTS AVAILABLE WORLDWIDE Western European countries. But the launch of IBM GRAF marks the first time such enhanced forecasts cover more of the globe, including Asia, Africa and South America, areas among the most vulnerable to the increasingly intense extreme weather resulting from climate change. IBM GRAF is the world’s nown as IBM first operational high-resolution, GRAF, the Global hourly-updating model that H i g h - R e s o l u t i o n covers the entire globe. Atmospheric Forecasting System can predict conditions up to 12 hours in advance with detail and frequency previously unavailable at this global scale.

New Modeling System IBM GRAF Offers More Timely and Precise Local Forecasts, Democratizing Weather Around the Globe

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“We view the launch of IBM GRAF as a true inflection point in forecasting science, where technology helps democratize weather data for the good of society,” said Cameron Clayton, head of The Weather Company and general manager of IBM’s Watson Media and Weather. “The enhanced forecasts could be revolutionary for some areas of the world, such as for a rural farmer in India or Kenya. If you’ve never before had

IBM GRAF will provide much finer-grained predictions of the atmosphere and update its forecasts six to 12 times more frequently than conventional global modeling systems. Current global weather models cover 10-15 square kilometers (6.2-9.3 miles) and are updated every 6-12 hours. By contrast, IBM GRAF forecasts down to 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) and is updated hourly. This level of forecasting precision has been available in the U.S., Japan and a handful of

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

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DECEMBER 2019


The Thor supercomputing weather forcasting system - a competitor to IBM’s GRAF

access to high-resolution weather data but could now anticipate thunderstorms before they approach your fields, you can better plan for planting or harvesting.” Collaboration helps create improved global modeling of the atmosphere To build the new modeling system, The Weather Company collaborated with the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) to create IBM GRAF based on NCAR’s next-generation opensource global model, the Model for Prediction Across Scales, which uses state-of-the-art science to forecast the atmosphere down to thunderstorm level on a global scale. DEDEMBER 2019

As the world contends with climate change and more intense severe weather events globally, timely and accurate weather information is increasingly important. To help meet future challenges, strong public-private partnerships across governments, businesses and research institutions and opensource collaboration can continue to help advance science and technology at a more effective pace.

most weather models use high-performance computers built only with CPUs (central processing units). To handle its increased resolution and update frequency, the new IBM GRAF system runs on an IBM POWER9based supercomputer optimized for both CPUs and GPUs (graphics processing units), powerful compute engines widely deployed for demanding high-performance computing and AI applications.

Advanced supercomputing allows for higher workloads

IBM is applying the same technology behind some of the world’s most powerful Forecasting weather is a supercomputers to weather complicated mathematical forecasting. The Weather problem, requiring highperformance computing to solve complex equations. Traditionally, See Weather Forecasting Page 34 Table of Contents

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS Alexa Laser Attack?

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hief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis alerts consumers of a recent study showing that voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Google’s Assistant can be “hacked” with special lasers. Troubling details from the study outline that hackers can attack a smart speaker with a laser from outside your house to break in by opening a smart garage door or steal your money by making online purchases. CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “While hacks involving smart speakers and lasers may sound like science fiction, it’s a reality according a troubling, recent report. I’m warning all Floridians— move your devices such as Alexa, Siri or Google Home away from windows and out of a line of sight from outside your 18

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home. It’s also important to Brighter, Better Future monitor your bank accounts and credit reports for Budget for FY 2020-2021 suspicious activity. If you see lorida Office of any signs of fraud, always Insurance Regulation report it immediately to (OIR) Commissioner FraudFreeFlorida.com.” David Altmaier released the following statement Commissioner Altmaier following the release of Issues Statement of Governor DeSantis’ Bolder, Support for Governor Brighter, Better Future FY 2020-2021 budget: “I thank DeSantis’ Bolder, Governor DeSantis for his

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS unwavering commitment to boldly serving Floridians, as reflected in this budget. Through Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida has a strong and competitive economy with a commonsense regulatory framework, which allows us to foster a robust and reliable insurance market for consumers,” said Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier.​

Altmaier has issued a Final Order granting approval to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for a statewide overall decrease of 7.5% for Florida workers’ compensation insurance rates. This applies to both new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of January 1, 2020.

The Meaning Of Life

Two Data Services Integrate

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ccording to Pew Research, “Americans are most likely to mention family when asked in an open-ended question what makes their lives meaningful. One-third bring up their career or job, nearly a quarter mention finances or money, and one-in-five cite their religious faith, friendships, or hobbies and activities.” - Pew Research

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uthentic4D, the leading provider of medical imaging review technology and resolution services for casualty insurance claims, and Compex Legal Services, the nation’s largest and most technologically advanced records retrieval company, announce the availability of an integration between their two development environments, streamlining Workers’ Comp Rates the digital exchange and assessment of medical Down In Florida images. The direct connection will streamline lorida Insurance the review of injury Commissioner David claims, saving carriers and

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DEDEMBER 2019

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employers months of time, enabling faster decision making and treatment while reducing unnecessary expenses and claim cycle time.

2020 IRMI Energy Risk & Insurance Conference

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allas, TX, November 19, 2019—Risk managers and insurance professionals serving the energy industry can register now for the 2020 IRMI Energy Risk & Insurance Conference. International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), will return to Houston April 6–8 for this annual event focused on the complex exposures faced by energy companies and insurance programs that cover them. The Conference will feature multiple sessions covering topics such as technology innovations, managing risk with contracts, controlling insurance costs in as tightening insurance market, and cyber and artificial intelligence (AI) exposures. View the full agenda at www.irmi.com/ ERIC. www/underwritersinsider.com

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NEWS

FTC STOPS STUDENT LOAN DEBT RELIEF SCHEME THAT ALLEGEDLY BILKED CONSUMERS OUT OF MILLIONS

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The defendants allegedly charged illegal upfront fees as high as $1,800 when consumers agreed to use the defendants’ services. However, instead of delivering on the sweeping benefits they promised, operators of the scheme usually contacted a consumer’s loan servicer to The FTC’s complaint against place the consumer’s loans Arete Financial Group and several into temporary forbearance or related companies alleged that the deferment status, without the defendants used radio and television consumer’s authorization or ads, as well as online ads and knowledge, according to the telemarketing calls in which they FTC’s complaint. pretended to be affiliated with the Department of Education, Operators of alleged to promise to enroll consumers in student loan forgiveness, scheme claimed to be consolidation, and repayment affiliated with the federal programs to reduce or eliminate their monthly payments and government and falsely principal balances. he Federal Trade Commission obtained a temporary restraining order halting an operation that bilked consumers out of millions of dollars by pretending to be affiliated with the U.S. Department of Education and falsely promising student loan debt relief.

“Arete Financial Group charged illegal upfront fees and made false promises to consumers struggling with student loan debt,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “To avoid scams like these, consumers should never pay an advance fee to a company promising to deliver debt relief.”

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promised to help reduce or even eliminate consumers’ student loans.” The defendants are charged with violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the FTC Act. The corporate defendants are: American Financial Support Table of Contents

Services Inc.; Arete Financial Group (also doing business as Arete Financial Freedom); Arete Financial Group LLC; CBC Conglomerate LLC (also doing business as 1file.org); Diamond Choice Inc. (also doing business as Interest Rate Solutions); J&L Enterprise LLC (also doing business as Premier Solutions Servicing); La Casa Bonita Investments Inc. (formerly known as La Casa Bonita Investments LLC, also doing business as Education Loan Network, and Edunet); and US Financial Freedom Center, Inc. The individual defendants are: Carey Howe; Anna Howe; Shunmin “Mike” Hsu; Ruddy Palacios (also known as Ruddy Barahona); Oliver Pomazi; and Jay Singh. In addition, the complaint names MJ Wealth Solutions, LLC as a relief defendant.

How to Avoid Student Loan Debt Relief Scams To help consumers avoid falling victim to such fraud, the FTC has

consumer education materials See FTC Relief Scam Page 26 DECEMBER 2019


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DEDEMBER 2019

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NEWS

CALIFORNIA AGENT BUSTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY LEAVING A CLIENT UNINSURED DURING 2018 MUDSLIDES Allegedly stole over $70,000 from five clients

were small business owners left uninsured against potential liability claims.

ANTA BARBARA, Calif. — California Department of Insurance detectives today arrested insurance agent Mark Lynch, 40, on 13 felony counts of grand theft, embezzlement, and money laundering after allegedly collecting over $72,425 in insurance premium payments from five clients and leaving them uninsured including one client who was left uninsured during the Montecito mudslides in January 2018.

The Department of Insurance launched an investigation after receiving complaints from Lynch’s clients. The alleged

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“Leaving homeowners without insurance during the Montecito Mudslides could have been devastating for these families and businesses,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The arrest of this agent should be a warning to anyone who puts consumers at risk to seek personal benefit. The Department of Insurance will continue to use every resource available to stop unscrupulous agents from preying on customers.” The Department of Insurance has filed an accusation against Lynch and is seeking to revoke his insurance license.

While that client did not suffer damage in the devastating slides Lynch’s was booked that killed 20 people, into Santa Barbara the agent allegedly County jail and his pocketed premium bail has been set payments from five California Insurance agent Mark Lynch, 40 at $100,000. The clients and used those funds for his personal benefit. misappropriation of premium Santa Barbara County District Three clients were Santa Barbara payments took place between Attorney’s Office is prosecuting homeowners and two clients January 2016 and January 2017. the case. 22

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DECEMBER 2019


FLORIDA CFO PATRONIS ANNOUNCES PETER PENROD AS NEW CHIEF OF STAFF

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ALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis today announced the appointment of Peter Penrod as Chief of Staff, effective immediately. Penrod currently serves as General Counsel for the CFO’s Office. CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “I am confident that with Peter Penrod as my chief of staff we will enhance our ability to serve our great state. His strong legal mind, solid track record of leadership along with his extensive DEDEMBER 2019

background in public service makes Peter a natural fit to help lead the Department of Financial Services. It’s clear he is committed to making sure my office builds on our successes.” Penrod most recently served as General Counsel for the Department of Financial Services, overseeing the Divisions of Risk Management and Rehabilitation and Liquidation and providing both legal counsel and representation for CFO Patronis. Prior to joining the CFO’s staff, Penrod was Table of Contents

general counsel for the Department of Economic Opportunity. Additionally, Penrod serves on the Florida Judicial Nominating Commission for the First Appellate District. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminology from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law. He resides in Tallahassee with his wife, Veronica, and their four young children. www/underwritersinsider.com

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ANALYSIS

A GUIDE TO HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNTS

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pen enrollment for your company is about to begin and you’re considering enrolling in a highdeductible health plan. Or you know that you will have health expenses in the future and you’re looking for a way to pay for those costs without having to pay all at once.

to pay taxes on your earnings, then pay for your health care costs with what you have left. By avoiding some taxes you would otherwise owe and letting your savings grow tax-free over time, you may be able to lower your overall spending.

If you enroll in a highdeductible health plan and you have money to save for future health care expenses, opening a health savings account (HSA) allows you to save money on taxes and help pay for health costs when they come along. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has information on how an HSA can benefit you.

HSAs can help consumers with high-deductible health insurance plans cover their out-of-pocket costs.

To contribute to an HSA, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan. For HSA purposes, a high-deductible health plan is one with a deductible of at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family. This means you pay at least $1,400 (or $2,800) out-ofpocket in a year before the health plan starts paying for its share of health costs. Look for plans that Without the HSA, you would have say ‘HSA-eligible.’ If paying a high The Underwriter’s Insider

Contributions are limited and adjusted annually by the IRS. You can only add so much to your HSA in a year. The annual limits for HSA contributions (for 2020, as indexed) are $3,550 for individuals and $7,100 for families. It’s important to keep that in mind when deciding how much to put into your HSA. Individuals 55 and older can participate in what’s called catch-up contributions. They can add an additional $1,000 to their HSA in 2020.

Quick Facts

How a health savings account (HSA) works. An HSA is a type of savings account that allows you to set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. The untaxed dollars that you or your employer put in your HSA allow you to pay for deductibles, copayments, coinsurance and other expenses.

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deductible doesn’t fit in your budget, an HSA may not be for you.

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Money unspent in an HSA rolls over at the end of the year, so it can be used for future medical expenses. The money belongs to you, so as you change jobs or insurance plans, your funds remain in your account. Most HSAs issue a debit card DECEMBER 2019


to pay for your prescription medications, co-pays and other eligible expenses. If you receive a medical bill in the mail, you can call the billing center and make a payment over the phone using your HSA debit card. With HSAs, funds stored in the account can grow tax-free for years and may be stored in an investment fund.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF

There could be taxes and penalties for early withdrawals. If you ever need to withdraw funds from your HSA for nonqualified expenses before you turn 65, you will owe taxes on the money. There is also a 20 percent penalty. After you turn 65, you will owe the taxes but Some HSAs charge a monthly not the penalty. maintenance fee or pertransaction fee. It can vary by Keep a record of your transactions. Always keep employer or institution. The fees your receipts for your HSA are not high but can cut into your transactions. The receipts will bottom line. These fees can be prove that your withdrawals waived if you maintain a certain were used for qualified medical balance. expenses.

Differences between a Health Savings Account and Flexible Spending Account A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is another type of account that allows you to contribute before taxes are taken out. Like an HSA, it can be used to pay for eligible health expenses. However, an FSA is owned by the employer and is less flexible—the funds are intended to be used in a single year, rather than held over time. The maximum amount an employee can save in an FSA in 2020 is $2,750. You must spend the money in an FSA by the end of the year or specified grace period. Unlike an HSA, if an employee leaves a job, they can’t take the FSA account with them.

THREE THINGS TO REMEMBER Be sure and know what your insurance needs are and work toward your HSA requirements from there. Health care consumers enrolled in a high-deductible health care plan are eligible to contribute to an HSA. They might not be the best option for patients who don’t want a high deductible plan or don’t have extra funds to save in the HSA. HSAs aren’t subject to federal income tax, so the earnings in the account grow tax-free. Published by the Alabama DOI.

Continued From Page 9

HEALTH SAVINGS PLANT INTO RETIREMENT PLAN to pay Medicare premiums. They can also be used to pay qualified long-term care insurance premiums, and also for related medical expenses like the cost of a nursing home. If you’ve saved your receipts along the way, you can build up a “bank” of reimbursements to take from your HSA later. This amount is always tax free, if the expenses meet the IRS requirements for qualified medical expenses. If you start saving in an HSA early, it is possible to build up hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings that can be withdrawn tax-free. As with any retirement savings plan, it’s best to get started as soon as possible. The rules for eligibility can be complicated. Be sure to find a financial planner with tax expertise if you want to make a health savings account part of your plan for retirement. Matthew Treskovich is the Chief Investment Officer for CPS Investment Advisors. He can be reached at 863-


NEWS Continued From Page 20

FTC BUSTS STUDENT LOAN RELIEF SCAMMERS

related to student loan debt relief scams at ftc.gov/StudentLoans. Only scammers promise fast loan forgiveness, and they often pretend to be affiliated with the government. Consumers should never pay an upfront fee for help,

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The Underwriter’s Insider

and should not share their Federal Student Aid ID with anyone. Consumers can apply for loan deferments, forbearance, repayment, and forgiveness or discharge programs directly through the U.S. Department of Education or their loan servicer at no cost; these programs do not require the assistance of a thirdparty company or payment of application fees. For federal student loan repayment options, visit StudentAid.gov/repay. For private student loans, contact the loan servicer directly. The Commission vote authorizing the staff to file the complaint was 5-0. The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California entered a temporary restraining order in the case on November 4, 2019.

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NOTE: The Commission files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the named defendants are violating or are about to violate the law and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The case will be decided by the court. The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

DECEMBER 2019


NEWS - TECHNOLOGY

BLUE ORIGIN ANNOUNCES NATIONAL TEAM TO OFFER A HUMAN LANDING SYSTEM FOR NASA’S ARTEMIS PROGRAM

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oday, Blue Origin is proud to announce a national team to offer a Human Landing System for NASA’s Artemis program to return Americans to the lunar surface by 2024.

while providing the Descent Element that is based on the • multi-year development of the Blue Moon lunar lander

and provides flight avionics. “National challenges call for a national response. We are humbled and inspired to lead

Blue Origin has signed teaming agreements with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Draper. These partners have decades of experience supporting NASA with human space flight systems, launch vehicles, orbital logistics, deep-space missions, interplanetary navigation and planetary landings. Our combined Blue Origin’s founder, Jeff Bezos, announces the national team at the experience is uniquely 2019 International Astronautical Congress in Washington, D.C. Image: Blue Origin positioned to meet NASA’s needs for the Artemis and its BE-7 engine. this deeply committed team program. Each partner will bring • Lockheed Martin develops that will land NASA astronauts their industry leading solutions to the reusable Ascent Element on the Moon,” said Bob Smith, the following roles: vehicle and leads crewed CEO, Blue Origin. “Combining flight operations and training. our partners’ heritage with • Blue Origin, as prime contractor, • Northrop Grumman provides our advance work on the Blue leads program management, the Transfer Element vehicle Moon lunar lander and its BE-7 systems engineering, safety that brings the landing system and mission assurance, down towards the Moon. See Blue Origin Page 35 and mission engineering • Draper leads descent guidance DEDEMBER 2019

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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. Please read at your own risk.

ADVISOR

favorite news site on topics I’m even embarrassed to mention. Help! H.B. Dallas Texas.

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

Well, H.B., you are not alone, and the lack of productivity you describe is seems to be a serious national issue. A 2013 Focus: showed the average More Illusive Then Ever study person could concentrate for 12 seconds on a task ear Advisor: It’s 10:30 before being distracted and this morning and I the count had dropped to 8 haven’t accomplished seconds by 2018. a thing yet today. I did, however, spend 15 minutes Psychologist Caroline reviewing my Facebook Beaton stated in a recent But the human mind feed and sharing a couple of Independent UK column, “our continues to seek out data funny posts, until I spent 20 attention problem is due to 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 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

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DECEMBER 2019


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.

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. What’s the solution? • Manage all distractions. Isolate email, phone calls Want to laser-focus on your and social media access work tasks? There are a while in your time block. thousand experts, but they Stay off Internet unless mostly agree on a few key In a note, our work, especially strategies: it’s part of your task! Let repetitive, routine work, has co-workers know you are a lot of competition and • Set clear goals. Know battling distraction! (It will the result is expensive. The help keep them away from what you want/need to National Resource Center your desk.) Let all calls go accomplish today. on ADHD claims the cost • Prioritize your tasks! Begin to voicemail so you can of distraction to the nation review at the end of your with the most important ranges between $143 and time block. Obviously, and don’t move to the next $266 billion every year. you can monitor the task until you’ve done all incoming calls to watch you can on that task. For a highly distractible • Write it down! Check each for emergency or urgent personality, surfing the calls or instruct friends/ task off as you complete. Internet while on a work • Every smart phone has a schedule is like an alcoholic See Regain Your Focus Pg 45 DEDEMBER 2019

trying to stay sober while working as a bartender . The unlimited distractions may be just too much with which to contend.

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NOTABLE QUOTABLES IN THE NEWS - WITH COMMENTARY

SAY WHAT?

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“Who Woulda Thought...”

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he U.S. job market strengthened in November, as hiring jumped and unemployment fell to a halfcentury low, adding fuel to the economic expansion. Employers added 266,000 jobs in November—the fastest pace since 312,000 in January—and the jobless rate dipped to 3.5%, matching September as the lowest level since 1969, the Labor Department said Friday. Wages also advanced 3.1% from a year earlier. “This is a ‘who would have thought moment?’” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of staffing company ManpowerGroup’s North America division. “No one would have ever guessed we could be sitting at 3.5% unemployment with 110 months of job gains.” Sarah Chaney, economist, reporting in the early December Wall Street Journal apparently startled at the stellar economy developing under the Trump Administration. Who woulda ever thought that cutting corporate tax rates, cutting useless regulations, incentivizing jobs back to the USA, investing in aerospace and defense would have resulted in an economy so much more robust than the moribund economy of the Obama Administration?

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The Underwriter’s Insider

Who You Gonna Call When You Wreck Your Bugatti? igh net worth carriers, like Chubb and AIG, do not compromise when it comes to providing auto insurance policies with coverages and services that are needed when protecting some of the most unique and valuable vehicles. For example, these carriers will provide high liability limits, often up to $1 million, compared to middlemarket auto carriers, who might only offer $300,000 in liability limits. “ T h e y would also offer an optional coverage c a l l e d agreed v a l u e coverage, which means the vehicle owner agrees what the car is worth when the policy is written. If the vehicle is stolen or totaled, the insurer will write a check for that agreed value amount, regardless of the car’s age or mileage. If it’s a vehicle that the client thinks might appreciate in value over time, the carrier might ask them to get a periodic appraisal in order to bump up the agreed value coverage. It’s a really important coverage option for someone with a highvalue car.” Charley Graham, national high net worth

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business development executive at Orchid Insurance explaining some of the unique but essential differences when it comes to insuring high-value vehicles.

Three Feckless Old Ladies...

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REAKING: The Hill newspaper names 3 GOP senators as possible votes to convict Trump. Turns out they’re all legendarily feckless old ladies: Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, & Mitt Romney.”

they want to engage in this transaction? Or is the left so contemptuous of the poor they think their voters are incapable of making sound everyday decisions on their own? Perhaps it is the Washington politicians who are financially clueless here. Well, more than half of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck today. Oftentimes these workers have poor credit scores, so they can’t get a traditional loan or consumer credit from a bank. About 1 in 4 Americans without a credit card don’t qualify, or if they do, they ring up debt on their Visa card, which is far more expensive than opting for a short-term payday or online loan.”

Stephen Moore, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks in an article assailing Washington “do-goodism” as a bill cosponsored by Reps. Jesus Garcia, D-Ill., and Glenn Grothman, R-Wis. seeks to cap interest Author and conservative pundit Ann rates on short-term and emergency loans Coulter tweeting on the 3 GOP senators (payday loans) at 36 percent. reportedly breaking rank when the inevitable impeachment vote come to the U.S. Senate. Murderous, Radicalized Islamist Within a few hours the tweet had gained more than 16,000 likes and 4,000 retweets. The ’m against evil, and America as a comment was really a shot at Mitt Romney whole has turned into a nation who can’t seem to put the good of the country of evil. I’m not against you for just above his personal animus towards Trump. being American, I don’t hate you because [of ] your freedoms, I hate you because every day you [are] supporting, funding When You Ignore The Law of and committing crimes not only against Unintended Consequences Muslims, but also humanity....

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he bill would make it illegal for a lender to provide someone with a $250 cash advance and then pay back the loan a week later with a $10 fee. But why? Can’t consenting adults make up their own minds about whether

DEDEMBER 2019

Saudi serviceman Mohammed Saeed alShamran, from a twitter manifesto just hours before the man “against evil” killed three and wounded 12 innocent folks on the Pensacola Naval Base in a murderous rampage.

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BACK ISSUES

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DECEMBER 2019


BACK ISSUES

DEDEMBER 2019

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SPECIAL REPORT - AAA but the resulting forecasts only cover one country or region of the world. This is the first time a full global model exists to provide forecasts for the day ahead at this scale, resolution and frequency.

Leveraging IBM GRAF to help in Continued From Page 17 decision-making also requires technologies such as AI, cloud and analytics. Combining these additional technologies enables predictions from IBM GRAF to help power IBM weather offerings for A clearer sense of exactly when businesses and to drive weather and where impactful weather will content within IBM apps and surface can help when planning websites by The Weather Channel and preparing for weather. (weather.com) and Weather Whether it’s an airline, a utility Underground (wunderground. company, a daily commuter, a com). retailer, a government decisionmaker, or a farmer, IBM GRAF For more information about predictions can help people, The Weather Company, an IBM governments and businesses Business, visit https://newsroom. around the world make more ibm.com/the-weather-company. informed weather-related For more on IBM, visit IBM. com. Company and IBM, together decisions. with NCAR, the University of Wyoming’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and others applied OpenACC directives to MPAS to take advantage of NVIDIA V100 Tensor Core GPUs on an IBM Power Systems AC922 server.

IBM MAKES HIGH QUALITY WEATHER FORECASTS AVAILALBE WORLDWIDE

This is the world’s first global weather model to run operationally on a GPU-based high-performance computing architecture. A better picture of weather globally Other models may be highresolution or update often, 34

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DECEMBER 2019


CLAIMS & THE LAW Continued From Page 7

ZALMA

claim, KRS 13B.120 does not mandate an independent review of the entire record.”

Continued From Page 27

BLUE ORIGIN’S HUMAN LANDING SYSTEM engine, our team is looking forward to working with NASA in support of the Artemis program.”

On the strength of Strauss I, the court concluded the trial court erred in concluding KBML was required to review the entire administrative record and the failure to do so “Lockheed Martin has been constituted an abuse of discretion. honored to help NASA explore space for more than 50 years, The doctor’s right to practice in providing deep space robotic Kentucky was finally revoked after missions, planetary landers, space nine years of obfuscation. shuttle heritage and the Orion exploration spacecraft,” said Rick ZALMA OPINION Ambrose, executive vice president, A doctor who fails to deal reasonably Lockheed Martin Space. “We value with his patients and engages in Blue Origin’s thoughtful approach insurance fraud is anathema to the to developing human-rated flight medical profession. That he was systems, and are thrilled to be able to fight the action of the state part of a national team with this to revoke his license for ten years is a mix of innovation and experience. ridiculous abuse of the intent of the We look forward to safely and licensing law and establishes a need sustainably returning our nation to for improvement in the system and the surface of the Moon by 2024.” the actions of the courts. In this case, since there was evidence of criminal “Northrop Grumman’s conduct – insurance fraud – the commitment to put Americans purpose of the statutory scheme back on the moon dates back over could have been resolved by the 50 years ago with the delivery of arrest and conviction of the doctor. the first lunar lander for the historic Counsel for the doctor was right – Apollo Program,” said Blake Larson, there was no point in defending the corporate vice president and doctor. president of Innovation Systems, DEDEMBER 2019

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Northrop Grumman. “Along with our ongoing work on the Space Launch System boosters, astronaut escape system, and the Gateway habitat, we are proud to be a part of the Blue Origin national team to support NASA’s Artemis program and the ambitious goal to return to the moon by 2024.” “When the nation needs precision guidance, it calls on Draper,” said Kaigham J. Gabriel, President and CEO, Draper. “We guided Apollo to the moon and back nearly 50 years ago. We’re ready to do it again with the Blue Origin team for Artemis.” It’s time to go back to the Moon, this time to stay. -Gradatim Ferociter

FREE! free insider subscription! sign up yourself or any associate at this link

HERE

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 5

KIM KOMANDO

the right side of the menu bar at the top of your screen, or press Command + Spacebar to open a Spotlight window and start typing the first few letters to autocomplete “Activity Monitor.” Just press Enter to access the tool.

Similar to Window’s Task Manager, Mac’s Activity Monitor displays a list of all your open processes with Put simply, the Task Manager lists tabs for CPU, Threads, Idle Wake all of your computer’s current Ups and Network usage. tasks and how much processing power they’re using, measured in Learn these three troubleshooting Central Processing Units (CPUs). Mac shortcuts the pros use. Open up Task Manager and check the CPU and memory columns for If this happens when you are each process. on an iPhone, try a soft reset by You might find one process is using 100 percent – or close to it – of your CPU. Open up the program associated with the process and see what it’s doing. Restart the task and monitor it, but this program might be the culprit. Click here to learn powerful Windows Task Manager secrets for diagnosing and repairing slow computers. Mac: Use Activity Monitor The Mac equivalent to Task Manager is its built-in Activity Monitor. The quickest way to access the Activity Monitor is by using Spotlight Search. Click the magnifying glass on 36

The Underwriter’s Insider

background to generate profit for cybercriminals. These stealthy tactics use up bandwidth and the unauthorized data they consume should be fairly easy to spot. Do you want to save on your data consumption? Here are 5 steps to cut your data usage in half.

3. Videos suddenly buffer and webpages take forever to load

When a streaming video suddenly freezes, and your device appears to be “thinking,” this is called buffering. This annoyance holding the power and the home often happens, especially if button until it reboots with the you play a lot of videos or your Apple logo. This step can clear out Wi-Fi connection is weak. If it’s frozen apps that can be hogging happening a lot, or videos fail to play at all, you’re wise to suspect your memory. neighbors are piggy-backing on your connection. Click here for 2. You’re using way steps on how to check for Wi-Fi more data than usual thieves. Every internet provider has tools that can keep track of your monthly Then again, malware can also bandwidth consumption. Look at slow down your internet traffic by Data Usage Meter or Data Monitor, DNS hijacking. In short, hackers depending on your provider. can redirect your internet traffic Compare the amount of data to unsafe servers instead of used from the prior months, and if secure servers. This will not you notice sudden spikes in your only slow down your browsing data activity even though you experience; it’s also a serious haven’t changed your patterns, security risk. For example, if your then chances are you are infected. router’s DNS settings have been hijacked, each time you visit your For example, adware infected online bank’s website, you’ll be gadgets usually perform redirected to a phishing website unsolicited clicks in the instead. Table of Contents

DECEMBER 2019


TECHNOLOGY To check your router’s DNS settings, you can use an online tool. For more security, consider changing your DNS server to one with advanced hijacking protection like CloudFlare or Quad9.

Do you want to make your router is hack-proof? Click here for more tips.

4. Programs and apps start crashing Now, here is a clear sign that your system has been infected. If your antivirus software and task manager are either crashing or disabled, a nasty virus has likely taken a hold of your critical system files. You may not be able to click on once-reliable apps. In the worst case scenario, ransomware may prevent you from opening your favorite files. You can try and fix the problem by booting your gadget in Safe Mode. With Safe Mode, your DEDEMBER 2019

computer will be running with just the bare essentials. This way, you can safely delete and uninstall any programs and files that you can’t during normal operation.

of the buttons when the Apple logo is displayed.

Windows: On Windows, search for System Configuration then open it >> select Boot tab then tick off Safe Boot >>check Minimal (this is enough for most cases) >> click on OK to confirm >> Restart your computer.

Press and quickly release the volume up button, press and quickly release the volume down button then press and hold the side button and release when the Apple logo appears.

The iPhone X doesn’t have a Home button so the process is a bit different.

5. You start seeing pop-up ads

Click here for detailed steps on how to boot into Windows Safe Malware can also add bookmarks that you don’t want, website Mode. shortcuts to your home screen that you didn’t create, and macOS: On a Mac, press and hold down spammy messages that entice the Shift key while restarting you to click through. Apart from your computer. Keep holding the slowing down your gadget and key through the Apple logo and eating away at your data, these release when you see the login intrusive notifications can also install more malware on your screen. system. Android: Android also has its own version of Safe Mode but there are different ways to activate it, depending on your phone model. Click here to learn how. iOS: Stock iOS doesn’t have a Safe Mode but you can try a soft reset to fix most issues. To do this, press and hold both of your iPhone’s Home button and the Sleep button at the same time, wait for it to restart then let go Table of Contents

Criminals can also use DNS hijacking to modify the ads that you see while browsing. Instead of the regular ads that you should be getting, they can be replaced with inappropriate or malicious ones. On Windows, clean out adware with SpyBot Search & Destroy. On a Mac, use Malwarebytes for Mac. See Kim Komando Pg 45 www/underwritersinsider.com

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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

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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. 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 out to cover your news story. DECEMBER 2019


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.

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 8. About (Your Company) your piece, (remember, I It’s good to include a short charge for advertising) but “About ABC Company” at just as important, it will lack the end of your PR. Keep it credibility to the readers if it short and within the word just looks like a puff piece. limit for the entire piece. It’s okay to sound enthused Include contact info for about the topic and your “further information.” company, but the ideal PR 9. Make certain to place a will look as if your company copy of each PR on your made the news because of company website under some newsworthy event. your NEWS tab. The practice 6. Give me at least one quote, will make your site more e.g. “Frank’s extensive relevant to search engines experience in restaurant and more valuable to risks will bring a new depth visitors. to our commercial insurance department,” said John ow that you’ve created Smith, CEO... the perfect press 7. If appropriate, include release, where should an image, especially if you send it? the PR involves personnel or a mention or quote

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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.

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2019 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 116th annual convention, making it not only one of the largest, but one of the longest running events in US insurance history.

Click On The Image Below To View Booth Images

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2019 LAAIA CONVENTION TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE!

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he largest insurance trade fair in S. Florida, the Latin American Association of Insurance Agents pulled off another incredible event with their 48th annual convention and trade fair this August. This time no camera equipment issues and had time to shoot every booth.

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!

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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.”

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NEW INSURANCE CLAIMS BOOKS BY BARRY ZALMA The Making of an Insurance Claims Professional

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t is the insurance claims person - the adjuster - who meets with the person insured and works to keep the promises made by the insurance policy. The adjuster cannot, however, help the insurer keep the promises made unless he or she understands insurance, insurance claims, the types of claims presented and the law surrounding insurance and insurance claims. For the minimal cost of a paperback or Kindle book every insurer can place in the hands of their claims people information that will help them become professional, well trained, thoroughly educated claims professionals who are able to read and understand every insurance policy so that he or she is able to keep the promises made by the insurance policy. Read about these and many more insurance books by Barry Zalma at http://zalma.com/zalma-books/

• Construction Defects and Insurance • Zalma on Insurance Claims • Zalma on Insurance Claims Volume 101 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 102 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 103 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 104

• Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 105 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 106 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 107 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 108 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 109 • Zalma on Insurance Claims Part 110

VISIT ZALMA BOOKS NOW!

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 37

KIM KOMANDO

6. Your gadget suddenly restarts Automatic restarts are part of normal computer life. Software updates and new application installs can prompt you to reboot your computer. Your system will warn you when these happen, and you can delay or postpone them. Yet sudden restarts are a different story. With Windows 10, there’s a free malware detection and extraction program called Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. I recommend a Full Scan with this tool to verify that your computer is updated with the latest malware definitions.

7. Unexplained online activity Hackers covet your usernames and passwords. These details, coupled with social engineering tricks, can gain access to your banking accounts, your social DEDEMBER 2019

media profiles, and your online services. Keep an eye on your email’s “sent” folder and on your social network posts. If you notice emails and posts that you don’t remember sending or posting, it’s likely that you have been hacked. Constantly check your accounts for unauthorized activity including movies on your Netflix profile that you don’t remember streaming, mystery purchases that you haven’t made, songs on your Spotify list that you didn’t listen to, and credit card charges that came from nowhere.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved. Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls 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 Table of Contents

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REGAIN YOUR FOCUS!

schools to call on a special line. • Reward yourself with 5 minutes per hour of distraction time where you can indulge youself 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. 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! www/underwritersinsider.com

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Profile for The Underwriter's Insider

The Underwriter's Insider December 2019  

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

The Underwriter's Insider December 2019  

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

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