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IN THIS ISSUE JUNE 2019 VOL 15 ISSUE 6

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5 Ways To Uncover Incredible Amazon Deals

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A sinking Feeling Is Not Enough For Coverage

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Preparing Your Portfolio For Volatility

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Commercial Agents & Underwriters: Beware Tje ARC Flash Exposure

Georgia Insurance Commissioner Indicted in $2,000,000 Fraud Scheme

SPECIAL REPORT: AAA Reveals Key Deadly Behaviors For Teen Drivers As 100 Deadliest Days Begin

LA Insurance Agent Charged With Grand Theft And Forgery

Unlicensed Insurance Agent Sentenced To Jail Time For Stealing Nearly $30K From Clients California Wildfire Losses From November 2018 Top $12 Billion

Risk Strategies Acquires Mainstreet Consulting Group • Rep. Ilhan Omar Has Been Found Guilty of 6 Campaign Violations

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Ohio Busts Life & Annuity Agent In $500K Fraud

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Florida Announces 9 Arrests In Miami Following Joint Investigation Uncovering $600K Fraud

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Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis Demands Resignation of Commssioner Ronald Rubin

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Fitch: Insurers Well Placed To Weather 2019 Hurricane Season

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Independent Channel Growth Starts 2019 Strong - Group Benefits Shows Q1 Weakness, Reagan Reports

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Millennials And The Stinking Economic Rot Of Socialism

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AAU Announces Charlotte, NC Office Expansion

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Last Laugh: Wendy’s To Replace Minimum Wage Workers With Kiosks

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


Thue, Car crash 1, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

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Just A Little More On The Glories Of Socialism

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PC Gone Stupid? Check Out Microaggressions

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California Earthquakes Present Troubling Frequency

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Quest Diagnostics Data Breach Compromises Nearly 12 Million Customers’ Data

INSURANCE AND THE LAW PAGE SIX

SPECIAL REPORT! AAA Reveals Key Deadly Behaviors for Teen Drivers as “100 Deadliest Days” Begin

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

PG 42 FEATURES

2018 FAIA & LAAIA TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE! PG 44

5 6 8 21

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: © R Manera Custom Car Show


JUNE 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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JUNE 2019


TECHNOLOGY

5 WAYS TO UNCOVER INCREDIBLE AMAZON DEALS

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Really Cool Tech Info (and opinion) - From Kim Komando clothing shops and secondhand furniture stores. Amazon Warehouse is just that kind of place. Here, you’ll find returned and lightly used products that are still functional but don’t qualify as “new.”

or shoppers, Amazon is the ultimate rabbit hole. You can search for one item, but then you see another item, and another, and soon you’re careening through a maze of products and deals. All you wanted was a new rake, and 10 minutes later you’re wondering if there’s enough room in the pantry for a fondue warmer.

Conditions range from “Refurbished,” “Like New,” “Very Good,” all the way down to “Acceptable,” and the product information includes notes on what defects or blemishes to expect on a particular item.

Speaking of which, tap or click here for the best hightech kitchen gadgets this season. You could shop on Amazon for years without discovering special bargains and price cuts. Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there’s a universe of tips and tricks for saving money.

How do you find these fantastical price-drops? And what do you need to do to secure them? Here are five ways to unearth incredible deals on Amazon.

And on rare occasion, Amazon may even give you free stuff with 1. Shop the Amazon their Samples Program. Tap or Warehouse and Outlet click here to learn how to get free Some of us like to browse. We samples on Amazon. prefer used bookstores, vintage JUNE 2019

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Related: Did you know that you have a public profile on Amazon.com? Tap or click here to change five Amazon default settings to protect your privacy. As you might expect, you’ll find a treasure trove of electronics from video games and widescreen TVs to smart watches and Bluetooth speakers.

See Kim Komando Pg 40 www/underwritersinsider.com

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CLAIMS & THE LAW

A SINKING FEELING IS NOT ENOUGH FOR COVERAGE Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE insurance coverage for the loss of a yacht owned by William Burke, which sank at its dock on Smith Mountain Lake, behind Burke’s house. Progressive moved for summary judgment because it nsurance protecting against claims it had no duty to provide the risk of loss of a vessel – any coverage for that loss because whether it operates on inland Burke failed properly to winterize waterways or on the open sea – the yacht, which failure was the always requires that the insured cause of the damage. keep the vessel seaworthy. Failure to do so voids the coverage. Seaworthiness is usually defined Join Barry Zalma’s Blog: in the policy and must be proved http://www.zalma.com/blog by the insured.

Warranty of Seaworthiness is Essential

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In Progressive Gulf Insurance Company v. William Burke, Civil Action No. 7:18-cv-00293, United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia Roanoke Division (May 10, 2019) the USDC was asked to determine if Progressive Gulf Insurance Company is obligated to provide

as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). Therefore, the court deemed the facts set forth by Progressive undisputed.

The Sinking of the Yacht The yacht owned by Burke is a 2006 custom catamaran motor-yach (the Vessel). The Vessel includes two air conditioning units (the A/C units), which were installed more than ten years ago. According to the reports of Progressive’s two experts, the Vessel sank because it had not been properly winterized.

In particular, neither Burke nor his adult son, Travis—to whom Burke BACKGROUND had delegated winterization Progressive’s motion for summary tasks—properly winterized the judgment set forth a numbered A/C units. The manufacturer’s statement of undisputed facts. instructions required that all water Burke made no attempt to in the A/C units be replaced with respond to specific facts or to cite antifreeze and that the Vessel’s sea any specific portions of the record, cocks be closed. It is undisputed

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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The Policy Progressive issued a “Virginia Boat and Personal Watercraft” insurance policy (the Policy) to Burke. The Policy was an “Agreed Value Policy,” with a coverage limit of $150,000. The policy excluded from coverage a loss “that occurs because a covered watercraft has not been properly winterized in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, subject to local customs.”

DISCUSSION Under Virginia law, the interpretation of an insurance policy presents a question of law. Just as with any contract, the court must interpret the policy by determining the parties’ intent from the words they have used in the document.

The court determined that there was ample evidence to suggest that the loss was caused by a failure to winterize in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications, subject to local customs. The one marina manager at Smith Mountain lake who was willing to talk with Progressive’s expert For a watercraft to be considered likewise testified that customary seaworthy the policy required winterization for a vessel in the The policy required the vessel to be “seaworthy” which was defined as to be fit to “withstand the foreseeable and expected conditions of weather, wind, waves, and the rigors of normal and foreseeable use in whatever type of waters a watercraft will be located.”

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area included removing all water from systems, lines and fittings and replacing it with antifreeze – exactly what was recommended by the AC manufacturer. Because is it undisputed that neither Burke nor Travis followed the manufacturerr e c o m m e n d e d maintenance guidelines regarding winterization of the A/C units, the vessel was not seaworthy as that term is defined in the Policy. Because that failure was the undisputed cause of the loss, the loss and damages are not covered by the policy, under its plain and unambiguous terms and summary judgment was granted in favor of Progressive.

ZALMA OPINION The USDC, by Elizabeth K. Dillon United States District Judge, read a clear and unambiguous policy condition, applied the facts established by the insurer, and determined that the vessel sank because it was not properly winterized and was, therefore, not seaworthy as required by the policy. Insurance never provides indemnity against every possible risk of loss. All have conditions and exclusions, as did the Progressive policy. We read here another suit that could probably justify sanctions for bringing a frivolous suit. www/underwritersinsider.com

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https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=6668&picture=catamaran

that neither of these steps were the insured to exercise due taken. diligence to properly manage the watercraft; comply with all federal Because there was water left in safety standards and provisions; the Vessel’s raw-water inlet that and follow all customary and water froze. It then expanded and manufacturer-recommended caused part of the A/C system to maintenance guidelines. crack and break free of its mount. That, in turn, allowed lake water to enter the Vessel through its open seacock to flow unimpeded into and out of the broken strainer, flooding the Vessel until it sank.


ANALYSIS - FINANCIAL

PREPARING YOUR PORTFOLIO FOR VOLATILITY

By Matthew Treskovich, CPA/PFS, MBA, CFPÂŽ, CMA

T

he market has rebounded strongly from the fourth quarter correction. Since Christmas Eve, the S&P 500 Index has rallied 20%. For many investors, the market rally has allowed them to breathe a sign of relief. As the market begins to approach 8

The Underwriter’s Insider

new highs, long term investors should take the opportunity to review their investments and make adjustments if needed. Academic studies have proven emotional reactions to the market cause investors to make mistakes. One mistake many investors make is taking excessive risk. When the market is doing well, emotional Table of Contents

investors tend to underestimate the amount of risk they are taking. Then, when the market has correction, these emotional investors become fearful. Ultimately many succumb to the urge to sell into the downturn, locking in their losses. A few simple strategies can help investors avoid these mistakes.

JUNE 2019


Always start with a financial plan Individual investors saving for retirement should always start with their financial plan. Choose investments and take right the amount of risk to make your plan work. Investors who found the market corrections in 2018 tough to stomach should reconsider how much risk they are taking in the market. Taking less risk usually means lower returns. If you adjust your portfolio to reduce risk, understand how it will change your financial plan. The tradeoffs for a lower level of risk might involve saving more of your earnings while you are working or delaying retirement. Cutting expenses in retirement is another possibility, but this can be a riskier strategy than saving more while you are working.

Use asset allocation to manage risk One way to manage risk in a portfolio is by adjusting the asset allocation. Bonds are generally regarded as less risky than stocks. One way to reduce risk is to reduce the amount of stocks and increase the amount of bonds in the portfolio. Historically, bonds produce lower returns than stocks. You will need to update the expected rate of return in your financial plan if you change the asset allocation.

Keep emotions out of the process

Successful investors know that one of the keys to long term investing is taking emotions out of the process. Avoid making immediate changes to your asset allocation in response to moves in the market or external events. A well-built financial plan should not be changed in response to short term market events. Update the plan when your life changes, not when the tides of the market change. The best time to think about preparing your portfolio for market volatility is when the markets are up. The keys to achieving financial independence are having a solid financial plan, taking the right risks in the right places, and avoiding emotional decisionmaking. If you struggle with any of these, seek the services of an independent, fiduciary financial planner.

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.

JUNE 2019

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www/underwritersinsider.com

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RISK FACTORS: ARC FLASH

COMMERCIAL AGENTS & UNDERWRITERS: BEWARE THE ARC FLASH EXPOSURE! By Martin Perrone

been in over 500 buildings in the past four years and I’ve seen it first-hand.

commercial building owners learn about all the new laws, codes and federal regulations constantly being imposed upon them? Many rely on a licensed insurance agent to advise them while others appoint

General Duty Clause! (Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act) which requires an employer to furnish to its employees: employment and a place of employment which are

ARC Flash Safety - a Code of Federal Regulation

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a competent building manager rofessional licensed to help them protect their assets insurance agents and and limit their liability, which is Condominiums, water treatment company underwriters not always easy. Especially when plants, sports stadiums, high-rise understand that knowledge is it comes to matters most people office buildings, manufacturing power. Especially when it comes know very little about, like and medical facilities… most of them are not aware of OSHA’s to matters of legal “liability!” electricity! Unfortunately far too About the author: Martin “Marty” Perrone, many commercial moved to Palm Beach County in 1979 from insurance agents Miami. Marty is a Sandler Sales Institute and underwriters graduate, a veteran sales trainer of “PSS,” do not know about Professional Selling Skills by Xerox, a graduate a serious issue that of Wilson Learning “Managing Interpersonal recently came into the Relationships” and accomplished a 4.0 grade forefront. Arc Flash average for 4 years of “Industrial Inside Safety! Since 2014 Wiring” technical training. Marty was trained the subject has been as a “Certified TEGG Representative” for the topic of much Carpenter Electric in West Palm Beach, FL in 2012 and as such he conducts discussion with the Arc Flash Safety Training Programs for industrial and commercial property NFPA, OSHA and Fire managers, healthcare facility maintenance staff, variety of Organizations Marshals across the U. and associations like; AHCA, OSHA, BOMA, FHEA, FLSHCA, IAEI as well as Fire Marshals, Fire Inspectors and Fire Rescue Personnel. TEGG is an ABM S. owned Franchise respected around the world for training electricians Ask any Lawyer… and representatives who provide their unique and proven method they’ll tell you, there of Guaranteed Predictive/Proactive Electrical Inspections, Preventive is no excuse for Maintenance Solutions, the finest NFPA 70E Arc Flash Safety Training ignorance of the Law. programs and comprehensive Arc Flash Risk Assessments. Contact Marty But how can today’s at (561) 294-4886 or e mail him at martyp@carpenter-electric.com

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The Underwriter’s Insider

How do I know this? As a Certified TEGG Representative and the Director of Electrical Safety & Code Compliance for Carpenter Electric in West Palm Beach, I’ve Table of Contents

JUNE 2019


free from all recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to its employees.

practices” are in place, see to it electrical equipment is properly maintained to manufacturer’s specifications and ensure there is no evidence of impending Then again, some simply choose failure. to ignore this administrative law figuring it will never happen to So what is the best way to them... and if it does they’ll deal ensure every commercial with it then. Not a wise move! building owners’ facility is in full compliance with the NFPA What does this recently finalized 70E & OHSA’s new “CFR” code OSHA regulation mean to all “General Industry” building owners? It means; if you employ people to work in your building, it better be safe from all recognized hazards. Or if you hire an outside electrical contractor it’s the building owner’s responsibility to make sure the worker is fully trained in NFPA 70E codes.

is especially important for insurance underwriters, agents and building owners… because it will make sure everyone involved knows how to limit their liability when it comes to electricity.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, NFPA 70E, “Standards for Electrical Safety in the Workplace” these are just some of the codes: 110.1, 110.2, 200.1 and 205.3 that spell it out pretty clearly. The building owner or the owners designated representative is responsible for training, testing and documenting the training of qualified electrical workers.

Just Google motivational speaker and double amputee, Hector Picard who lost ¾ of his right arm and ½ of his left arm in an Arc Flash explosion several years ago in Miami Florida. You can find plenty of his videos on YouTube. Although his message “Don’t Stop Living” is quite inspirational, his life altering injuries were totally and completely avoidable!

The Sudden Release of Energy In an Arc Flash Can be Deadly

of federal regulation 29 CFR 1910.269, which became law on July 10, 2014? First, purchase a copy of NFPA 70E and read it. Then locate a competent NFPA 70E trainer in your area and schedule a comprehensive Arc Flash Safety Training seminar. What’s more, they must Upon completion, every develop a mitigation strategy attendees will understand what to reduce the risks of an Arc is expected of them and learn Flash explosion, make sure how to protect their assets; every measure has been taken buildings, employees, customers to ensure “safety related work and vendors. This knowledge

Therefore, if you are a licensed commercial insurance agent or a company underwriter and you wish to be viewed in your market place as a knowledgeable professional… make sure you know the truth, get the facts and advise your clients wisely. Arc Flash safety is a real problem in America. Far too many building owners and managers are hiring people or using outside socalled electricians who are performing electrical tasks without the proper training and documentation.

Need an Arc Flash inspection for a client or carrier you care about? Contact my friend Marty Perrone at (561) 2944886 or email him at martyp@ carpenter-electric.com


NEWS

FBI INVESTIGATION RESULTS IN INDICTMENT OF GEORGIA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM BECK CHARGED WITH $2,000,000 FRAUD SCHEME

“The grand jury seeks to hold Commissioner Beck accountable for taking advantage of his position at the Georgia Underwriting Association. Beck allegedly pocketed a substantial amount of money to which he was not entitled while he was the GUA General Manager for Operations,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “To be clear, the grand jury has charged Commissioner Beck with crimes that occurred before he was elected to his current public 12

The Underwriter’s Insider

themselves through fraud and deceit, accountable for their actions.” According to U.S. Attorney Pak and the indictment: From January 2012 until Beck was sworn in as Insurance Commissioner on January 14, 2019, Beck worked as the General Manager of Operations for the Georgia Underwriting Association (GUA) after being elected to that post by the GUA board of directors. GUA, located in Suwanee, Georgia, is an insurance association created Jim C. Beck, 57, Currently Suspended Georgia Insurance Commissioner as part of the Georgia Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) office.” law to provide high-risk property to homeowners “The FBI investigation found insurance that Beck abused the trust of located throughout Georgia. friends and his employer (GUA), in an elaborate scheme to enrich In addition to premiums himself at GUA’s expense,” said collected from its customers, Chris Hacker, Special Agent GUA is also funded by issuing in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The assessments to the association indictment is a testament to members, which include every the fact that the FBI will expend insurer authorized to write any all resources necessary to form of property insurance in the hold those who seek to enrich State of Georgia. Table of Contents

JUNE 2019

Zach191944, Jim C. Beck 1 , Cropped by AdMax, CC BY-SA 4.0

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TLANTA Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim C. Beck has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering. The 38-count indictment alleges that Beck stole more than $2,000,000 from his former employer, the Georgia Underwriting Association, during the five years just prior to Beck’s election to statewide office in November, 2018.


Companies A, B, C, and D. At Beck’s direction, his four associates paid the fraudulent invoices from a portion of the money they had been paid by GUA. All told, between February 2013 and August 2018, Beck defrauded GUA out of more than $2,000,000.

Georgia Underwriting Association Was The Victim of the Alleged Schemes

While Beck served as General Manager at GUA, he also maintained controlling financial interests in two businesses known as Creative Consultants and the Georgia Christian Coalition. Beginning in 2013, Beck allegedly talked four associates into forming four separate businesses which supposedly supplied necessary services including residential property inspections and water damage mitigation to GUA. These new businesses are identified in the indictment as Companies A, B, C, and D. Then, through an elaborate system of fraudulent invoicing which included producing false documentation and concealing the truth from his four associates, Beck regularly approved substantial GUA payments to the four new companies. Beck then allegedly sent fraudulent invoices from Creative Consultants and the GA Christian Coalition to JUNE 2019

Jim C. Beck, 57, of Carrollton, Georgia, was indicted on May 14, 2019. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The

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defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

HERE!

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. U.S. Attorney Pak and Assistant U.S. Attorney Brent Alan Gray, Deputy Chief of the Public Integrity and Special Matters Section, are prosecuting the case.

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SPECIAL REPORT - AAA

AAA REVEALS KEY DEADLY BEHAVIORS FOR TEEN DRIVERS AS “100 DEADLIEST DAYS” BEGIN Fatal teen crash rates show drinking and driving, speeding and distraction are among top killers on the road during summer

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ASHINGTON (May 30, 2019) – Over the past five years, nearly 3,500 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the 100 Deadliest Days, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the number of crash fatalities involving a teen driver historically rise. New crash data from 2013-2017 reveals major factors contributing to fatal teen crashes during the summer driving period include: • Speeding (28 percent) • Drinking and driving (17 percent) • Distraction (9 percent) “Crash data shows that teens are a vulnerable driver group with a higher probability of being involved in crashes,” said Dr. David Yang, Executive Director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “And while teens may make mistakes when first learning to drive, it is important to continue educating them about safety 14

The Underwriter’s Insider

behind the wheel so they avoid the reckless behaviors that put themselves and others at risk on the road.”

distraction are contributing to the alarming number of crash deaths involving teen drivers each summer.

AAA Foundation research found that nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel. Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer because teens are out of school and driving more. Over the past five years during the “100 Deadliest Days”:

Speeding

• An average of almost 700 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers. • The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 15-18 was 17 percent higher per day compared to other days of the year.

Speeding significantly increases the severity of a crash and is a growing problem among teen drivers. In the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, half (49.7 percent) of teen drivers reported speeding on a residential street in the past 30 days and nearly 40 percent say they sped on the freeway.

Drinking and Driving Despite the fact that teens cannot legally consume alcohol, one in six teen drivers involved in fatal crashes during the summer tested positive for alcohol.

Distraction Underreported Problem

Reckless behavior like drinking More than half of teen drivers (52 and driving, speeding and percent) in the AAA Foundation’s Table of Contents

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• Make a parent-teen driving how to avoid driver distraction agreement that sets family and other safety skills. rules for teen drivers. About AAA Foundation for Traffic “Teens should also prepare for Safety: Established in 1947 summer driving by practicing by AAA, the AAA Foundation safety during every trip,” said Dr. for Traffic Safety is a not-forBill Van Tassel, AAA Manager of profit, publicly funded, 501(c) Driver Training Programs. “Storing (3) charitable research and your phone out of reach, minding educational organization. The the speed limit, and staying away AAA Foundation’s mission from impairing substances like is to prevent traffic deaths Additional AAA Foundation alcohol and marijuana will help and injuries by conducting research using in-vehicle dash- prevent many crashes from ever research into their causes and cam videos of teen driver crashes occurring.” by educating the public about found distraction was involved strategies to prevent crashes in 58 percent of teen and reduce injuries crashes, approximately when they do occur. four times as many as This research is federal estimates. used to develop educational “Parents have plenty materials for to be concerned about drivers, pedestrians, as their teen hits the bicyclists and road this summer,” other road said Jennifer Ryan, users. Visit www. AAA Director of State A A A Fo u n d at i o n . Relations. “Teens org. are making deadly mistakes on the road. About AAA: AAA Parents are the best provides more line of defense to keep than 59 million everyone safe behind the wheel.” TeenDriving.AAA.com has members with automotive, a variety of tools to help travel, insurance and financial To keep roads safer this summer, prepare parents and teens services through its federation AAA encourages parents to: for the dangerous summer of 34 motor clubs and nearly driving season. The online AAA 1,100 branch offices across North • Talk with teens early and StartSmart program also offers America. Since 1902, the notoften about abstaining great resources for parents on for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA from dangerous behavior how to become effective in- has been a leader and advocate behind the wheel, such as car coaches as well as advice for safe mobility. Drivers can speeding, impairment and on how to manage their teen’s request roadside assistance, distracted driving. overall driving privileges. Teens identify nearby gas prices, locate • Teach by example and preparing for the responsibility discounts, book a hotel or map a minimize risky behavior of driving should enroll in a driver route via the AAA Mobile app. To when driving. education program that teaches join, visit AAA.com.

Thue, Car crash 1, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

latest Traffic Safety Culture Index report reading a text message or email while driving in the past 30 days and nearly 40 percent report sending a text or email. It is difficult for law enforcement to detect distraction following a crash, which has made distracted driving one of the most underreported traffic safety issues.


NEWS

LA INSURANCE AGENT CHARGED WITH GRAND THEFT AND FORGERY Willand also allegedly provided fraudulent certificates of liability insurance to the victim, falsely misrepresenting that the victim had insurance coverage when in fact OS ANGELES, Calif. — Richard the victim did not. This action left Brian Willand, 54, of Sylmar, the victim exposed to the danger voluntarily surrendered at of potential uninsured losses. The the Los Angeles County Superior department revoked Willand’s Court in San Fernando on a license on April 12, 2019. warrant for his arrest for alleged grand theft of insurance premium Willand was arraigned on May payments, forgery and fraudulent 23, 2019 at the San Fernando misrepresentation.

Agent allegedly stole from victim and failed to place insurance coverage

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Courthouse, pleading not guilty to all counts filed against him and released on his own recognizance. His next court hearing is scheduled for June 24, 2019. This case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and was filed under the “Enhanced Fraud – Non-Life and Annuity Producer Compliance” program.

On March 28, 2019, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed a criminal complaint against Willand for five felony counts encompassing one grand theft count under Penal Code Section 487(b)(3), three forgery counts under Penal Code Section, plus one count for misrepresentation under Penal Code Section 803(c). Evidence discovered by CDI’s investigators revealed that Willand, who was a licensed insurance agent at the time, allegedly committed grand theft by embezzling and misappropriating insurance premium payments meant for securing liability insurance coverage for a consumer. Willand allegedly stole $3,380 from the victim. 16

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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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JUNE 2019


NEWS

UNLICENSED INSURANCE AGENT SENTENCED TO JAIL TIME FOR STEALING NEARLY $30,000 FROM CLIENTS Unlicensed insurance agent sentenced to jail time for stealing nearly $30,000

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RESNO, Calif. — This week, unlicensed insurance agent Marlene Pineda, 34, was sentenced in Fresno County Superior Court to 95 days in jail and five years of probation after pleading no contest to grand theft. The conviction and sentence arose from an investigation of a consumer complaint received by the Investigation Division

of the California Department of Insurance. The complaint alleged that Pineda, who was not a licensed insurance agent, stole $1,107 in insurance premiums from a client. Investigators discovered that Pineda sold commercial and auto policies to an additional eight consumers, misrepresented their information on insurance applications and misappropriated premium funds for her own

personal use. As a result of her crimes, one victim, a commercial truck driver, suffered an uninsured loss in excess of $15,000. The total amount stolen from all victims was $28,707.12. The Fresno County District Attorney’s office prosecuted the case. The amount Pineda will be ordered in to pay in restitution will be determined at a later date.

CA WILDFIRE INSURANCE LOSSES FROM NOVEMBER 2018 BLAZES TOP $12 BILLION Department urges residents to check their coverage during Wildfire Preparedness Week SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Insured losses from the most destructive wildfire month in California’s history climbed $614 million in the first three months of the year, pushing total claims over $12 JUNE 2019

billion as of April. The increase in claims came as homeowners and businesses continue to assess damages from the Camp Fire in Paradise and Butte County and the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The Department of Insurance is releasing this data during Wildfire Preparedness Week (May 6-12) and urges homeowners and businesses to take a fresh look at Table of Contents

their insurance coverage. “While last year’s tragic wildfires turned thousands of people’s lives upside down, insurance is helping to rebuild and recover,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “With these recordbreaking fires still fresh in our memory, having the right insurance coverage for your home or business should be part of your preparation plan too.” www/underwritersinsider.com

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS Oak Street Funding Participates In Indy Honor Flights

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ak Street Funding (www. oakstreetfunding. com), a First Financial Bank company, encourages employee participation in charitable events. Oak Street employees have participated in three Indy Honor Flights which consist of one-day trips transporting WWII, Korea and Vietnam wartime veterans to Washington, D.C. to see their memorials, in-flight mail calls and elaborate homecoming celebrations upon their return. Indy Honor Flight is a nonprofit organization created solely to honor Indiana’s veterans for their service and sacrifice. Oak Street Funding employees have played and continue to play a role in these special one-day events. 18

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Stay Fat - Avoid Dementia?

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n a large health care study involving almost 2 million individuals conducted in the U.K., researches came across surprising results as they related body weight to the risk of dementia. The data suggests that underweight folks are at the highest risk of developing dementia while

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heavier souls, including those considered morbidly obese, had a significantly lower risk. The risk decreased as the BMI increased, leading researchers to speculate there may be some protective effect with increased body weight although they cautioned that being overweight may lead to early death from other causes.

JUNE 2019


THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS Risk Strategies Acquires Mainstreet Consulting Group

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isk Strategies, a privately held, rapidly growing national insurance brokerage and risk management firm, today announced it has acquired MainStreet Consulting Group, a north Houston-based brokerage. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Established in 2003 and headquartered just outside of Houston in Conroe, TX, MainStreet Consulting Group is primarily focused on placing a wide variety of coverage types for commercial clients. In its commercial business, MainStreet services clients in a variety of industries, from manufacturing to construction. While many are well-represented in Risk Strategies’ current client base, a number represent new fields for the company, including the energy industry, a major business in Texas.

JUNE 2019

Universal Life & Whole Life Reach Top With Double-Digit Sales Growth

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otal voluntary sales in 2018 for all product lines was $8.513 billion, according to Eastbridge’s annual U.S. Voluntary/ Worksite Sales Report. This represented an increase of 4.5% compared to 2017. Universal life / whole life (UL/ WL) and critical illness had double-digit sales growth. Term life was again the topselling product line this year, followed by dental, accident, short-term disability, and then critical illness.

ILHAN OMAR HAS BEEN FOUND GUILTY OF 6 CAMPAIGN VIOLATIONS

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uslim Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, already under fire for multiple anti-Semitic statements has been found guilty of 6 serious campaign violations. According to columnist Steven Ahle writing in

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s t e a d f a s t a n d l o y a l. c o m , “If she were a Republican, her punishment would have been much worse, nevertheless, Ilhan Omar was found guilty of 6 campaign violations including five cases in which she improperly used campaign funds to pay for travel and hotel expenses that are forbidden by campaign finance law. She also used campaign funds to pay for her immigration and tax records that were not campaign expenses. She was only fined $500 and told to pay $3,469 fine for the unauthorized expenses. There are now questions about her income tax filings. She may have committed tax fraud in eight separate years. Omar was married to her brother from 2009-2017, but she filed a joint return with Ahmed Hirsi in at least 2014 and 2015. Unmarried couples are not recognized as people who can file a joint return and in those two years, Omar was married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, who is allegedly her brother in a possible immigration fraud case.” www/underwritersinsider.com

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NEWS

OHIO BUSTS LIFE & ANNUITY AGENT IN $500,000 FRAUD; ISSUES CEASE AND DESIST Department of Insurance Issues Cease & Desist Orders against Milford, Ohio Insurance Agent

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“Mr. Oliver violated the trust of his clients, he harmed Ohio consumers, and now we are holding him accountable for his actions,” said Jillian Froment, Director of the Ohio Department of Insurance. “Thanks to the work of our investigators, we were able to uncover Mr. Oliver’s fraudulent scheme and now we are working to prevent him from doing business in Ohio.”

OFS, a licensed insurance agency located in Milford, Ohio.

After receiving a tip, the department initiated an investigation, and as a result of the investigation, obtained evidence to support that from at least 2014 through 2018, Oliver withheld, misappropriated or converted more than $500,000 from numerous consumers It’s alleged that from at least 2014 and their accounts without their knowledge through 2018, Oliver withheld, or consent.

OLUMBUS–Citingevidence of misappropriating more than $500,000 from Ohio consumers, utilizing forged documents, and causing policyholders to designate himself as the beneficiary of annuities he sold, the Ohio Department of misappropriated or converted more than Insurance took action $500,000 from numerous consumers and their against Milford, Ohio accounts without their knowledge or consent insurance agent Gregory and he submitted fabricated documents to Oliver and his company, Oliver Financial Services insurance carriers in order to be designated Corporation (“OFS”). as the beneficiary of insurance policies he The department issued two orders against Oliver and OFS commanding Oliver to immediately cease his fraudulent, coercive, and dishonest practices. In addition, the department initiated proceedings to revoke his ability to operate under Ohio’s insurance laws.

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had established or serviced.” Gregory Oliver obtained his Ohio insurance license in 1989 and holds numerous appointments with insurance carriers who offer life insurance and annuity products. He is the President of

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In addition, evidence supports that he submitted fabricated documents to insurance carriers in order to be designated as the beneficiary of insurance policies he had established or serviced.

The Department urges anyone who may have concerns about business dealings they have had with Mr. Oliver to call 1-800-6861527 or visit www.insurance.ohio. gov to file a complaint.

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NEWS - AUTOMOTIVE

FLORIDA ANNOUNCES 9 ARRESTS IN MIAMI FOLLOWING JOINT INVESTIGATION UNCOVERING $600,000 IN FRAUD The investigation remains open and ongoing and more arrests are expected.

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IAMI – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis joined Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan J.

dubbed “Operation Rubicon.” Arrests include individuals and business owners allegedly involved in a large-scale organized scheme to defraud insurance companies out of more than $600,000 in

who are the ringleaders of an elaborate fraud scheme, with more arrests to come. I will not stand by and let Floridians pay for higher insurance rates because of criminals gaming the system. Through my Fraud

Florida Announces 9 Arrests in Miami Following Joint Investigation Uncovering $600,000 in Fraud

Perez to announce the arrest fraudulent insurance claims. of nine individuals following over a year-long joint CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Today, insurance fraud investigation we arrested nine individuals 22

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Free Florida initiative, we are expanding our investigative efforts to protect Florida from scam artists. I thank the MiamiJUNE 2019


Dade Police Department and State Attorney Rundle for coming together with my fraud detectives and bringing these individuals to justice.” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said, “Effective crime-fighting always relies on effective crime-fighting partnerships. As this case shows, our great partnership with CFO Patronis’ fraud detectives and the MiamiDade Police Department will continue to round up those who feel they can get away with the costly crime of insurance fraud. All involved homeowners and fraud organizers who feel this is JUNE 2019

an easy crime will face justice.” The joint fraud investigation was initiated after several insurance companies notified authorities of suspected fraudulent residential insurance claims in the South Florida and Tampa areas. Detectives believe that The Rubicon Group, a public adjusting company owned by Barbara Maria Gonzalez, committed organized fraud and grand theft. Gonzalez allegedly utilized the services of unscrupulous Florida companies, including water mitigation and restoration companies, insurance agencies and agents, appraisers, Table of Contents

and willing homeowners to allegedly commit the fraud. The investigation remains open and ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Arrests made so far include: • • • • • • • • •

Barbara Maria Gonzalez Rafael Exposito Rigoberto Lopez Ricardo Alvarez Jose Gonzalez Romy Valdespino Rodriguez Alessandra Kruger Alicia Pardey Ricardo Tello

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NEWS

FLORIDA CFO JIMMY PATRONIS DEMANDS RESIGNATION OF COMMISSIONER RONALD RUBIN

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ALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis today issued the following statement demanding the resignation of Office of Financial Regulation Commissioner Ronald Rubin: “After a briefing of the Inspector General’s preliminary findings of the recent allegations against Mr. Rubin and reviewing newlypublished news reports including those of sexual harassment allegations at his previous job, I am requesting that he immediately resign the position of Commissioner for the Office of Financial Regulation. “If I could remove Mr. Rubin from office myself, I would. But, this is

a Cabinet-appointed position that would require Cabinet action. It should not come to that. Mr. Rubin’s actions are alarming and cannot be tolerated in any work environment, especially one of public trust. He should do the right thing and step aside to allow the people’s business to continue to move forward without further distraction.”

Rubin claims Mitchell confronted him and said, “What the hell is Rubin was placed on wrong with you? She said you administrative leave earlier after called her incompetent! Her an investigation into a sexual- qualifications are irrelevant. You harrassment complaint had were just supposed to hire her!” been initated against the Office of Financial Regulation of which Mitchell responded in an email Rubin is the commissioner. and said: “I won’t dignify Mr. Rubin’s largely fictional written Rubin issued an 11-page account with a point-by-point statement rebutting the charges rebuttal.”

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and blaming the complaints on a powerful industry lobbyist, Paul Mitchell, who was unhappy with Rubin’s decision to not hire a the “ex-wife of a former Leon County commissioner as general counsel or for another top position,” telling her she wasn’t qualified to be the agency’s enforcement director.

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NEWS

FITCH RATINGS: INSURERS WELL PLACED TO WEATHER 2019 HURRICANE SEASON

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itch RatingsChicago-03 June 2019: With the 2019 hurricane season underway, U.S. property/casualty (P/C) insurers are well placed to weather the landfall of a significant storm, according to Fitch Ratings. Despite significantly higher losses in 2017 and 2018, aggregate U.S. industry policyholders’ surplus grew by 6.2% over the two-year period to $757 billion as of YE 2018. “Given insurers’ substantial capital positions, it would likely take a record individual storm loss or a confluence of significant loss events, which could include catastrophes, investment losses and adverse loss reserve experience to impair insurers enough to warrant downgrades,” says Chris Grimes, Director of Insurance at Fitch Ratings.

claims costs and loss a d j u s t m e nt expenses begin to fall. Those savings may be passed back to policyholders in the form of lower rates. However it’s uncertain whether those savings will ultimately affect reinsurance important to insurers and coastal residents than the number of pricing. storms forecast. Determining those expects traditional factors remains highly uncertain, Fitch reinsurance capital to remain making insurers’ vigilance in managing catastrophe exposures strong in 2019 as the sector has demonstrated resilience to the and risk aggregations essential. elevated catastrophe losses experienced in recent years. With another severe storm in the realm of possibility for 2019, However, the use of alternative Hurricane prone Florida faces capital has continued to grow in potentially larger losses over time 2019 and the catastrophe bond given population growth and rising market has seen large national coastal property values. However, sponsors driving catastrophe Florida’s passage of Assignment- bond issuance along with smaller of-Benefit (AOB) reform earlier insurers with high risk property in 2019 could blunt the impact exposure expanding their use of if abuse of homeowner policies insurance-linked securities.

Although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts average levels of hurricane activity this season, the number of storms making landfall and their intensity are more moderates JUNE 2019

and

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NEWS

INDEPENDENT CHANNEL GROWTH STARTS 2019 STRONG - GROUP BENEFITS SHOWS Q1 WEAKNESS, REAGAN REPORTS

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TLANTA (May 17, 2019) - The new year is under way and organic growth remains solid among agents and brokers in the independent insurance channel.

projecting 6.0% organic growth quarterly growth posted by the for 2019, down slightly from the industry for the last 17 quarters 7.0% growth prediction noted in (Q4 2014 was 7.0%). the year-end 2018 OGP survey.

Commercial P&C commission and fee income (excluding However, "some interesting contingent income) led the subplots" are emerging that organic growth charge in the could mitigate the optimism, first quarter, "delivering an especially in the employee impressive 6.9% growth result, benefits sector, a c c o rd i n g to Reagan Consulting's Organic Growth and Profitability (OGP) survey for the first quarter (Q1) of 2019. Overall, Q1 organic agency growth totaled 5.3%, down just slightly from the 5.6% organic growth in Q1 2018, Reagan reports. This quarter's 5.3% organic growth result is the lowest quarterly result in the past five quarters. Survey 26

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Commercial Lines Very Strong

Higher premiums and a growing U.S. economy appear to be the primary levers for Q1 growth in commercial lines, the Reagan survey found. The quarter's 3.2% GDP growth result, which also exceeded expectations, "served as a welcome turnaround from the 2.2% GDP growth result posted in Q4 2018," Doran says.

Here's another encouraging up nicely from last year's 6.0% trend, Doran adds: GDP for first quarter tally," says Tom Q1 was the best start to a year Doran, senior vice president since 2015. "If agents and and partner of Reagan. Even brokers are not growing their more notable: The Q1 result is commercial books of business are the highest commercial lines in this environment, there's Table of Contents

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no blaming markets or the economy."

Benefits Slowdown Doran called the respondents' responses on group benefits growth an "unexpected and unwelcome outlier" in an otherwise positive OGP report. Benefits grew by only 3.8% in the first quarter, roughly half the growth result posted in Q1 2018 (7.3%). "This disappointing firstquarter result was the lowest quarterly growth posted by benefits since early 2013," he said. "It is too early to tell if this growth slowdown is anything more than a bump in the road." Doran speculated on some reasons for the slow growth in group benefits: • The ongoing siege by p r i vate e q u i t y investors on middle-market companies continues to result in attrition challenges. • More competitive (and potentially loss-leading) fee-based compensation approaches from national brokers on large and middlemarket group benefits JUNE 2019

business continue to create retention challenges for independent agents and brokers. • Larger middle-market insurance clients increasingly are seeking relief from rising health insurance costs by exploring the use of HSAs, self-funded plans, highvalue/narrow network plans, and more -- all of which put additional competitive pressures on premium growth and, in many cases, broker compensation.

Personal Lines 'Success Story' Personal property/casualty has been a real success story lately, Doran noted. "Historically, the personal lines modus operandi has been slow growth (flat to 2.5%) with high profit margins (mid-20s and higher). If done well, personal lines is a slowgrowth cash cow." This changed in 2018, Doran adds, when personal lines managed to grow organically by 3.9%, the highest annual growth ever recorded in the OGP for this sector.

"Deliberate g r o w t h investments and a continued focus on highend business by agents and brokers, when combined with rate, delivered the goods in a big way in 2018," Doran says. "The good times for personal lines "The cyclical nature of our continued into 2019, with a 3.0% business yet again demonstrates growth rate in Q1, down a bit the value of a diversified from last year's Q1 result (3.9%), insurance brokerage that can but still above historical norms. deliver strong overall growth, even amid a downturn by one of the other core business units," See Channel Growth Strong Page 38 Doran notes. Table of Contents

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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.

Millennials & The Stinking Economic Rot Of Socialism

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y son is in his third year at Rutgers, thinks Socialism is a great idea for America and plans to vote for Bernie Sanders for president. Help! G.H. Dallas, TX

ADVISOR

are better than square wheels - ruination of Argentina under while keeping a straight face. the socialist Perons, once the third largest economy in the With over a century of history world. & experience to draw on, it is almost inconceivable that anyone with a working brain would argue Socialism (Communism Lite) is any better for a country than, say, Thanksgiving is for a turkey. The Venezuelan experience, Yet history is your best provides an even clearer argument. For one of the most reason to reject the scourge of graphic, historical illustrations Socialism. Ever since Castro of how Socialism can destroy ally Hugo Chavez took power in a country, pass along this 1999 and continuing through short video detailing the utter the current term of his mini-

I just hope he isn’t majoring in Economics! Your son will probably come to his senses in a couple of years after graduation when his brain will harden and real world experience will supplant the deluge of Marxist contempt for economic realty he has been subjected to in academia. Having a serious conversation with an advocate of Socialism is difficult - because the argument is just too damn simple. It’s like having to argue that round wheels 28

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me President Nicolas Maduro, you, 2) It almost always comes the country has turned hard with a personality cult that ends Socialist, destroying its once prosperous economy and Having a serious impoverishing its people - who conversation now stand in line for hours, with an advocate under the rifles of federal troops, of Socialism is difficult to buy a roll of toilet paper or a because the argument is loaf of bread. Watch the little just too damn simple. It’s video below of shopping in the like having to argue that Socialist paradise of Venezuela: Another shocking video HERE.

round wheels are better than square wheels - while keeping a straight face.”

Take your Millennial to his Safe Space and point out these 8 in a paranoid, delusional dictator key realities of Socialism: who will kill to stay in power, 3) it requires a massive growth 1) Socialism begins with the of government bureaucracy politics of envy - you must hate while shrinking the value of the rich because whatever they the individual to zero, 4) under have must have been stolen from Socialism “fairness” means equal JUNE 2019

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outcome, not equal opportunity, 5) the centralized control of the economy that comes with Socialism will inevitably cause shortages, job loss, inflation, & poverty, 6) it feeds on people’s greed and the desire for FREE tuition, housing, medical care, etc., 7) the promised freebies will soon bankrupt the government, and, 8) when Socialism inevitably fails, its proponents will always call for MORE Socialism as the cure! Meanwhile, free-market Capitalism, while not perfect, has easily brought more wealth to more people of every class than any other system. Hey Millennial - want to build on something? Built on that! www/underwritersinsider.com

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NEWS

AAU ANNOUNCES CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA OFFICE EXPANSION

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strengthen her agency relationships in North and South Carolina.

AU, a division of USG Insurance Services, Inc., is pleased to announce the expansion of operations to Charlotte, North Carolina with launch of a new office. Linda Cable, Producer/Broker: Commercial Lines, Shana Wicklund, Producer/Broker: Personal Lines, and Teresa Mapp, Producer/Broker: Personal Lines, will reside in the Charlotte office as it continues to grow in size.

Wicklund has 10 years of experience in the insurance industry. Shana previously held the position of Account Executive in Binding and Brokerage at Brown & Brown Hull & Co. in Charlotte. At AAU as Producer/ Broker, Shana will work to develop AAU’s personal lines division, build her book of business, and expand AAU’s national personal lines footprint. Cable joined the USG team with 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, most recently in her past position as commercial agency manager with AAA of The Carolinas. In her new role, Linda will develop USG’s presence in North and South Carolina, offering admitted and non-admitted commercial lines products. 30

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Mapp brings 12 years of experience in the insurance industry, mostly in the personal lines sector, previously holding the position of personal associate underwriter at iVantage Group in Charlotte, NC. In her position as Producer/Broker at AAU, Teresa will assist with the development of AAU’s personal lines division, as well as work to Table of Contents

This move is the most recent change that AAU has implemented in its plan to expand operations nationwide and continue to provide innovative solutions for the risk management industry.

About AAU Allied American Underwriters (AAU) is a program manager that offers programs for commercial lines to USG retail agents and other distribution channels i.e.: wholesale and direct. There are five divisions: Workers Compensation, Programs, Specialty, Personal Lines, and Commercial Surety. AAU is a division of USG Insurance Services, Inc.

JUNE 2019


NEWS - OPINION

LAST LAUGH: WENDY’S TO REPLACE MINIMUM WAGE WORKERS WITH KIOSKS

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roving once again that nothing is more agile than the free market, Wendy’s hamburger chain has announced it will be installing kiosks in more than 6,000 places to replace mostly minimum wage workers in response to initiatives that more than double the minimum wage in many venues.

The tired old line heard from activists is “No one can raise a family on minimum wages!”

Obviously so, but anyone so ill-prepared for life as to be raising a family on minimum wage has issues that go beyond income. The vast majority of minimum wage earners, however, are young Reportedly, none of the Wendy’ people entering the workforce, kiosks will be joining a union, require most probably living with health care insurance, cigarette parents or partners. breaks, payroll tax, workers’ comp or pregnancy leaves. When one In a free-market economy day the kiosks need to be upgraded consumers should dictate values, or replaced, they will not claim not screaming protestors or discrimination or unemployment. bureaucrats. Any governmentSo far, none of the kiosks has been imposed minimum wage is rude to a customer. a perversion of free-market principals - and frees unskilled In an era when technology can workers from the incentive to easily replace unskilled labor, foolish improve their product; to bring activists leading greedy workers more value to their employers. are giving employers every reason to consider alternatives to human Politics aside, businesses labor. As any employer knows, $15 will always need to make a per hour wages really means at least profit while keeping prices $30 per hour employer cost when all competitive. Any initiative that the ancillary costs of human labor are ignores this reality is doomed to factored in. Unskilled labor is simply fail - and fail those it deems to pricing itself out of the marketplace. help. JUNE 2019

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NOTABLE QUOTABLES IN THE NEWS - WITH COMMENTARY

SAY WHAT? And Just a Little More On The Glories of Socialism...

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he champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office.” Ludwig von Mises, renowned economist

They Are Contemptible Thieves

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people seeking all inclusive prosperity with an error in political means. It is only social contempt that leftists cannot survive, as contempt replaces their social credibility of misguided but good intentioned people, a deceit upon which leftists and all of their politics are totally dependent.” Blogger JR commenting after an interview on CNN.com wherein candidate Bernie Sanders laid out in detail all the “free” stuff he plans to hand out to his supporters should the country be foolish enough to elect him President. BTW, In the liberal lexicon, “free” means someone else is paying for it.

Power To The People? Or Power To The State?

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ocialists cry ‘Power to the people’, and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean--power over people, power to the State.” Margaret Thatcher, Former British Prime Minister and champion of freedom.

rillions of pages have been written about the “errors” of socialism, none of them effective, as the only way to defeat the entire left, once and for all, is with a global recognition that they are contemptible thieves, using politics to take whatever they want, from whoever has it, and not decent “It’s All Free! Free I say! Free!”

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Because Common Sense And Liberalism Don’t Mix

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his is the greatest country in the world, this is the greatest people in the world, but sometimes we forget common sense. We’ve got to stop rewarding bad behavior in America. When people don’t work and produce, then they

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need to get kicked to the curb. Get a damn From a recent www.hotair.com column job. Carry your own weight.” satirizing the latest idiocy rolled out by the Progressive thought police on the rest of Dr. Phil discussing the case of a wanna-be rock us: Microaggressions. Microaggressions star, a guest on his show named Kris, 43, who are formerly innocent phrases/sayings then had been chasing a dream when vocalized now are deemed racist, of becoming a “rock star” oppressive, misogynistic and offensive. We since a child, impoverishing were just too stupid to realize it until the his family in the process. wack-doodle academic leftists pointed it out. While the Dr’s advice was The perpetrators of these microaggressions spot-on and would apply to are always heterosexual male white folks more than a few Millennials, (surprise!) and the victims are everybody else. he should have saved some It seems a regular white male, marinated since criticism for the enabling family that allowed birth in “white privilege,” can hardly walk out Kris so much latitude. of the house and say “good morning,” without becoming a microaggressor! Oh the guilt!

PC Gone Stupid? Microaggressions...

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y favorite [microaggression] is “gender plays no part in who we hire,” a policy feminists have spent decades demanding from American businesses only to dismiss it now as aggressively sexist, a self-delusion promoted by the corporate world to disguise their bias against women. Gender inescapably plays a part in who they hire; the only way to cure the bias is with quotas. That explains why “I believe the most qualified person should get the job,” an antiquota philosophy, is microaggressive. But … if you hired a women and emphasized that you don’t necessarily think the most qualified person should get the job, wouldn’t that be microaggressive? Show of hands, ladies: Who wouldn’t be insulted at being told by your new boss that you were brought on in the name of “social justice,” not because you were the best candidate who applied?”

JUNE 2019

California Earthquakes Present Troubling Frequency

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eople ought to be concerned. This is probably the most prolific swarm in that area of the Fontana seismic zone that we’ve seen in the past three decades. This is somewhat of an unexpected evolution. Furthermore, an analysis of the earthquakes shows that activity as of late Friday was fading pretty slowly — slower than would be expected for a typical sequence of aftershocks following a main shock. That would suggest it’s going to continue for — I don’t know — at least several weeks. We’re watching what’s happening and trying to track that activity.” Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson expressing concern in early June over more than 700 earthquakes recorded in the Fontana, CA area since May 25 - from magnitude 0.7 to magnitude 3.2.

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BACK ISSUES

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BACK ISSUES

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NEWS Continued From Page 27

INDEPENDENT CHANNEL GROWTH STARTS 2019 STRONG - GROUP BENEFITS SHOWS Q1 WEAKNESS Rate remains positive overall and a strong U.S. economy should allow for continued aboveaverage growth in 2019."

Profitability Improving Across the Board In terms of profitability, the independent agency channel looks solid. "Profitability results for the IA channel through the first quarter are always somewhat misleading, as p/c contingent income, which falls straight to the bottom line as profit, is heavily weighted in the first half of the year," Doran notes. "Agency profit margins are at their highest levels early in the year and then taper off as 38

The Underwriter’s Insider

the year progresses. Even so, the year-over-year Q1 profitability data can illuminate some interesting trends."

"The industry is as healthy it's been in recent memory," Doran concludes. "The massive M&A land grab and associated record valuations are nothing Through Q1, agency EBITDA more than a confirmation of profitability ticked up slightly, the incredible value of this from 26.9% in Q1 2018 to distribution system. There may 27.8%. This was likely driven in never have been a better time large part by much-improved to be an independent insurance supplemental income (i.e. agent or broker." contingencies and overrides) results year-to-date. In Q1 2018, Reagan Consulting has supplemental income was down conducted its quarterly 2.5%. survey of agency growth and profitability since 2008, using Through the first quarter of confidential submissions from 2019, supplemental income nearly 200 midsize and large is up 6.2%. "Not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but these agencies and brokerage firms. supplemental income results Approximately half of the are somewhat surprising in industry's 100 largest firms light of the natural disasters and participated in this quarter's wildfires that plagued the nation survey. The OGP survey is the industry's preeminent survey of in 2018," Doran observes. midsize and large privately held But the OGP study shows more brokers. good news on the profitability front. Marginal operating For further information and contact Tom profitability (which excludes commentary, supplemental income) also Doran at Reagan Consulting, was up nicely through the first 404.869.2532 or tom@ quarter (11.6% versus 9.9% reaganconsulting.com. in Q1 2018). "If agents and brokers continue to drive these Each participating agency technological and operating receives a customized, efficiency improvements and confidential report of its year-to-date supplemental performance compared with income results continue to trend the overall survey results, positive, 2019 could be shaping along with Reagan's quarterly up to be a very profitable year commentary of industry for the industry," Doran says. trends affecting agents and Table of Contents

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NEWS brokers. For information on participating in the OGP survey, contact Michelle Appelbaum at 404.233.5545 or michelle@ ReaganConsulting.com.

About Reagan Consulting: Reagan Consulting is a management consulting firm providing strategic consulting, valuation, and merger-andacquisition (M&A) services to the independent insurance distribution system. The firm's services for insurance agents and brokers, bank-owned agencies and other participants in the insurance distribution marketplace include: appraisals of fair market value, capital raise advisory, mergers and acquisitions advisory, ownership perpetuation planning, strategic planning facilitation, key employee compensation and equity plan design, and agency performance benchmarking. Reagan Consulting codeveloped the well-known Best Practices Study and produces the quarterly Organic Growth & Profitability benchmark survey.

QUEST DIAGNOSTICS DATA BREACH COMPROMISES NEARLY 12 MILLION CUSTOMERS’ PERSONAL INFO

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ALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warns consumers about reports of a recent data breach at Quest Diagnostics, one of the largest blood testing providers in the country. Initial reports indicate nearly 12 million customers may have had personal, financial and medical information breached due to an issue with a contractor’s billing vendor.

often. Reviewing your recent account activity is fundamental to credit card safety. Most companies allow you to review transactions online or by phone. If your credit card company offers email or text alerts regarding unusual activity, sign up now.

1. Check your credit card activity

See Quest Data Breach Pg 49

2. Consider a credit freeze. If you believe you’ve been the victim of identity theft, consider placing a free credit freeze CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Data on your credit file with each breaches are a scary reality of the three credit reporting Americans constantly face. agencies (Equifax, Experian and Florida ranks first in fraud TransUnion) to further prevent and fourth in identity theft unauthorized credit report nationwide, so I encourage all activity. Floridians to take proactive steps to protect their financial 3. Monitor credit reports. and health related information. Constantly check your credit It’s important to keep your guard report for any accounts that up and to defend yourself and scam artists may have opened ReaganConsulting.com your family from data crooks.” in your name. Credit reports 404.233.5545 are available free of charge, info@ReaganConsulting.com from each of the three national Reagan Consulting: 3495 5 Tips to Protect Your credit reporting agencies Piedmont Road, NE, Building Personal Financial 10, Suite 920, Atlanta, Georgia Information: 30305

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TECHNOLOGY The word “coupon” conjures up images of cutting apart newspapers at the kitchen table. Amazon coupons are much simpler than that. You don’t have to collect and organize little slips of paper the way your grandmother You may shake your head at does. Instead, you can just visit the 20% savings that Amazon Amazon’s coupon site, collect the Warehouse usually offers, but ones you want, and redeem them the percentages can add up. with a click. Your savings will be For example, a Panasonic Lumix applied automatically to the final FZ1000 is a great point-and-shoot bill. camera with 4K video capability. You could buy a new camera for You can also use the coupons’ about $500. You could buy the subscription service to keep the same camera, slightly used, on discounts flowing. The word Warehouse for about $460. Those “subscription” may sound suspect, $40 savings could provide you but there is no additional fee. with a bag, a memory card, or Amazon will help you keep track something else entirely. of your coupons on products you regularly buy. This is particularly This marketplace does have its convenient for cyclical household risks. On the one hand, the items items like diapers, toothpaste and aren’t in perfect condition, and tortilla chips. most electronics do not come with warranties. Amazon does Just like old-fashioned coupons, honor a generous return policy, Amazon offers a wide range of and you can sometimes procure a savings, and Prime members warranty or protection plan from receive especially appetizing SquareTrade, depending on the offers that others do not. Click item. here to get instant savings by using Amazon’s coupons. Amazon Warehouse lets you use Amazon Prime for free deliveries. You can also visit Amazon Outlet, 3. Get mail-in and a similar market for clearance online rebates and overstock items. Click here Perhaps you remember when to learn more about Amazon we’d send a slip of glossy paper Warehouse and Outlet deals and bundled with receipts to some gotchas. random address and waited for Continued From Page 5

KIM KOMANDO

2. Find Amazon coupons 40

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 41

KIM KOMANDO weeks to get a rebate. Those days are long gone. Amazon makes this process much faster and more predictable, and with so many holiday promotions running, it’s a great time to check for any possible rebates. When you request a rebate, you just enter your order number and your email address and the system will track the rebate for you. If you’re concerned whether the rebate will work, you can track the status instantaneously. It really makes it super simple to get a rebate. Click here to learn more about mail-in and online rebates available at Amazon.com.

4. Check for price drops Many customers don’t realize that many Amazon prices fluctuate, based on supply and demand. Unlike a brick-and-mortar store, there’s no banner over the front door to announce a major sale, so unless you’re paying close attention, a sudden drop in prices can be difficult to spot. That’s where CamelCamelCamel JUNE 2019

comes in. The website tracks the ever-changing prices on Amazon. With a free account, you can set up notifications on your favorite items. The moment a coveted pair of shoes or toy dips in value, you’ll know when to place your order. Click here to learn more about the benefits of CamelCamelCamel.

many reviews have rated it? (3) What is the claimed condition of the book? (4) Where is the seller located? (In other words, how long will it take for the book to reach you by regular post?) These sellers are almost never part of the Amazon Prime program, so you’ll almost certainly have to pay a shipping fee.

5. Browse third-party sellers

Books are your safest bet, but you can often find top-rated sellers of other items as well. Find the right item from the right seller, and you can find the perfect gift for a song.

A new paperback book might cost you $15 or more. But a lightly used version of the same novel could cost one cent – basically just the price of shipping – if you find the right seller. Amazon started as a bookstore, and it’s still the reigning champion of book deals, especially if you browse alternative sellers. Underneath the official Amazon price, you’ll see a link that says something like “Used and New from $1.99.” Like Amazon Warehouse, these products cover a wide range of wear and quality, but they are required to report the condition of their wares. These lists can be very long, depending on the popularity of the book, and vendors include used bookstores, individual collectors and “friends” organizations, which help fund local libraries. Some things to keep in mind, in order of importance: (1) What is the seller’s rating? (2) How Table of Contents

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.

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 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. JUNE 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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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.

Click On The Image Below To View Booth Images

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JUNE 2019


2018 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 47th 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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JUNE 2019


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!

JUNE 2019

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NEWS Continued From Page 39

QUEST DIAGNOSTICS DATA BREACH PUTS THOUSANDS AT RISK

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

HERE

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every 12 months. Visit www. AnnualCreditReport.com to pull your reports today. 4. Be extra careful about emails and attachments. Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails that claim to be updates from any company connected to a data breach. 5. File your taxes promptly. While thieves may use stolen information to create fraudulent bank accounts, they may also file fraudulent tax returns. File your taxes as soon as you have the tax information you need and respond promptly to letters sent to you by the IRS. Note that the IRS will never communicate with you via email, so watch out for this type of fraud and don’t open emails purporting to be from the IRS.

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Profile for The Underwriter's Insider

The Underwriter's Insider June 2019  

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

The Underwriter's Insider June 2019  

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

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