Page 1


IN THIS ISSUE SEPTEMBER 2019 VOL 15 ISSUE 9

5

Six Signs Your Phone Has Stalkerware (And What To Do About It)

6

Insurer Must Pay To Replace Damaged & Undamaged Part Of Building To Make Insured Whole

8

Should You Worry About The Inverted Yield Curve?

10

Florida Announces $737,000 Workers’ Comp Fraud Arrest In Miami

11

Georgia Warns About Health Care Sharing Ministries

12

13

Data Analytics Provider Says 62M Residential Locations In U.S. Are At Risk For Moderate Or Extreme Flood Risk

California Wins 20Year Court Battle VS Mercury Insurance

14

Special Report: Red Light Running Deaths Hit 10 Year High

16

Georgia Commissioner King Calls For GUA Board To Step Down

Page 5

17

PLNAR Unveils First Measure-Ready Photo Technology For Insurance Claims

26

As California Consumer Privacy Act Nears, 56% of Businesses Are Unprepared

18

Texas Warns About Fake Auto Insurance • Florida Sets Citizens Rates • Texas & Florida Together Write 33% of U.S.’s Accident & Health

27

Pennsylvania Announces Restitution In Major Annuity Scam

28

FTC Nails Crooked Office Supply Firm - Orders $11.6M In Refunds

30

Brightway Insurance Celebrates 11-Year Anniversary

32

Lack Of Sleep Alters DNA • SnakeLike UFOs Spotted Worldwide • Vaping More Dangerous Than Smoking

20 22

24

Artificial Intelligence In Insurance? NAIC Drills Down On Topic

Independent Insurance Channel Set To Achieve Record Year

New Opportunity For Licensed Agents While Helping To Defeat Cancer

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


PAGE 8 - MATT TRESKOVICH

Special Report Page 14

WORRIED ABOUT INVERTED YIELD CURVE?

Red Light Running Deaths Hit 10 Year High

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

PG 40 FEATURES INSURANCE AND THE LAW PAGE SIX

2019 FAIA & LAAIA TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE! PG 42

5 6 8 21

Kim Komando

18

Breaking News

28 32

Insider Advisor

34

Back Issues

Barry Zalma Matt Treskovitch Advertise

Say What?

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

Cover Image: “Lake Mary, FL” © R Manera


SEPTEMBER 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

© Entire Contents 2019 AdMax Corp

www.underwritersinsider.com 4

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


TECHNOLOGY

SIX SIGNS YOUR PHONE HAS STALKERWARE (AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT)

O

Really Cool Tech Info (and opinion) - From Kim Komando So how do you know if your device has stalkerware installed? Here are clues that your gadget is infected with some form of malware (both Android and iOS, jailbroken or not).

f all the “wares” out there, “stalkerware” is one of the most frightening. There’s nothing fun about malware or ransomware, and these can leave you feeling foolish and abused. But stalkerware is specifically designed to know where you physically are located. In many cases, stalkers know exactly what you’re doing and when, too.

1. A surge in data usage

One popular app uses GPS to track a phone’s location, gives you a full log of all calls sent and received, and even shows you text messages and web activity. This information is available online after you create a free account. Tap or click here to learn more about the free tracking Thankfully, Google and Apple app and get links to download it have been dropping the hammer on stalkerware. The fact that for iOS and Android. the companies have plausible Phones aren’t the only ways people deniability as “child safety” can spy on your every move. Tap or apps means that the problem is click here for tips on how to find a unlikely to disappear any time hidden GPS tracker on your car as soon. they’re hard to spot, too. SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

Check your data usage from prior months. If you notice sudden spikes in your data, even though you haven’t really changed your usage patterns, there’s a possibility your phone is infected. Similarly, adware-infected phones usually perform unsolicited clicks in the background to generate profit for cybercriminals. All of these stealthy tactics use up bandwidth, and the unauthorized data they consume should be relatively easy to spot. See Kim Komando Pg 38 www/underwritersinsider.com

5


CLAIMS & THE LAW

INSURER MUST PAY TO REPLACE DAMAGED & UNDAMAGED PART OF BUILDING TO MAKE INSURED WHOLE Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE

F

irst party property insurance is intended to provide sufficient funds to make an insured whole – that is enough to put the property back like it was before the loss using material of like kind and quality. Insurers and insureds often argue over the need to replace both damaged and undamaged portions of the property so that the replacements match in color, shape and quality the part not damaged or, if not possible, replace all. In Windridge of Naperville Condominium Association v. Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Company, No. 18-2103, United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit (August 7, 2019)

the insurer refused to pay to match damage replacements with undamaged portions of the property. Join Barry Zalma’s Blog:

http://www.zalma.com/blog

FACTS A 2014 hail and wind storm damaged Windridge buildings that were insured by Philadelphia Indemnity. The storm physically damaged the aluminum siding on the buildings’ south and west sides. Philadelphia argued that it is required to replace the siding only on those sides. Windridge argued that replacement siding that matches the undamaged

north and east elevations is no longer available, so Philadelphia must replace the siding on all four sides so that all of the siding matches. The parties agreed that the storm directly damaged the siding only on the buildings’ south and west sides. Philadelphia Indemnity has already paid $2.1 million to Windridge for that damage. Windridge seeks additional money to replace the siding on the north and east sides because matching siding is no longer available for purchase. Windridge argues it is entitled under the policy to have the buildings repaired so that, as before the storm, the siding matches on all sides. Philadelphia Indemnity

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

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


has refused to pay for these additional costs and argues that the policy requires payment only to replace siding that was directly hit and damaged by the hail and wind.

THE INSURANCE POLICY Under the coverage provision, Philadelphia Indemnity must “pay for direct physical ‘loss’ to Covered Property caused by or resulting from any of the Covered Causes of Loss.”“Covered Property … means,” among other things, the “‘Buildings’ described in the Declarations.” “‘Buildings’ means buildings or structures.” “‘Loss’ means accidental loss or damage.” Windridge brought this suit under diversity jurisdiction. The trial court assumed that no matching siding is available and answered the legal question: whether the policy requires Philadelphia Indemnity to replace or pay to replace the siding on all four elevations (to ensure matching) or only on the physically damaged elevations. The court determined that matching is required. The court concluded that “the only sensible result is to treat the damage as having occurred to the building’s siding as a whole.” If Philadelphia Indemnity were to only pay to replace the siding on the damaged south and west elevations with siding that did not match that on the SEPTEMBER 2019

undamaged north and east elevations, it could not possibly be said that Windridge had been made whole, for it would be left with a building suffering from a glaring and profound flaw.

When a loss requires replacement of items and the replaced items do not match in quality, color or size, the insurer shall replace all items in the damaged area so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance.” DISCUSSION The interpretation of an insurance policy is a matter of state law. Here, Illinois law controls. Although ‘creative possibilities’ may be suggested, only reasonable interpretations will be considered. [Hobbs v. Hartford Insurance Co. of the Midwest, 823 N.E.2d 561, 564 (Ill. 2005)] Further, “to ascertain the meaning of the policy’s language and the parties’ intent, the court must construe the policy as a whole and ‘take into account the type of insurance purchased, Table of Contents

the nature of the risks involved, and the overall purpose of the contract.’” [Travelers Insurance Co. v. Eljer Manufacturing, Inc., 757 N.E.2d 481, 491 (Ill. 2001).] Courts around the country have confronted similar socalled “matching” issues. Put simply, Philadelphia Indemnity is required to replace or pay to replace covered property that suffered a “direct physical loss”— i.e., property that has been damaged. While Philadelphia Indemnity’s position that only the siding directly hit by the storm is covered is not indefensible and has some support in case law, the language of the policy is not so clear and in fact favors an interpretation that the unit of damaged property is the buildings as a whole— not solely each elevation or each panel of siding. The better construction and one certainly permitted by policy language that is ambiguous as applied to these facts, is that each building as a whole suffered direct physical loss as a result of the storm. The storm altered the appearance of the buildings such that they were damaged. Condominium buildings with mismatched siding are not a poststorm outcome that the insured

See ZALMA Page 37 www/underwritersinsider.com

7


ANALYSIS - FINANCIAL

By Matthew Treskovich, CPA/PFS, CFP®, CMA, MBA

L

ately the news has been dominated by headlines with two very contradictory themes. The first theme is that we are in a time of great economic uncertainty. The reasons why people might feel that way are understandable. Uncertainty on trade policy weighs heavily on peoples’ minds. For several 8

The Underwriter’s Insider

years, global growth was very synchronized. All of the world’s major economies were plodding along at about the same rate. Now we are in period where the economy in United States is doing significantly better than most other countries. Naturally, some investors are worried that weakness in China or Europe could spill over into our economy. With that as the backdrop, Table of Contents

the inverted yield curve has again taken center stage. The financial press would have us believe that an inverted yield curve is guaranteed predictor of doom. If we knew for sure that a recession was coming, there wouldn’t be any uncertainty, would there? An inverted yield curve has happened before every recession, but there are many cases where the recession came SEPTEMBER 2019

“InvestmentZen”Credit: www.investmentzen.com

SHOULD YOU WORRY ABOUT THE INVERTED YIELD CURVE?


the privilege of loaning them money. Many of those European investors are choosing to bring their money here and buy our government bonds instead. This is one of the forces that is keeping long-term interest rates so low. years later. To really understand what’s going on, we need to understand what the yield curve really is, and we also need to understand why recessions happen. A yield curve describes the relationship between how long you’ll borrow money for, and how much you’ll pay for it. Each type of debt, like government bonds, corporate bonds, or mortgages, has its own yield curve. Usually long-term interest rates are higher than short-term interest

rates. When the yield curve is inverted, it simply means shortterm interest rates are higher than long-term interest rates. The inverted yield curve in the news headlines today is for US government debt.

The traditional interpretation of an inverted yield curve is that investors must believe a recession is coming. Investment capital has more global mobility than it has ever had. Investors in US treasuries aren’t necessarily here in the United States making The Federal Reserve sets short- decisions based on what’s going term interest rates. Long term on in our economy. interest rates are set by market forces. Bond yields in Europe Most recessions in recent are deeply negative. An investor history have been precipitated who buys 30-year German government bonds will actually pay the German government for See Inverted Yield Curve Page 47

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.

SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

9


NEWS

FLORIDA ANNOUNCES $737,000 WORKERS’ COMP FRAUD ARREST IN MIAMI

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Workers’ compensation fraud puts employees at risk of being underinsured and drives up insurance rates statewide for honest, hard-working businesses. Last year alone, my fraud detectives made nearly 400 arrests for workers’ compensation fraud. My office 10

The Underwriter’s Insider

is committed to tracking down scam artists and I applaud the great work of our dedicated fraud detectives. I encourage businesses and individuals to report suspected insurance fraud to my website at FraudFreeFlorida.com.”

An investigation by CFO Patronis’ Bureau of Workers Compensation Fraud revealed that Cedillo allegedly concealed payroll information to avoid paying higher workers’ compensation premiums. Based on financial records from two check cashing companies, it was discovered that Nuvo Contractor Inc. cashed nearly $4 Table of Contents

million in payroll by numerous construction companies in the South Florida area. Cedillo reported payroll of only $22,311 and avoided paying more than $737,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The scheme was discovered when their workers’ compensation insurance policy was issued and subsequently terminated roughly six months later for non-payment of premium. Norma Lopez Cedillo was booked into Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center (TGK) on August 9, 2019, on charges of workers’ compensation premium fraud, organized scheme to defraud, and conspiracy to commit grand theft over $100,000. If convicted, she faces up to 30 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

SEPTEMBER 2019

https://www.needpix.com/photo/download/886545/police-handcuffs-arrest-detention-police-usage-lock-up-crime-offender-free-pictures

M

IAMI — Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announces the arrest of Norma Lopez Cedillo, the President of Nuvo Contractor, Inc., for workers’ compensation fraud. Over a more than sixmonth period, Cedillo allegedly evaded paying nearly $737,000 in workers’ compensation i n s u r a n c e premiums. The company allegedly conducted more than $5.5 million in business but reported an estimated $103,000 in anticipated payroll on their workers’ compensation insurance policy.


NEWS

GEORGIA WARNS ABOUT HEALTH CARE SHARING MINISTRIES

A

TLANTA – Commissioner themselves out to the public as alleging HCSMs have denied of Insurance John F. King insurers. coverage because of preexisting is advising all Georgians of conditions or have refused to the potential coverage and cover medical costs. These financial risks surrounding While the law allows legitimate complaints indicate that Health Care Sharing some consumers mistakenly HCSMs to assist families with believe that by joining an Ministries (“HCSMs”). paying for medical needs, it is very HCSM, they have purchased As the 2020 Open an insurance product. important that you know exactly Enrollment Period for what you are signing up for,” said “While the law allows health insurance plans approaches, many Commissioner King. “I came into legitimate HCSMs to assist individuals, families, families with paying for office with the promise to protect and businesses might medical needs, it is very be looking for new Georgians. I want to make sure important that you know coverage options outside exactly what you are signing that bad actors do not turn a of traditional health up for,” said Commissioner insurance. Before joining sound option for Georgia families King. “I came into office an HCSM, consumers with the promise to protect into a nightmare.” should fully consider all Georgians. I want to make options available to them. Because lawful HCSMs are not sure that bad actors do not turn a insurers and do not provide sound option for Georgia families HCSMs are organizations in health insurance, these plans into a nightmare.” which the members contractually do not contain common The Georgia Department of agree to share the costs of health consumer protections required Insurance continues to investigate care and limit their participants of traditional health insurance. companies posing as HCSMs and to those of a similar faith. While many HCSM members have will take appropriate action. An HCSM acts as a facilitator benefited by sharing significant among participants who have costs of care and treatment Commissioner King encourages medical needs, matching those with other members, they are concerned consumers to contact individuals with other members ultimately and legally responsible the Georgia Department of with the present ability to assist for the costs of their medical Insurance Consumer Services with paying for those medical treatments. Division at 404-656-2070, or tollneeds. HCSMs do not guarantee free at 1-800-656-2298 for more the payment of a member’s The Georgia Department of information regarding claims. HCSMs cannot hold Insurance has received complaints health insurance. SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

11


NEWS

DATA ANALYTICS PROVIDER ESTIMATES 62 MILLION RESIDENTIAL LOCATIONS IN THE U.S. ARE AT MODERATE TO EXTREME FLOOD RISK Analysis Highlights Personal Flood Insurance Premium Potential for OwnerOccupied Residences at $41.6 Billion JERSEY CITY, N.J., Aug. 20, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- There are 62 million residential locations in the United States that are at moderate to extreme flood risk, according to a Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) analysis released today. Verisk is a leading data analytics provider. The analysis, part of a new white paper titled Sizing the Personal Flood Insurance Market, estimates that reviving the private flood insurance market could generate $41.6 billion in written premiums for insurers from owner-occupied homes in the 48 contiguous states. “The need for flood insurance far exceeds the current take-up rate,” said Marc Treacy, managing director of flood insurance at Verisk. “Our study shows just how many homeowners are at significant risk for flooding and how big the opportunity is for insurers looking to find a new avenue for growth.” 12

The Underwriter’s Insider

Over the past half century, personal flood insurance in the United States has been largely confined to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But as the NFIP faces growing financial strain in the wake of massive storms, the industry has come to understand the benefits of having a robust private market insure against the peril. “Recent flooding events have challenged the long-held perception that flood insurance is only for those homes in FEMA high-hazard zones or along the coast,” said Treacy. “The perspective on protecting against flood loss, for both insurers and homeowners, needs to shift toward this: If it rains where you live, you are at risk of flooding. And it’s critical to understand the level of risk for each property, so homeowners can obtain the coverage they need and insurers can underwrite policies with precision.” Verisk’s analysis of the personal flood market used an array of Verisk data and analytics resources, including: actuarially sound prospective loss cost estimates from ISO; a proven bottom-up methodology for market sizing based on ISO MarketStance solutions; Table of Contents

and a granular risk exposure assessment of target markets by AIR Worldwide, using WaterLine™.

About Verisk Verisk (Nasdaq:VRSK) is a leading data analytics provider serving customers in insurance, energy and specialized markets, and financial services. Using advanced technologies to collect and analyze billions of records, Verisk draws on unique data assets and deep domain expertise to provide firstto-market innovations that are integrated into customer workflows. Verisk offers predictive analytics and decision support solutions to customers in rating, underwriting, claims, catastrophe and weather risk, global risk analytics, natural resources intelligence, economic forecasting, and many other fields. Around the world, Verisk helps customers protect people, property, and financial assets. Headquartered in Jersey City, N.J., Verisk operates in 30 countries and is a member of Standard & Poor’s S&P 500® Index. In 2018, Forbes magazine named Verisk to its World’s Best Employers list. For more information, please visit www. verisk.com. SEPTEMBER 2019


NEWS

CALIFORNIA WINS 20-YEAR COURT BATTLE AGAINST MERCURY INSURANCE AS SUPREME COURT DENIES INSURER’S PETITION, UPHOLDING HISTORIC $27.6 MILLION FINE

S

ACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Supreme Court denied a petition for review by Mercury Insurance Company thereby letting stand a $27.6 million fine the Department of Insurance imposed on Mercury for charging illegal fees in violation of Proposition 103. The fine is the largest in the Department’s history against a property and casualty insurer.

enacted, Mercury has looked for ways to evade the Insurance Commissioner’s regulation of its rates,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The Department repeatedly told Mercury to stop this scheme, where Mercury implied its agents were brokers working for the consumers, but Mercury refused to do so. This is a victory for consumers that sends a message to insurers that they cannot circumvent Proposition In 2015, the Commissioner 103’s consumer protection laws fined Mercury $27.6 million in an effort to increase their for charging consumers profits and that the Department unapproved and unfairly will stay the course--even if it discriminatory rates. Despite takes twenty years--to penalize being advised for years by the insurers for illegal conduct.” Department of Insurance not to do so, Mercury continued to Under the scheme, Mercury allow its auto insurance agents illegally labeled its “agents” as to charge consumers $50 to “brokers,” implying that they $150 in illegal fees on top of worked for the consumers the premium the Department rather than Mercury, and approved. Proposition 103, allowed them to charge and passed by the voters in 1988, collect unapproved fees on prevents auto insurers from more than 180,000 transactions charging excessive rates and from 1999 to 2004, improperly requires that rates be approved collecting at least $27,593,562 by the Commissioner. from consumers. The scheme created a major incentive for “Since Proposition 103 was Auto Insurance Specialists (AIS), SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

Mercury’s largest independent agent, to place virtually all of its policies with Mercury to the exclusion of other insurers, and resulted in different Mercury customers paying different amounts for the same policy, depending on what the agent charged in fees. During this time, AIS placed approximately 90% of its California automobile business with Mercury, nearly doubling the placed premium from $225 million in 1999 to $400 million in 2003 and 2004, premium that other insurers might have received if Mercury had complied with the law. “Part of my responsibility as Insurance Commissioner is to ensure a vibrant insurance marketplace which requires all companies to obey the rating laws so no company gets an unfair advantage over the others. And here that advantage came at the expense of consumers who were charged unfairly discriminatory rates for their insurance,” added Commissioner Lara. www/underwritersinsider.com

13


SPECIAL REPORT - AAA

New AAA Foundation data analysis finds more than two people are killed every day in red light running crashes, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists

W

ASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug 29, 2019)- More than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights, according to data analysis performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The most recent crash data available shows 939 people were killed in red light running crashes in 2017 — a

14

The Underwriter’s Insider

in red light running crashes were passengers or people in other vehicles and more than 5% were pedestrians or cyclists. Just over 35% of those killed were the drivers who ran the red light.

10-year high and a 28% increase since 2012. With the number of red light running crashes on the rise, AAA calls for drivers to use caution when approaching signalized intersections, and for pedestrians and cyclists to stay alert when crossing the street. •

According to the AAA Foundation: •

28% of crash deaths that occur at signalized intersections are the result of a driver running through a red light.

Per capita, Arizona has the highest rate of red light running fatalities while New Hampshire has the lowest rate. Nearly half (46%) of those killed

Table of Contents

“Drivers who decide to run a red light when they could have stopped safely are making a reckless choice that puts other road users in danger,” said Dr. David Yang, executive director of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The data shows that red light running continues to be a traffic safety challenge. All road safety stakeholders must work together to change behavior and identify effective countermeasures.” SEPTEMBER 2019

Head-On Car Wreck Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) Chris Yarzab

RED LIGHT RUNNING DEATHS HIT 10 YEAR HIGH


• According to the AAA Foundation’s latest Traffic Safety Culture Index, 85% of drivers view red light running as very dangerous, yet nearly one in three say they blew through a red light within the past 30 days when they could have stopped safely. More than 2 in 5 drivers also say it is unlikely they’ll be stopped by police for running a red light. Nevertheless, it’s against the law and if a driver is involved in a deadly crash, it could send them to jail.

“Deaths caused by red light running are on the rise,” said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS Vice President for Research. “Cameras increase the odds that violators will get caught, and well-publicized camera programs discourage wouldbe violators from taking those

See Running Red Light Page 36

http://www.atlantictraining.com Traffic Light - Realistic, CC BY-SA 3.0

• While enforcement is the best way to get drivers to comply with any law, it is impossible for police to be at every intersection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that when properly implemented, red light cameras reduced the fatal red light running crash rate of large cities by 21% and the rate of all types of fatal crashes at signalized intersections by 14%.


NEWS

GEORGIA COMMISSIONER KING CALLS FOR GUA BOARD TO STEP DOWN

A

TLANTA – Today, August 12, 2019, Insurance Commissioner John F. King called for the resignation of the board members of the Georgia Underwriting Association (“GUA”). In addition, Commissioner King is calling for a complete audit of GUA’s books.

four individuals appointed by previous Commissioner Ralph Hudgens as well as the eight insurance companies who have a representative on the board.

“We have a duty to put people over politics and accountability over the status quo. It is my hope that fresh faces, who reflect our state and our “As Georgia’s new Insurance and values, will apply to fill the vacancies. Safety Fire Commissioner, my I am confident we can address the mission is simple: to restore trust organization’s shortcomings and in the Department of Insurance. Today, we are taking a small – but deliberate step – towards accomplishing that goal,” said Commissioner King. “According to U.S. Attorney BJ Pak and his 38-count indictment, this organization fell victim to Mr. Beck’s alleged crimes. This ongoing investigation has undermined the confidence that hardworking Georgians have in the Georgia Underwriting Association, its operations, and those who are responsible for its finances.” The GUA board consists of twelve individuals, four of which are appointed by the Insurance Commissioner. The remaining eight board members are appointed by insurance companies that are licensed in Georgia. This morning, letters were sent to the 16

The Underwriter’s Insider

restore its reputation,” Commissioner King added. “We will work diligently in the months ahead to restore confidence in GUA, which serves as the last resort for many families and businesses looking for insurance.” The GUA functions as a residual insurance market in order that basic property and liability insurance may be made available to all Georgians. The GUA promotes the health and welfare of the community.

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

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


NEWS - CLAIMS

PLNAR UNVEILS FIRST MEASURE-READY PHOTO TECHNOLOGY FOR INSURANCE CLAIMS PLNAR’s technology integrates with desktop tools and claims management systems to create seamless workflows that improve efficiency and reduce costs. Anyone can now capture more data to create fully-realized ustin, TX – August 21, 3D models of interior rooms in 2019 – PLNAR is pleased minutes with PLNAR’s intuitive to announce the release Through this release of SmartPix, AI- and AR-powered app and of an enhanced version of PLNAR PLNAR enables true Digital Desk platform. The latest version of SmartPix™ (SmartPix), a first-of- Adjusting (DDA), which allows SmartPix is currently available its-kind technology for property desk adjusters to settle interior to existing PLNAR insurance and casualty (P&C) insurance claims more rapidly for customers customers, with new pilots organizations which transforms by capturing all data and context launching on a regular basis. desk adjustment by enabling needed from digital photos sent adjusters to easily add interior directly to the desktop or easily ABOUT PLNAR space measurements and accessed from the cloud. PLNAR is an InsurTech software annotations to digital photos transforming the taken by policyholders, gig “DDA gives desk adjusters provider insurance claims process by workers, inspectors, or anyone the digital intelligence to see enabling Digital Desk Adjustment with a smartphone. the full context of the interior (DDA) of interior property claims property, and helps insurers As P&C insurers continue to invest adjust and close claims faster,” for significantly better customer shorter cycle in “breakthrough innovations” said Andy Greff, CEO of PLNAR. experiences, that speed claims settlement and “Using SmartPix, desk adjusters times, and lower costs. PLNAR’s reduce costs, PLNAR disrupts the can more quickly and efficiently patented technology platform traditional one-size-fits-all claims determine the true extent gives desk adjusters the power to process by giving desk adjusters of interior property damage generate fully-realized 2D and 3D flexible options and tools for by automatically generating models of interior spaces from documenting and assessing measurements or updating a 3D digital photos and streamline the property damage better based model of the space to account claims process for quicker, more on claim type and complexity. for objects, such as windows or efficient settlement. For more This new version of PLNAR’s doors, not originally included in information, please visit the PLNAR website at https://plnar.ai. SmartPix patented technology the description of the damage.”

New version of SmartPix maximizes every pixel to drive down claims costs and close claims faster

A

SEPTEMBER 2019

puts desk adjusters virtually in the space and allows the addition of in-photo measurements and up-to-date 3D models of the interior space without timeconsuming, expensive, backand-forth exchanges with field resources.

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

17


THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS Texas Warns Drivers: Watch Out For Fake Auto Insurance

T

he Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is warningTexas drivers looking for bargain insurance about a scam that leaves them with no coverage even after they’ve paid for it. Victims of the scam believe they are buying required liability coverage from an insurance agent. Instead of sending the payment to the insurance company, criminals keep the money and give the customer fake insurance cards and other documents. “Most people wouldn’t realize they’d been scammed until they get in an accident or get pulled over for a traffic violation,” said TDI’s fraud chief,

Chris

Insurance Consulting Group

R

isk Strategies, selfdescribed as a privately held, rapidly growing national insurance brokerage and risk management firm, announced in August it has expanded its presence in the Southeast United States with the acquisition of National Insurance Consulting Group,

LLC (NICG), an employee benefits and human capital consulting firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Founded in 2014 by Zain Hasan and named one of the 2019 Inc. 5000 fastestgrowing private companies in America, NICG offers benefits consulting, outsourced benefits administration, human capital management software delivery, and outsourced HR. With

Davis.

Risk Strategies Acquires National 18

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS locations in Atlanta, GA and Fort Lauderdale, FL, the firm specializes in creating alternatively funded employee benefits programs for middle market businesses in a variety of industries and providing mid-market organizations consulting expertise, previously reserved exclusively for large, nationalscope firms.

Term Life Leads In The Way In Voluntary Product Sales, Finds Eastbridge Consulting Group

T

erm life once again accounted for the largest percentage (20%) of 2018 voluntary sales, while dental, accident, shortterm disability, and critical illness rounded out the top five in terms of voluntary market share, according to the carriers surveyed by Eastbridge Consulting Group. Three product lines achieved double-digit sales growth over 2017, while a handful of other product lines achieved modest growth between 5 and 8%. According to this year’s study, sales of group SEPTEMBER 2019

platform products continued to outpace individual, increasing 4% over 2017 sales - according to a study by Eastbridge Consulting Group.

Florida’s OIR Establishes Rates For Citizens Property

T

ALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has established the 2019 personal and commercial property insurance rates for Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens). On June 19, Citizens announced that their Board had approved revised 2019 rates to reflect the projected impact of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) reforms enacted

during the 2019 Legislative Session. OIR has reviewed these filings and considered the comments and testimony received from policyholders and other interested parties, both by email and during a public rate hearing held on March 14, 2019, in Miami, FL. As a result of this review, OIR has established the rates for Citizens personal and commercial

Table of Contents

property accounts. The Orders can be accessed here: Personal Property Order, Commercial Property Order. The effective date of the proposed rate changes for all three accounts (Coastal, Commercial Lines, and Personal Lines) is December 1, 2019.

Texas & Florida 33% of Accident & Health Business

T

he NAIC announces the release of its accident and health insurers Market Share Report. Updated annually, the 2018 Market Share Report includes data from annual statement filings to provide information on premiums and market share. Highlights from the report include: The compound annual growth rate of U.S. accident and health premiums was 7.9% for the 5-year period ending in 2018. California followed by Texas then Florida have the most written premium and together account for 33% of the total Accident and Health Insurance nationwide. The top ten insurer groups in 2018 made up nearly 52% of the market share compared to 49% in 2013. The 2018 Market Share Report for Life, Property/ Casualty and Accident and Health are available on the NAIC publications page.

www/underwritersinsider.com

19


NEWS

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN INSURANCE? NAIC EVENT DRILLS DOWN...

N

EW YORK (Aug. 6, 2019) — More than 325 insurance regulators, consumer representatives and industry stakeholders discussed artificial intelligence at a forum coordinated by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC) Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR). The event, “Demystify the Use of Artificial Intelligence in Insurance”, was held in conjunction with the NAIC 2019 Summer National Meeting in New York City. At this year’s NAIC 2019 Summer Meeting, the Innovation and Technology Task Force adopted a motion to form an Artificial Intelligence (EX) Working Group. The group will study the development of artificial intelligence, its use in the insurance sector and its impact on consumer protection and privacy, marketplace dynamics, and the state-based insurance regulatory framework.

Insurance Superintendent Eric A. Cioppa. “The rise in accessible data, computational resources, and changing consumer expectations has recently led to a strong acceleration of AI development. Using AI to adjust premiums or to detect inconsistencies and unusual patterns has become has quickly become a standard for insurers.” The event included a presentation on how artificial intelligence has transformed the insurance industry and one on AI and next-generation data. The last session was a panel discussion on the impact of AI on the future of insurance moderated by Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen.

“Like all technology, the opportunities come with associated risks. We are just starting to understand the potential impact of artificial intelligence in insurance and this forum highlighted the issues we should be looking at,” said Ommen. “As regulators, we “Artificial intelligence technology must use a common-sense and is shaping many sectors, and thoughtful approach as we review insurance is among them,” these issues. AI technology can said NAIC President and Maine transform how the insurance 20

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

industry operates and it’s our job to help ensure consumers remain protected while allowing carriers, producers and other industry vendors to utilize cutting edge technology like AI to create and sell better products that consumers want to purchase to limit their risk.”

About the NAIC As part of our state-based system of insurance regulation in the United States, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) provides expertise, data, and analysis for insurance commissioners to effectively regulate the industry and protect consumers. The U.S. standardsetting organization is governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer reviews, and coordinate regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. For more information, visit www. naic.org.

SEPTEMBER 2019


SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

21


NEWS

INDEPENDENT INSURANCE CHANNEL SET TO ACHIEVE RECORD YEAR Rate Increases Driving Growth, Reagan Consulting Reports

A

TLANTA (August 19, 2019) -- Agents and brokers in the independent insurance channel just posted their best second quarter (Q2) results since 2013. The 6.4% organic growth rate of independent agents and brokers across all business lines coupled with “a red-hot mergers-andacquisitions (M&A) market yield a healthy outlook for the future of the industry,” says Mark Crites, Vice President, Reagan Consulting. “2019 could be a historic year.” Buoyed by the good news, as revealed by Reagan Consulting’s Organic Growth and Profitability (OGP) Q2 2019 survey, agents and brokers have “lifted their full-year 2019 growth expectations to 7.0%, up from 6.0% after Q1 results were posted,” reports Crites.

Benefits Sector Rebounds Late 2018 optimism was tempered after Q1 2019 by the sluggish employee benefits 22

The Underwriter’s Insider

sector. At only 3.8%, employee benefits posted its lowest firstquarter results since 2013. The sector has rebounded, however, allaying concern. It posted a 5.5% growth rate in Q2 2019 that trails only slightly below its nine-year historical average. That bounce back “bodes well for the rest of the year,” observes Crites.

Personal Lines Standing Strong At 4.1%, Q2 organic growth rate for personal lines was the second highest since the start of the OGP study in 2008. Although the sector “historically has been a low-growth/high-margin line of business for most brokers,” says Crites, it had a banner year in 2018 and “shows no signs of slowing Table of Contents

down.” He observes that insurtech competitors are not affecting the ability of agents and brokers to compete in personal lines but adds that rate increases are driving growth.

Commercial Lines Still Booming Nearly four in 10 firms (37%) that experienced growth in commercial lines for Q2 reported double-digit organic growth. The entire sector posted its third consecutive Q2 increase with a growth rate of 6.4%. This represents a small drop from Q1 growth, which was at a historic high of 6.9%. Source: Reagan Consulting OGP Survey

Increased Premium Pricing The strong economy is helping commercial lines growth, but, as with personal lines, Crites points to rate increases as the primary driver. While numbers are not yet in, it’s expected that Q2 premium pricing will have increased again, making it the eighth consecutive SEPTEMBER 2019


quarter of rate increases across almost all property-casualty lines. But particularly for commercial lines, the “hardening rate environment and a growing economy is a recipe for success,� says Crites. SEPTEMBER 2019

One Cloud on Q2 Horizon Sales Velocity is a Reagan Consulting metric used as a leading indicator of future organic growth via new business production. Expressed as a Table of Contents

percentage, Sales Velocity is calculated by dividing currentyear new business by prior-year commissions and fee revenue. If

See Independent Channel Pg 31 www/underwritersinsider.com

23


NEWS

ATTENTION LICENSED AGENTS: CANCER TESTING IS FREE AND PROFITABLE

C

an you imagine that incredible opportunity with those curing cancer is suddenly of you who write Insurance of any possible and profitable? type especially Senior Products.

How quickly do you think this market would explode? You can help starting with your loved ones, or the loved ones of people you love, including friends’, neighbors or just anyone you run into in your everyday life. How many of us have lost just one of their grandparents to cancer? I’m sure it would be safe to say we all know of someone is fighting The Big C too... I know first-hand the destructive and terrible impact cancer can have on a family, as well whole communities. This is why I’m sharing an

This is a Golden Opportunity, bigger and better even than the MAPD rush in 2006, both in terms of profit potential AND This is a simple way for you to add direct, positive, impact on your $1,000 - $5,000 WEEKLY to your immediate community. existing residuals WHILE joining the fight to save lives. Right now, you’re getting the first shot at this limited-time, once-inWe offer a way to turn a huge a-lifetime opportunity to get profit for a purpose - one that’s handsomely rewarded for joining mutually beneficial and positive the good fight.. for everyone involved. FULL Disclosure: There is no If you’d like to learn more about cost to your client, there is no how you could earn $300 for every cost to get hired or trained, it client and lead you already have, truly is a win-win opportunity for by providing them a FREE, life- everyone. saving cancer screening test… To get up close and personal with … You absolutely NEED to go the full scope of this life-changing to our website were everything (both for you and your clients) you need to know to add, near- and life-saving opportunity go to instantly, $1,000 - $5,000 weekly our website for full details CLICK to your existing residuals at no HERE. (see our ad opposite page) cost to your clients and leads.

Instagram! Follow Me: @rj.0521

JOIN MY NETWORK!

24

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


Attention: Licensed Agents

Every once in a while, a business opportunity arrives that is so outstanding, it almost doesn’t seem real. This is one of those opportunities. FREE DNA CANCER SCREENING Earn a $300 commission for each free cheek-swap screening you perform. 1.7 MILLION PEOPLE will get Cancer this Year. Over 6.1 MILLION will pass away as a result. It’s no wonder DNA Cancer Testing Is the Fastest Growing Segment in today’s health industry. Click below to see how you can benefit by providing this Free Medicare Testing to your clients. www.freednacancerscreen.com

Lives have been saved with just a cheek swab.

Please Don’t Keep This Opportunity a secret.


NEWS

SURVEY: AS CALIFORNIA CONSUMER PRIVACY ACT ENFORCEMENT APPROACHES, 56% OF BUSINESSES REPORT THEY WILL NOT BE FULLY PREPARED • 3 2% stated they were waiting company and the scope of the to see how the CCPA will be project, the average cost for available compliance technology enforced • 17% said they didn’t think and implementation is typically their organization is large less than one full time employee. Businesses face unnecessary enough to face fines • 11% said the law is new to financial risks associated with them and they are unsure of fines by choosing to delay ULUTH, GA (August 20, addressing their compliance the requirements, and 2019) – PossibleNOW™, a leading provider • 4% stated they didn’t think gaps. the law applies to them. of enterprise “Just as with GDPR, a consent, privacy, Companies should actively seek the counsel significant number and preference management of a privacy compliance organization as of businesses are caught between solutions, today the deadline is quickly approaching. As time the cost and effort announced the complying results of its latest draws short, resources become more scarce and of with CCPA and survey, showing implementation becomes more costly.” the probability 56% of U.S. of enforcement businesses polled reported they do not expect to be • Penalties for noncompliance actions against them,” said Eric are $2,500 per record for Tejeda, Marketing Director at fully prepared to meet California each unintentional violation PossibleNOW. Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and $7,500 per record for requirements by the January 1, each intentional violation. “There are heightened concerns 2020 date of enforcement. So, a company that doesn’t surrounding the CCPA specifically honor or mismanages 1,000 because of California’s strict When survey respondents were consumer privacy requests approach to legislation across asked why their organization could face a fine ranging from all facets of business within the wouldn’t be compliant: state. Companies should actively $2,500,000 to $7,500,000. seek the counsel of a privacy • 35% said their primary reason is the cost of becoming While many factors come compliance organization as the into play such as the size of a deadline is quickly approaching. compliant

Companies Say Compliance Requirements Too Costly; Face Risks Associated With Fines

D

26

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


NEWS As time draws short, resources become more scarce and implementation becomes more costly.”

About PossibleNOW: PossibleNOW leverages powerful technology and industry-leading expertise to enable companies to listen to customers, remember what they like and dislike and respond in useful, personalized ways. Its enterprise consent and preference management platform, MyPreferences®, collects customer and prospect preferences, stores them safely and makes them available to any other system or application in the enterprise. PossibleNOW’s, OnePoint Privacy Management Solution, is a workflow tool that manages activities associated with maintaining compliance with consumer privacy regulations. PossibleNOW strategic services experts identify opportunities, plan technology deployments, design consumer interfaces and position clients for a win. PossibleNOW is purposebuilt to help large, complex organizations gain control over communications, mitigate compliance risk and reduce marketing expenses while improving customer experience and loyalty. For more information about CCPA visit https:// www.possiblenow.com/ccpacompliance-software SEPTEMBER 2019

PENNSYLVANIA ANNOUNCES RESTITUTION FOR CONSUMERS IN MAJOR ANNUITY SCAM

H

arrisburg, PA - Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman today said her department has gotten more than $117,000 in restitution for 25 Pennsylvania consumers victimized in a major annuity scam.

Several scam victims testified they were never told they would incur any charges for replacing their existing annuities before they matured but were told only the new annuities would have higher interest rates. The victims in some cases received calls and letters “I am pleased we were able from the insurance companies to recover this money for for which the agents sold the Pennsylvanians, many of annuities questioning why the them elderly, who were taken annuity holders wanted to make advantage of by two licensed the changes but were told by the insurance agents,” Altman Gilbergs to ignore them. said. “These agents convinced consumers to replace annuities The Insurance Department they had previously purchased reached an agreement with the with new ones, resulting in two insurers for which the Gilbergs sometimes large surrender sold the inappropriate annuities charges on the original annuities, to make restitution to consumers. and the money being tied up for Oxford Life refunded $67,559 that several more years.” 17 consumers lost in surrender fees on its annuities. Sentinel The agents, Donald L. and Nicole Life refunded $50,000 of the P. Gilberg, acting as a husband surrender fees eight consumers wife team, made more than lost on Sentinel annuities. $136,000 in commissions on these inappropriate annuity sales. Altman said Act 48 of 2018 Both agents’ insurance licenses signed by Governor Tom Wolf were revoked after an extensive investigation by the Insurance Department. See Major Annuity Scam Page 47 Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

27


“The Final Authority on Everything!”

ADVISOR

bulbs and cleaning supplies that they never ordered. The The Advisor has been known to be politically incorrect and FTC seeks to permanently may send certain Millennials stop the illegal practices and scurrying to their safe space. Please read at your own risk. make the defendants return victims’ money. “The FTC is committed to taking action Crooked Office Supply against deceptive schemes take advantage of people Firm Forced To Return that who work in nonprofits and $11.6 Million In Refunds small businesses,” said Jessica Rich, director of the Federal y agency was Trade Commission’s Bureau of scammed out of $299 Consumer Protection.

WARNING!

M

of overpriced printer ink by a company that tricked an employee into an order. We paid the bill but something should be done. E.G. Dallas, TX

and then demand payment are a magnet for FTC enforcement.”

According to a complaint filed by the FTC, the defendants called organizations throughout the country and falsely indicated that they had previously done business with them; that the call was to confirm a shipping or mailing address or follow up on a supposed previous order; that they were offering a free “Scam artists who lie to sample, catalog or gift; or that employees about orders they needed an employee’s

It seems, E.G., that the FTC is hot on their tail. Here is a compilation of a couple of recent press releases on the subject: At the Federal Trade Commission’s request, a federal court has temporarily halted and frozen the assets of an operation that bilked nonprofits, businesses, and municipalities out of millions of dollars by deceptively sending them overpriced light 28

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


name and contact information The person who processed for some purpose other than a the invoices was often not the sale. same person who received the shipments and did not know The defendants often did not the merchandise was never identify themselves accurately ordered. Consumers who or clearly paid thinking disclose that they were it was a sales obligated to call, and sent do so became consumers targets merchandise for future after shipments of misleading unordered them and merchandise. without their consent. Many consumers Those who questioned the paid the defendants’ invoices, invoices were often pressured thinking the employee named into paying by the defendants’ on the invoice had ordered the claiming that they had audio merchandise. recordings verifying the order SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

(which they failed to produce) or stating they would accept a “discounted” price as payment in full. The Federal Trade Commission is mailing 29,333 refund checks totaling more than $11.6 million to small businesses and other organizations defrauded by a Maryland-based office supply operation that used names such as Midway Industries and Standard Industries. The FTC charged that the operation tricked companies and non-profits into paying for light bulbs and cleaning supplies they never ordered. The average check amount is $397. www/underwritersinsider.com

29


NEWS

BRIGHTWAY INSURANCE CELEBRATES 11-YEAR ANNIVERSARY

J

ACKSONVILLE, FLA. — When brothers David and Michael Miller founded Brightway Insurance in 2008, they set a lofty goal of growing into a $10 million business (measured in annualized written premium) within 10 years. They surpassed the goal within a year and now, as Brightway celebrates its 11th anniversary, that number has crossed the threshold of $607 million. “David and I set high goals and expectations when we first started Brightway, and we were determined to build a business that encouraged each of our stakeholders to reach their full potential,” said Brightway CoFounder and CEO Michael Miller. “In just 11 years, we’re proud to see the results have far exceeded our expectations, and we’re honored to be a part of the workforce behind Brightway’s continued success.” With its corporate mandate of creating Win, Win, Win outcomes, Brightway has fostered a system to help franchisees, customers and employees reach their potential. As a result, the company continues to see marked growth:

30

The Underwriter’s Insider

From 38 franchised locations in one state in 2008 to 194 in 21 states today From $36 million in annualized written premium in 2008 to more than $608 million today From 155 people in the Brightway system in 2008 to more than 900 today

Over the course of its 11-year history, Brightway has built a comprehensive system of support, including after-the-sale service, that empowers its Agents to sell more new business. In January, the company introduced its new Independent Agent program that gives experienced Personal Lines insurance Agents the opportunity to start selling in the Brightway system while qualifying for franchise ownership. Forbes recognized the company as America’s No. 1 Franchise to Buy in 2015. Additionally, the company was named the No. 1 Insurance Franchise Buy by Entrepreneur magazine in 2019, one of the fastest-growing private companies in America nine consecutive years by Inc. 5000 and one of the Best Places to Work by the Jacksonville Business Journal two years in a row. Table of Contents

Here’s what Brightway’s Franchise Owners had to say about the company: “Being a Brightway Insurance agency owner certainly has given me a sense of financial security over the years and flexibility to spend more time with my family,” said Sam Kassar, who owns Brightway franchise locations in Bonita Springs and Naples. “I’m never alone in this journey! Love my Brightway Family,” said Michele Robicheaux, who owns a Brightway franchise in Youngsville, Louisiana. “I have been able to build my business creating an enjoyable life for my family now and into the future,” said Richard Miller, who owns a Brightway franchise in Neptune Beach. “I am thankful to be a Brightway Owner. I believe it is a great franchise to own because when it comes to being an independent insurance Agent, the model and platform they use is second to none,” said Ken Erdmann who owns a Brightway franchise in Mooresville, North Carolina.

SEPTEMBER 2019


NEWS “Brightway has been an amazing opportunity. It has allowed me to provide a quality of life for my family by offering my clients great values which in turn help them provide for their families,” said Michael Hatmaker, who owns a Brightway franchise in Largo.

About Brightway Insurance Brightway Insurance is a national property/casualty insurance distribution company with more than $608 million in annualized written premium, making it one of the largest Personal Lines agencies in the U.S. Brightway’s focus is on producing Win, Win, Win outcomes for consumers by offering customized insurance solutions and for people wishing to sell insurance by providing business opportunities that span from single Agent to multi-unit enterprises. Regardless of the path taken, Brightway provides the support necessary to consistently outsell other insurance agents. Brightway got its start in 2008 and has since grown to more than 900 people in 194 offices across 21 states serving customers in all 50 states. Consumers seeking a better insurance buying experience may visit Brightway.com, and people wishing to learn more about franchise ownership

SEPTEMBER 2019

Continued From Page 23

INDEPENDENT INSURANCE CHANNEL SET TO ACHIEVE RECORD YEAR a firm consistently posts sales velocity figures in the top 25% of the industry (15.4% or higher in

Q2 2019), it’s likely the firm will show above-average growth. In a “surprising decline amidst heightened growth levels,” says Crites, Q2 sales velocity was “down slightly, year-over-year, to 12.1%.”

M&A Activity 2017 and 2018 were record years for mergers and acquisitions, and, with 328 deals announced during the first half of 2019, activity is up by 6.5% over last year. “Even Table of Contents

at record-high valuations, buyers can still complete accretive deals,” explains Crites, adding that the “frenzy” continues. “We see no slowdown in M&A activity for the foreseeable future.” Reagan Consulting has conducted its quarterly survey of agency growth and profitability since 2008, using confidential submissions from nearly 200 mid-size and large agencies and brokerage firms. Approximately half of the industry’s 100 largest firms participated in this quarter’s survey. The OGP survey is the industry’s preeminent survey of mid-size and large privately held brokers. For further information and commentary, contact Mark Crites at Reagan Consulting, 404.869.2625 or mcrites@reaganconsulting.com.

About Reagan Consulting: Reagan Consulting is a management consulting firm providing strategic consulting, valuation, capital raising and merger-and-acquisition (M&A) services to the independent insurance distribution system. Reagan Consulting.com 404.233.5545 info@ReaganConsulting.com www/underwritersinsider.com

31


NOTABLE QUOTABLES IN THE NEWS - WITH COMMENTARY

SAY WHAT? Sleeping Woman Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Rachel Calamusa

Lack of Sleep = Weight Gain, High Blood Pressure and DNA Changes

T

programme you’d expect it to be that those types of objects are restricted to certain areas. But now that we have reports from various countries across the globe of witnesses seeing similar objects. For me, it indicates something potentially beyond (Image: Pen News)s) a classified programme because, again, in the military community you’re only going to be testing those classified programmes in certain areas. The odds of you deploying that to a random country outside any open war zones or any present threat to the United States, to me, it would be very unusual. Ruling out classified military programs, it really allows one’s imagination to run wild with what these objects could be.”

hose people who sleep under six hours have a higher risk of coronary heart disease, their blood pressure is higher and their cholesterol is worse. Our lack of sleep as a nation has been compared to ‘the canary in the coal mine’, in that poor sleep is linked to so many other serious health issues. Just one night’s bad sleep changes epigenetic signals to our DNA that cause weight gain U.S. Marine Nick Karnaze speaking with The and loss of muscle mass, and can affect the Daily Star and attempting to describe some way that memories are laid down in the pretty weird recent worldwide sightings of hippocampus – part of our brains.” airborne objects that can’t be explained in any rational way. Karnaze has travelled British sleep expert Paul Gringras highlighting around the world with an investigative team the results of research showing only 44% of collecting evidence that “aliens” have been in subjects are only sleeping for a maximum contact with Earth. of six hours per night - 2 hours less than recommended. John Bolton Sidelined On Afghanistan

Snake-Like UFOs Spotted Worldwide

I

can’t think of another example where a national security adviser was sidelined like this,” t’s interesting because if we’re assuming that this could be a said Tom Wright, an international security potentially classified government expert at the Brookings Institution. “One

I 32

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


thing that makes this different from normal long term effects of this so they don’t know bureaucratic infighting is that Bolton has what the healing process is even supposed pitted himself against a policy the president to be like.” clearly supports.” 18 year old Maddie Nelson of Nephi, Utah Tom Wright, considered an international after vaping landed her in the hospital in a expert on security at the Brookings Institution. 3-day medically-induced coma after vaping Trump has said publicly and often that he every day for 3 years. Recent research has wishes to draw down the troops in Afghanistan highlighted some serious lung-destroying and reach an agreement with the Taliban in effects of vaping - or e-smoking - once thought exchange for that group renouncing al-Qaeda to be a safe and a good alternative to tobacco. and preventing them from regrouping in the No more. country. Bolton, who typically takes a hard line on international affairs, is dead-set against Opioid Crisis Local any agreement with the Taliban, exchanging opposing views with the president on more his opioid crisis is not an issue than one occasion. that is happening someplace else, or to someone else. It’s happening right here in Norfolk .We’re not Vaping More talking about $500 and $600 deals, we’re Dangerous Than Smoking? talking hundreds of thousands thought vaping was fine. I did of dollars. You all the tricks, all the time. My know, $20,000 temperature was so high, my in the trunk of brain just completely shut off. I thought somebody’s car I was in the Payson hospital for one night, in a gym bag, you and I was actually there for four days. I had know, behind a fat particles growing inside my lungs that local restaurant. were related to the glycerin in vape juice. So A Lethal Dose of Fentanyl The last thing we then my lungs want is for the U.S. Postal Service to become were full of fluid. the nation’s largest drug dealer.” They said that my chest X-rays G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. attorney for the was one of the Eastern District of Virginia describing the worst they’ve current opioid crisis in local terms after a large ever seen. When drug bust spanning 3 states, charging 39 you inhale people with receiving fentanyl from Shanghai the moisture, it’s just creating the perfect and delivered by the US Post Office to Virginia. environment for bacteria to grow inside Most fentanyl, the most deadly drug available your lungs and for infection to start. It’s very anyway, is produced in Chinese labs and scary, because the doctors don’t know the smuggled to the U.S.

T

Lindsay Fox from Newport beach, United States [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

I

SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

33


BACK ISSUES

34

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


BACK ISSUES

SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

35


SPECIAL REPORT - AAA Continued From Page 15

RED LIGHT RUNNING DEATHS HIT 10 YEAR HIGH odds. Camera enforcement is a proven way to reduce red light running and save lives.” •

Proper implementation of red light cameras helps to ensure drivers’ safety and trust in the systems. When using red light camera programs, local governments should incorporate best practices, such as:

Using the camera program as part of a comprehensive traffic safety strategy, including engineering and education. Only implementing programs on roadways with a demonstrated pattern of violations or crashes. Notifying drivers that cameras are being used (signage and other methods). Calibrating cameras regularly. Only operating cameras under the direct supervision of law

• • 36

The Underwriter’s Insider

enforcement personnel. also stay safe when traveling near • Evaluating the programs on a intersections. AAA recommends: periodic basis to ensure safety benefits are being realized. • Wait: Give yourself a few seconds to make sure all cars Changes in driver behavior are have come to a complete stop also critical to reducing the before moving through the number of red light running intersection. crashes on U.S. roads. • Stay Alert and Listen: Don’t take chances and don’t wear headphones. Watch what is To prevent red light going on and give your full crashes, AAA recommends attention to the environment that drivers: around you. • Be Visible: Stay in well• Prepare to Stop: Lift your foot lit areas, especially when off the accelerator and “cover crossing the street. the brake” when preparing • Make Eye Contact: Look at to enter any intersection by drivers in stopped vehicles to positioning your right foot ensure they see you before just above the brake pedal, crossing the road in front of without touching it. them. • Use Good Judgment: Monitor “stale” green lights, those that About AAA Foundation have been green a long time for Traffic Safety: as you’ve approached the intersection. They are more Established in 1947 by AAA, the likely to turn yellow as you AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a nonprofit, publicly funded, arrive at the intersection. • Tap the Brake: Tap your brakes 501(c)(3) charitable research a couple of times before fully and educational organization. applying them to slow down. The AAA Foundation’s mission This will catch the attention of is to prevent traffic deaths drivers who may be inattentive and injuries by conducting research into their causes and or distracted behind you. • Drive Defensively: Before you by educating the public about enter an intersection after the strategies to prevent crashes light has turned green for you, and reduce injuries when take a second after the light they do occur. This research is changes and look both ways used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, before proceeding. bicyclists and other road users. Pedestrians and cyclists should Visit www.AAAFoundation.org. Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


CLAIMS & THE LAW Continued From Page 7

ZALMA

available the insurer was required to pay for the replacement of all of the siding on both damaged and undamaged sides of the building.

In California, the Fair Claims Settlement Practices Regulations requires: “When a loss requires replacement of items and the was required to accept under replaced items do not match in this replacement-cost policy. quality, color or size, the insurer Windridge has not yet been made shall replace all items in the whole. It has not been returned to damaged area so as to conform to a reasonably uniform appearance.” its pre-storm status. [California Code of Regulations § Each building here suffered a 2695.9] direct physical loss, which was caused by or resulted from the hail and wind storm, and Philadelphia Indemnity therefore must pay to return the buildings to their prestorm status—i.e., with matching siding on all sides. Windridge only asked for sufficient funds to be put back in the position it was in before the storm. Having mismatched siding on its buildings would not he Texas Department of be the same position. Insurance (TDI) is warning Texas drivers looking for bargain insurance about a scam ZALMA OPINION that leaves them with no coverage The Seventh Circuit, affirming the even after they’ve paid for it. District Court, applied logic and legal analysis to what should have Victims of the scam believe they been a simple coverage issue. The are buying required liability policy promised to indemnify the coverage from an insurance agent. insured and pay for the repair Instead of sending the payment to of damaged structures using the insurance company, criminals material of like kind and quality. keep the money and give the Different siding on two sides of customer fake insurance cards a building are not a replacement and other documents. of like kind and quality. Since the original siding is no longer

TEXAS WARNS DRIVERS: MAKE SURE YOUR AUTO INSURANCE IS LEGIT!

T

SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

“Most people wouldn’t realize they’d been scammed until they get in an accident or get pulled over for a traffic violation,” said TDI’s fraud chief, Chris Davis. TDI has given consumers the following advise to avoid becoming victims of this scam: •

Make your payments to the company, not directly to the agent. Call the insurance company to make sure you have an active policy. Make sure you are dealing with a licensed agent.

Call TDI’s Help Line at 1-800252-3439 to check on an agent or company’s license or if you suspect fraud.

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

HERE

www/underwritersinsider.com

37


TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 5

2. Unexplained charges One other sure sign that an Android gadget is infected is by incurring unexpected charges on your cell phone bill. These will likely appear under the “SMS” category. These charges happen when your gadget is infected with malware; the programs send text messages to premium-rate numbers, which will charge you.

Unwanted apps may not be a huge problem for iOS, but they can definitely appear on Android phones, as well as jailbroken iPhones and iPads. Keep an eye out for apps that you don’t remember installing. Trojan malware, especially adware, is known for automatically downloading further malicious apps without your knowledge. Also, cybercriminals try to mimic and clone legitimate apps to trick users into installing them. Then, they use automatic app updates to switch them out with malware.

3. Sudden pop-ups You may start to receive annoying pop-up ads and notifications, or unwanted reminders and “system” warnings. Malware can add bookmarks that you don’t want, website shortcuts to your home screen that you didn’t create, and spammy messages that entice you to click. Apart from slowing down your phone and eating away at your data, these intrusive notifications can also install even more malware on your phone.

38

The Underwriter’s Insider

5. Battery drain As you can imagine, all this unauthorized background activity can impact your battery life. Such battery-sucking viruses may be disguised in third-party apps and unreliable downloads, and once you install the program onto your phone, you’ll start to see an abrupt drain.

Table of Contents

If you start noticing drastic reductions in your battery life, it might be infected.

6. Overheating device That heavy data use also leads to another symptom of stalkerware, which is an excessively hot phone. I live in Arizona, where heatstrained phones are standard, but most new smartphones won’t overheat except in extreme environments or use.

What you can do about it 1. Prevent stalkerware from being installed Prevention is always the best, but most people don’t know how their phone is vulnerable. A hacker can compromise your device with a malicious text message or email, but the most common method requires physical access to the phone. That’s why stalkerware is largely a tool for domestic abusers – who would have an easy time getting to their spouse or significant other’s device. Making sure your phone is secured with a proper passcode, biometric data (if possible), and remote-erase capability.

2. Erase and reset your device to remove stalkerware No matter what kind of phone

SEPTEMBER 2019

Public Domain #Cyberstalker Awareness Image - Edu. #iPredator & #InternetSafety Terms by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. goo.gl/7CbwpZ

KIM KOMANDO

4. Unwanted apps


TECHNOLOGY you have, your first step is to back up your data. Then, get to work. If you have an Android device, navigate to Settings, tap Backup & Reset, and then select Factory data reset. This will erase your phone and replace it with a fresh version of Android. For added security, it’s recommended you update to the latest version of Android as well. On iOS, navigate to Settings, then tap General, then scroll to the bottom and select Reset. From here, select Erase All Content and Settings. Doing this will completely wipe your device and reinstall a fresh copy of iOS.

3. Remove stalkerware and spyware from your computer It also bears mentioning that computers aren’t immune to stalkerware or spyware programs. Granted, your desktop isn’t going to move around as much as your phone, but it can still be frightening when someone has access to your search history, emails, and private data. Worse yet, many computer-based spy programs contain keystroke loggers that monitor the things you type. What does that spell? I-D-E-N-T-I-T-Y T-H-E-F-T. Thankfully, there are several malware removal programs that can eliminate the issue without SEPTEMBER 2019

erasing or reformatting your computer. Many spyware and stalkerware programs install in operating system folders that can’t be accessed normally. A smart approach for removal is booting into a dedicated virus removal tool. All this means that your computer “loads”from the antivirus software instead of your operating system which allows you to clean out files that would be skimmed over otherwise. What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or, tap or click here for Kim’s 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 Table of Contents

Rent This Space! Want Your 1/3 Page Message To Hit Over 120,000 Industry E-Mails Per Month For As Little As $129.00? View Rate Card Here! Request More Info Here!

www/underwritersinsider.com

39


SPECIAL REPORT

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

T

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

40

The Underwriter’s Insider

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

Up The Odds Your Press Release Will Be Printed And Effective

I

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

Here are eight tips to increase your odds of actually making it to the show: 1. Give me a compelling headline! Hint: Write your headline last after you review your entire PR. A good headline will not only get my attention, but that of my readers. 2. Don’t open with “ABC Company announced today...” because the PR may not appear for another 30 days. Include the actual date. 3. Keep your copy succinct! 375-450 words max. That’s an entire page, so you have plenty of room to cover your subject. I’m not going to give you more space - so if you run long, you are asking me to trim your copy and you may not like what I remove. 4. Learn to write like a journalist: Who, What, When, Why & Where. 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. SEPTEMBER 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

N

SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

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

www/underwritersinsider.com

41


2019 FAIA CONVENTION TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE!

O

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

42

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


2019 LAAIA CONVENTION TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE!

T

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

SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

43


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

E

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

44

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


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

I

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!

SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

www/underwritersinsider.com

45


46

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019


NEWS AND ANALYSIS Continued From Page 27

MAJOR PA ANNUITY SCAM BUSTED

in July of last year strengthens consumer protections on the sale of annuities, and should help lessen the chances of such a scam happening again. The new law requires an agent or insurance company to inform consumers of: •

• •

Any surrender charges they face if replacing an existing annuity Any investment advisory fees, tax penalties, or other costs Any loss of benefits or changes to riders by replacing the existing annuity

sure anyone selling annuities for them has completed this training. The Insurance Department can now also better hold both insurance companies and agents accountable for inappropriate annuity sales practices. The insurance commissioner may impose penalties and sanctions on both an agent and an insurance company for either inappropriate sales practices, or for failing to make sure the seller obtained all the financial information needed to determine whether the specific ann pornuity is suitable for the consumer. Agents or insurance companies must also make written record of their recommendation and get a signed statement from the consumer if the consumer refuses to provide requested financial information or buys an annuity the agent or insurer does not recommend. And, an insurance company may review the seller’s recommendation and refuse to issue the annuity if the company believes it is not suitable for the consumer.

“Importantly, the seller must take into account whether the consumer has had another annuity exchanged or replaced within the last 36 months, to better protect unsuspecting consumers from being victimized by this ‘churning’ of annuities,” “Most people selling annuities Altman said. are honest and do what is right The new law also requires, for the for their customers. This new first time, anyone selling annuities law won’t stop every scam artist, in Pennsylvania to take four credit but it gives consumers much hours of training to sell these stronger protection, and gives products and holds the insurance my department the ability to take company accountable for making stronger action against those SEPTEMBER 2019

Table of Contents

Continued From Page 9

SHOULD YOU WORRY ABOUT THE INVERTED YIELD CURVE?

by the Fed raising interest rates. Historically, there have often been good reasons for that. For example, in the late 1970’s inflation was a big problem, and the Fed had to use its policy tools to fight inflation. Where we are today is a little bit different. Inflation remains muted, and the Fed’s decisions are more data-driven than ever before. In half a year the Fed has gone from raising rates to cutting them, even though traditional economic indicators like unemployment remain strong. The combination of low inflation, low unemployment, and a Federal Reserve that is quick to act is unusual by historical standards. A US recession is possible in the next few years, but yield curve inversion by itself isn’t enough to cause it. Matthew Treskovich is the Chief Investment Officer for CPS Investment Advisors. He can be reached at 863-688-1725 or email Matt@CPAlliance.com. www/underwritersinsider.com

47


48

The Underwriter’s Insider

Table of Contents

SEPTEMBER 2019

Profile for The Underwriter's Insider

The Underwriter's Insider September 2019  

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

The Underwriter's Insider September 2019  

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

Profile for rmanera
Advertisement