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INSURANCE • BUSINESS • POLITICS • TECHNOLOGY

MARCH 2020 • VOL 16 • ISSUE 3


IN THIS ISSUE MARCH 2020 VOL 16 ISSUE 3

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Kim Komando: Router Checks, Free Credit Reports, Windows Help & More

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Failure To Prove Breach of Contract Defeats Bad Faith Claim - Zalma

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22 Preparing Your Portfolio For 2020 Treskovich

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Special Report: Older Men Struggle More Than Women As Driving Decreases

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Stem Cells Often A “Miracle” Solution, But Affordability & Reliability Are Big Issues

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Ask And You Shall Receive: IRS Sends $ Millions In Refunds Without Any Evidence Taxes Ever Paid

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Breaking News: Message From Distance Galaxy? Corona Virus Cyber Threat

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Florida Announces Four Arrests In $230,000 Tampa Insurance Fraud & Arrest In $200K Workers’ Comp Fraud

California’s “Operation Car Seats” Busts Alleged Family-Run Car Seat Fraud Ring

Colorado State University Orders Students To Stop Using “Non-Inclusive” Words

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Alabama DOI: Does Your Insurance Company Traqck Your Driving? A Look At UBI

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Data Storage: The Heart Of Information Systems

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The Advisor: What If E.T. Calls For Insurance?

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Reasons To Conduct Cost Segregation On Your Property Denver Burdette

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NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Snaps Its Highest Resolution Panorama Yet

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Publish Your Own Private Label Online Magazine!

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How (And Why) To Write A Press Release

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FAIA & LAAIA Trade Fair Booth Images Online

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


PAGE 8 - MATT TRESKOVICH: PREPARING YOUR PORTFOLIO FOR 2020

Report: AAA - Older Men Struggle More Than Women As Driving Decreases

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

PG 38 FEATURES

INSURANCE AND THE LAW PAGE SIX

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

5 6 8 10

Kim Komando

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Breaking News

28 30

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: CC0 MlaxPixels


MARCH 2020 INSURANCE - BUSINESS - POLITICS - TECHNOLOGY 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 2020 AdMax Corp

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MARCH 2020


TECHNOLOGY

ROUTER CHECKS, FREE CREDIT REPORTS, WINDOWS HELP AND MORE: TECH Q&A

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Really Cool Tech Info - From Kim Komando friends and relations, thanks to Venmo’s chummy relationship with Facebook.

ach week, I receive tons of questions from my listeners about tech concerns, new products and all things digital.

I recommend changing these settings as soon as possible, as there is no sensible reason to carry out these transactions publicly. There are many similar services to Venmo available, including Apple Pay with compatible devices. Click here for the safest ways to give someone money digitally and one service to avoid.

Sometimes, choosing the most interesting questions to highlight is the best part of my job. This week, I received questions about free credit reports, getting Windows help, security checks and more. Do you have a question you’d like to ask me? It’s easy to do.

Change mobile signature

Click here to email me directly.

A: Argh, that sounds like an annoying situation. Venmo is Payment app lowdown Q: My 31-year-old unemployed considered the go-to service for worthless brother wants me to “peer-to-peer” transactions, and send him money using Venmo. Is millions of people use it every this a safe way to give someone day without incident. money? I definitely don’t want him to have my credit card A big problem with the service number or checking account is how public your transactions number. can be; by default, you can watch transactions take place between MARCH 2020

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Q: Every time I send a message, at the bottom, it says, “Sent from my iPhone.” It annoys the heck out of me. Can I change that message? A: Putting that message in all iPhone messages by default is real genius marketing. Whoever thought of it should have gotten a huge bonus from Apple. See Kim Komando Pg 36 www/underwritersinsider.com

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CLAIMS & THE LAW

FAILURE TO PROVE BREACH OF CONTRACT DEFEATS BAD FAITH CLAIM Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE Frozen Pipes Insufficient to Prove Insured Failed to Heat Building

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hen a major water damage loss occurred after freezing allegedly caused pipes to burst, conflicting expert testimony disputed what caused the pipes to freeze, making it impossible to grant summary judgment on an exclusion for failure to maintain heat. In Henlopen Hotel, Inc. v. United National Insurance Company, C.A. No. N18C-09-212 PRW, Superior Court Of The State Of Delaware (January 10, 2020) Henlopen Hotel sued its insurer, United National Insurance Company for

contract breach and insurance bad-faith following a coverage denial for water damage caused by a ruptured pipe in January 2018. United National denied coverage based on its factual conclusion that the pipe burst due to freezing and its interpretation of Helopen Hotel’s policy.

Join Barry Zalma’s Blog:

http://www.zalma.com/blog

witness, Mervin T. Thomas (“Thomas”), to rebut this factual conclusion and give support to Henlopen Hotel’s alternative hypothesis that the pipe failed due to accumulated wear and age. In Henlopen Hotel’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, it seeks the Court’s determination that the water damage is covered under the policy based on either of two theories:

1. That its undisputed efforts to keep the pipes heated satisfied THE DISPUTE the terms of the policy’s Heat United National supports its Requirement Endorsement conclusion that the pipe burst and therefore make the due to freezing with the expert damage compensable analysis of J. Frank Peter (“Peter”). irrespective of whether those Henlopen Hotel seeks to admit efforts successfully prevented the testimony of its own expert freezing.

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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MARCH 2020


2. Alternatively, that United National has failed to produce admissible evidence that freezing occurred and caused the damage.

freeze-related failure. When the Court does so, and should the jury follow, Henlopen Hotel would be found to have satisfied any possible reading of the Heat Requirement Endorsement and is In United National’s Motion for entitled to have the claim paid. Summary Judgment, the insurer argued that the Heat Requirement First, the Endorsement creates an ipso facto coverage exclusion for compulsory frozen pipes, and that the record action the shows beyond all genuine Heat Requirement dispute that the pipe ruptured due to a freeze. Similarly, United Endorsement National argued that because obligates the insured the policy unambiguously denies to undertake is coverage, there was no breach of the covenant of good faith and to maintain heat. fair dealing.

Thus, each of the parties’ crossmotions for summary judgment as to Count I (Breach of Contract) must be denied.

In the alternative, United National argues that even if a triable issue exists as to coverage, the exclusion and factual record demonstrate that United National’s behavior shows neither bad faith nor maliciousness and so require entry of summary judgment as to the insurance bad faith count and prayer for punitive damages.

United National’s refusal to pay has at all times been based on the theory that the damage was caused by Henlopen Hotel’s failure to keep the pipes heated and prevent a freeze. As that theory is sufficiently supported to preclude summary judgment in Henlopen Hotel’s favor, United National’s motion for summary judgment as to Count II (Bad Faith) should be granted.

DISPUTED FACTS PRECLUDE SUMMARY JUDGMENT FOR BREACH United National’s coverage denial is based solely on the Heat Requirement Endorsement. Under a light most favorable to Henlopen Hotel, the Court must credit Expert Thomas’s opinion that the pipe did not suffer a MARCH 2020

Second, the exclusion is a consequence if the insured does not comply with the requirement.”

Conversely, on Henlopen Hotel’s motion, viewing the record in a light most favorable to United National requires crediting Mr. Peter’s expert analysis and opinion that the pipe failed because it froze in the cold weather. From that, of course, the fact finder could reasonably infer the freeze was caused by Henlopen Hotel’s failure to maintain heat in the building as required. And, under such circumstances, the coverage exclusion created by the Heat Requirement Endorsement would apply. Table of Contents

UNITED NATIONAL HAS A BONA FIDE BASIS TO DISPUTE LIABILITY To establish bad faith, an insured must show that the insurer’s refusal to honor its contractual obligation was clearly without any reasonable justification. Where an insurer’s denial of coverage is premised on a theory sufficiently well-supported as to resist summary judgment, they are entitled to contest coverage and cannot be subject to an “extracontractual” claim for bad faith or punitive damages.

UNITED NATIONAL BEARS THE BURDEN OF SHOWING AN EXCLUSION An insured bears the initial burden of showing that a loss is within the coverage provisions of an insurance policy. Once this See ZALMA Page 34 www/underwritersinsider.com

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ANALYSIS - FINANCIAL

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

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he stock market finished 2019 with a bang, rallying to all-time highs before the end of the year. All the major sectors of the market finished the year in positive territory. The largest gains came in the technology, communication services, and financial services sectors. Concerns over the global impact of the trade war abated as the US and China moved closer to 8

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completing a “phase one” trade agreement. The Federal Reserve indicated rates would be kept low to support economic growth. In the absence of a major geopolitical shock, a recession in 2020 seems unlikely. Economic growth is expected to slow, but not stall. The Federal Reserve’s projections are for 2.2% GDP growth this year, and 1.9% in 2021. The Fed’s projections are dependent on both low inflation, and low interest rates. Table of Contents

Risks and Opportunities The biggest risks to the economy are a sudden increase in inflation and energy prices, or a decrease in consumer confidence. Historically, most recessions were preceded or accompanied by a large spike in the price of oil. New technology has allowed the US to become the top oil-producing nation in the world. Unlike previous economic cycles, a substantial amount of global oil production now happens on US soil. This should MARCH 2020

“InvestmentZen”Credit: www.investmentzen.com

PREPARING YOUR PORTFOLIO FOR 2020


The long-term trends of the current bull market are in line with historical bull markets in the 1950’s and 1980’s.

provide the US economy with a layer of protection against energy price shocks. The US consumer continues to be healthy. There are now more job openings in the United States than there are people seeking work. There are also signs the long-term trend of declining labor force participation has abated. Despite the tariffs and trade war, US consumers continue to carry the global economy by spending at a record pace.

On the Lookout for a Correction In the long run, economic fundamentals drive the market. In the short run, the market can react to news about the economy in unexpected ways. During 2018, corporate earnings growth was strong, but the market finished the year lower. In 2019, earnings growth was flat, but the market posted an extremely strong performance. History shows what we should expect from the market in the long run, but short-term movements of the market can be difficult to predict.

After a strong positive year in the market, a repeat performance is unlikely. With election season around the corner, more volatility is likely. Markets average one 14% drop annually. Despite strong economic fundamentals, a significant pullback wouldn’t surprise students of market history. The market is still the best way for investors to create and grow wealth in the long run. The best advice headed into an election year may be to turn off the news and don’t make important decisions based on emotions. Take the time to make sure all aspects of your financial plan are on solid footing.

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.

MARCH 2020

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MARCH 2020


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

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Phillip T. Crenshaw, Esq.

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REPORT - AAA

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ASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 18, 2020) – New research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that as older adults reduce their driving, men report having fewer resources for making important life decisions.

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Compared to women, men over age 65 who have reduced their driving in the last year report lower levels of social support when it comes to advice, suggestions and information about issues they may be facing. Because driving is closely tied to Table of Contents

freedom and independence, AAA recommends families with older loved ones plan ahead together, especially when it comes to important decisions like limiting driving and putting reliable informational resources in place.

MARCH 2020


A ROAD LESS TRAVELED: OLDER MEN STRUGGLE MORE THAN WOMEN AS DRIVING DECREASES

“When it comes to older drivers, understand and meet the safety complicate their ability to data from our study suggests and mobility needs of older run errands, keep medical there are perceived social drivers in the United States. appointments, or visit friends,” support differences between said AAA Traffic Safety Advocacy older male and female Project Manager drivers,” said Dr. David AAA suggests older drivers Rhonda Shah. “Just like Yang, executive director planning for financial and their families speak of the AAA Foundation for and healthcare needs Traffic Safety. “Men and in retirement, there are with their physicians in women who have reduced many benefits to planning addition to exploring alternative their driving report ahead for the day when it forms of transportation and similar levels of care and makes sense to limit or emotional support from recognize that these options may stop driving.” friends and family, but complement their driving.“ older male drivers find it While self-regulation may harder to seek out advice seem like a good solution and guidance.” to allow older drivers to Past AAA Foundation research continue driving safely, some Of the study’s 2,990 participants, has found that many older adults changes can create unintended 1 in 5 older drivers reported limit their driving, or self-regulate, consequences on the roadway. reducing their driving in the past to daytime, short trips, or familiar For example, using side streets year, with more women, 57%, locations due to health issues and to avoid the freeway can increase than men, 43%, saying they had it can lead to an overall decline in an older drivers’ risk of a crash by cut back on driving. The findings life satisfaction. increasing the distance traveled are part of the AAA LongROAD and his/her exposure on the (Longitudinal Research on “Cutting back on driving may road. Aging Drivers) study, a multi- threaten older drivers’ sense See Older Men Struggle Page 26 year research program to better of independence and may MARCH 2020

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13


NEWS - HEALTH TECH

STEM CELLS OFTEN A “MIRACLE” SOLUTION, BUT AFFORDABILITY AND RELIABILITY ARE BIG ISSUES - NEW TECH MAY BE THE ANSWER

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he dawn of a new day for medical miracles is shining brightly on the world’s health and longevity. These shining beams radiating from biomedical stem cell research hold unparalleled opportunities for the benefit for humanity. We have now zeroed in on the basic physiological core of what makes us human. With this advanced knowledge we can literally manipulate the health and potential of any human being. Never before has biological scientists held such immense power to control the very essence of how to control diseases, manipulate human genetics, correct birth defects and literally build or clone the perfect human body from the toes on up.

to understand the full, true ramifications of what stem cell research truly explores and provides to the future of humanity; you will quickly under-stand the brave new world that beckons us into the perils and promises of this new century.

Where Do Stem Cells Come From? Embryonic stem cells come from an embryo that is just a few days old. Scientists can extract adult stem cells from different types of tissue, including the brain, bone marrow, blood vessels, skeletal muscle, skin, teeth, the gut, the liver, among others. Ambiotic fluid contains stem cells. Many women

opt for an amniocentesis test that checks for congenital disabilities before the child is born. If the doctor keeps the amniotic fluid containing stem cells, it could be used in the future to treat other conditions either during gestation or after birth. After collecting the stem cells, scientists usually store them in liquid nitrogen for future use.

Ethical issues: Historically, the use of stem cells in medical research has been controversial. This is because when the therapeutic use of stem cells first came to the public’s attention in the late 1990s, scientists were

This dawning is both a wondrous time and wholly terrifying for we humans are embarking on a voyage of unknown discovery unlike any before sailed. Like Columbus, we are unaware if we will find the fabulous riches of the exotic East or fall off the end of the Earth into the boiling abyss below. I know this analogy sounds dramatic. But if you really start 14

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now the overall success for most procedures is less than 20%. Although treatment failure is common, hope springs eternally for desperate people often paying over $5,000 for a single treatment. Yet, according to Grand View Research, a San Francisco market researcher, the global expenditure for stem cells was an enormous $8.65 billion in 2018 and estimated to be $15.63 billion by 2025, an 8.8% growth rate. Investment money is being attracted like an electromagnet. deriving human stem cells from embryos. Many people disagree with using human embryonic cells for medical research because extracting the cells means destroying the embryo. This creates complex issues, as people have different beliefs about what constitutes the start of human life. For some people, life starts when a baby is born. Others believe that human life begins at conception, so an embryo has the same moral status and rights as a human adult or child. President George W. Bush had strong, pro-life religious views, and he banned funding for human stem cell research in 2001 while President Obama’s administration allowed for a partial rolling back of these research restrictions. Also, many people who had stored frozen embryos for future births, changed their minds and these embryos entered the stem cell inventory, which was also controversial. MARCH 2020

Fortunately, by 2006, scientists had already started using pluripotent stem cells. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are cells that scientists can reprogram to act as stem cells, for use in regenerative medicine. Scientists do not derive these stem cells from embryonic stem cells. As a result, this technique does not have the same ethical concerns. The real controversial situation, other than the origin of the stem cells, comes with stem cell’s future capability for cloning and creation of “Super” humans. Theoretically, scientists could create 500lb football players with 2% body fat running 9 second 100 yd. dashes; or geniuses with 250 I.Q’s. This is all possible and would turn society on it’s end. Although stem cells are controversial, they also do not always work as intended. Right Table of Contents

A Solution? However, according to recent reports, there may be a simple remedy for this very expensive and notoriously unreliable stem cell treatment. This technology involves redox signaling molecules (Redox) using primary cells. Like functional stem cells, these primary cells are produced simultaneously in the mitochondria in every one of your cells as the essential nutrients from your digested food are converted into ATP (adenosine triphosphate). First discovered in 1923 at the University of Berlin by Dr. Otto Warburg, with the able assistance of his college roommate, Albert Einstein, these Redox cells are the basis of your protective Immune System. Primary cells are

See Redox Signaling Pg 25 www/underwritersinsider.com

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NEWS

ASK AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE: IRS SENDS $ MILLIONS IN REFUNDS WITHOUT ANY EVIDENCE TAXES EVER PAID - FATHER AND DAUGHTER TEAM SENTENCED TO PRISON

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riana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Michael J. De Palma, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Anthony Ramirez, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), Miami Field Office; George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Miami Field Office; and James S. Jackson, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) announced that U.S. District Judge Robin L. Rosenberg sentenced Danielle Takeila Edmonson, 35, and Kenneth Roger Edmonson, 51, both of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to prison terms for their involvement in a scheme that involved the filing of false and fraudulent tax returns seeking large-dollar tax refunds.

refund claims with the IRS totaling over $100 million, including individual refund claims ranging from hundreds of thousands of dollars to as high as eighty million dollars. Despite the false nature of the claims, the Department of Treasury paid out approximately $3.4 million in refunds through the issuance of U.S. Treasury checks.

In addition, D. Edmonson filed a fraudulent tax return seeking a large refund for tax year 2014, falsely indicating on handwritten forms that she had paid taxes of over $300,000. The IRS did not receive any corresponding forms to support the payment of any of these taxes. Despite the false nature of the tax return, the Department of Treasury issued a

D. Edmonson received a 72-month sentence. K. Edmonson received a 51-month sentence. According to the evidence presented at trial, from 2015 through 2018, D. Edmonson and K. Edmonson filed large-dollar tax 16

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

Table of Contents

MARCH 2020


tax refund check for $239,700 in 2015. D. Edmonson deposited this tax refund check into her bank account and used the funds to purchase a luxury vehicle.

Department of Treasury mailed a tax refund check to K. Edmonson for $734,266.27 (including interest). Shortly thereafter, K. Edmonson deposited this tax refund check into his bank account.

one count of mail fraud, and one count of false statements.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended IRS-CI, DSS, FBI and TIGTA for their work on the case. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael N. Despite the false nature of Berger and Adrienne Rosen. the claims, the Department of

D. Edmonson also filed fraudulent tax returns for each of tax years 2015, 2016, and 2017, seeking refunds of approximately $80 Treasury paid out approximately $3.4 million, $2.4 million, Related court and $9 million, documents and million in refunds through the issuance respectively. These information may be of U.S. Treasury checks.� tax returns contained found on the website forms falsely of the District Court claiming that she had paid over for the Southern District of Florida $145 million in taxes during this Trial evidence also established at www.flsd.uscourts.gov. period. that in January 2018, law enforcement conducted a search The IRS did not receive any of the Edmonson residence. corresponding forms to support During the search, in the the payment of any of these taxes. bedrooms of D. Edmonson and Despite the false nature of the K. Edmonson, law enforcement tax returns, the Department of found letters addressed to both Treasury issued a tax refund check individuals warning them of the to K. Edmonson in the amount frivolous nature of their returns. of $2,405,703 on September 4, Shortly after law enforcement left, 2017. D. Edmonson subsequently despite warnings not to do so, K. deposited this tax refund check Edmonson went to his bank to into her bank account. attempt to withdraw the funds from the account that received In September 2017, K. Edmonson the fraudulent refund check. filed a fraudulent tax return seeking a refund of approximately D. Edmonson was convicted on $725,111. The return contained four counts of filing false, fictitious false and fraudulent claims that and fraudulent claims, two counts he had paid a substantial amount of mail fraud, and one count of of withholding taxes. The IRS did false statements. not receive corresponding forms to support the claimed payments. K. Edmonson was convicted at Despite the false nature of the tax trial of two counts of filing false, return, on January 28, 2018, the fraudulent, and fictitious claims,

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS a mystery radio source in a galaxy some 500 million lightyears from our solar system is sending out fast rom a February issue radio bursts like clockwork of steadfastdaily.com: in 16.35 day cycles, including “Astronomers from around 1-2 bursts per hour over a four day period and then 12 days of silence before starting up again. The galaxy from which these signals are emanating appears to be approximately 500 million light years away.”

Beware Coronavirus Cyber Threat

From A Galaxy Far, Far Away

F

I

t seems malicious hackers are using the Coronavirus to piggy-back a cyber threat. USA Today reported that emails were sent to folks in Japan appearing to be legitimate warnings and asking the recipients to open an attachment. The exploitive attachment

the world have long been fascinated by the mysterious radio signals bombarding our planet from deep in outer space, with some onlookers linking them to a possible extraterrestrial intelligence. A new study by an international team of scientists led by astronomers at the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment Fast Radio Burst Project (CHIME/FRB) in British Columbia has discovered that 18

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THE INSIDE TRACK - BREAKING NEWS contained malware able to infect both smartphones or desktop PCs. Readers are reminded to NEVER open attachments from an unknown source. “Hackers will use whatever is timely to get victims to do the action required,” according to Marty Puranik, cybersecurity expert and CEO of data center provider Atlantic. Net, as told to USA Today.”

FPL: Leave Your Phone Charger Plugged In

D

oes your phone charger use electricity when plugged in? Yes! An astounding 23 cents a year.

they’re plugged in. In fact, many electronic items are in “standby” mode when turned off, helping them turn on faster or respond to a remote control. Devices with lit digital displays use power too, albeit a very small amount. You can avoid this by unplugging unused items until needed or using power strips to cut power to multiple items with one switch. As far as cell phones are concerned, they use very little electricity even when you are actively charging them. In fact, the annual cost of charging your phone eight hours a night is just about 65 cents if the phone is off while charging or roughly $1.30 per year if it’s switched on. Not bad for a convenience most of us can’t live without. “

New Navy Weapon To “Incinerate” Drones According to the Florida utility, “This small amount of energy use is called“phantom energy.” Power adapters, like cell phone chargers, aren’t the only items that use a little bit of energy when MARCH 2020

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he U.S. Navy is integrating laser weapons into surface ships at a rapid pace allowing offensive and defensive capabilities once thought of as science fiction. Table of Contents

The Navy reported that it’s Optical Dazzling Interdictor (ODIN) was just installed on the USS Dewey guided missile destroyer, configured to track and destroy enemy drones. According to a December, 2019, Congressional Research Service report called Navy Lasers, Railgun, and GunLaunched Guided Projectile, “The weapon will also feed intelligence, surveillance and

reconnaissance (ISR) data into the ship’s combat system and provide a counterUAS (C-UAS) ISR dazzler capability. The dazzler uses a lower power setting to confuse or reduce ISR capabilities of a hostile UAS,” the report states, in reference to the Navy’s ODIN…. and a weapon now laying the foundation for a developing laser system called HELIOS, or High Energy Laser with Integrated Optical-Dazzler and Surveillance system.”

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NEWS

FLORIDA ANNOUNCES FOUR ARRESTS IN $230,000 TAMPA INSURANCE FRAUD AND AN ARREST IN A $200,000 WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FRAUD IN FT. MYERS

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AMPA, Fla. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announces the arrests of Aymen Salti, Faiz Salti, Mohammed Salti, and Ayiha Salti, for racketeering and conspiracy to commit racketeering for allegedly staging automobile accidents in order to file nearly $230,000 in fraudulent insurance claims. CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Fraud has reached epidemic proportions in Florida and scams like this drive up auto rates for every driver on the road. I’m thankful for the hard work of my fraud detectives in tracking these fraudsters down.” An investigation conducted by Florida’s Bureau of Insurance Fraud in conjunction with the Largo Police Department alleged that between June 2016 and April of 2019, Aymen Salti, Faiz Salti, Mohammed Salti, and Ayiha Salti staged automobile accidents at multiple gas stations to obtain approximately $230,000 in fraudulent insurance claims. Detectives discovered the items the suspects alleged were 20

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damaged, were never damaged and fraudulent invoices were submitted to the insurance company. All suspects were arrested and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail on February 13 and charged with Racketeering and Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering. Each individual was held on $1.2 million bond. If convicted, they each face up to 30 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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ORT MYERS, FL. – Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest today of Santos Y. Cardona, owner of YYCS Enterprises, Inc., for workers’ compensation fraud. Over the course of a year, Cardona allegedly evaded paying nearly $200,000 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums. The company allegedly conducted more than $1 million in payroll but originally reported $59,000 in payroll on their workers’ compensation insurance policy. Table of Contents

CFO Jimmy Patronis said,“Workers’ compensation fraud is a serious crime that puts injured workers at risk and drives up insurance rates statewide for honest, hardworking businesses.” An investigation by Florida’s Bureau of Insurance Fraud discovered Cardona allegedly concealed payroll information to avoid paying higher workers’ compensation premiums. Based on financial records from a check cashing store in Fort Myers, it was revealed that Cardona cashed over $1 million in payroll checks. Cardona later reported payroll of only $59,000 which is less than what he originally estimated to avoid paying $199,515 in workers’ compensation insurance premiums. Santos Y. Cardona was booked into Lee County Jail on February 5 on charges of Workers’ Compensation Fraud and Scheme to Defraud. If convicted, Cardona faces up to 25 years in prison. Individuals charged with a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty. MARCH 2020


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NEWS

CA’S “OPERATION CAR SEATS” BUSTS FAMILY RUN, HIGH-END CHILD CAR-SEAT INSURANCE FRAUD Suspects allegedly submitted fake car seat receipts and altered bills for higher insurance payouts

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OS ANGELES, Calif. — Department of Insurance detectives have arrested seven suspects on 31 felony charges of auto insurance fraud for their alleged involvement in a family-run organized auto fraud

run ring cost every California driver when insurance companies pass along these losses through higher premiums,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “The Department of Insurance is committed to investigating fraud and stopping those who take advantage of the system.” After receiving a tip from the insurer, the California Department of Insurance launched an investigation which revealed that from 2014 to 2017, alleged

fraudulent digitally-altered receipts for the car seats to pad their claims to receive higher, undeserved insurance payouts. The car seats accounted for $77,897 of the insurer’s loss. The investigation also found that multiple claims were for accidents that never took place, also called “paper collisions.” To further substantiate the alleged fraud, the suspects submitted digitallyaltered medical bills and vehicle repair bills.

L-R Lawanda Bogan, 42, Jasmine Jackson, 31, Anthony Ficklin, 37, Cozette Baldwin, 58, Natasha Bogan, 39 Claudia Nunez, 50, Sherrell Scott, 31

ring dubbed Operation Car Seats. Suspects allegedly filed dozens of fraudulent false insurance claims using receipts for high-end child car seats costing an average of $950 each to claim a higher undeserved payout from insurers. The fraud resulted in a nearly $180,000 loss to the insurer. “The alleged actions by this family22

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ringleader, Lawanda Bogan, 42, of Long Beach, conspired with family members and close friends to file 32 false insurance claims to an insurer totaling $179,106. The suspects claimed multiple high-end child car seats costing an average of $950 each were in the vehicles at the time of the accidents and submitted Table of Contents

This case is a part of the Los Angeles County Automobile Insurance FraudTask Force, which is comprised of the California Department of Insurance, California Highway Patrol, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Automobile Insurance Fraud Unit. MARCH 2020


COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY ORDERS STUDENTS TO STOP USING “NON-INCLUSIVE” WORDS

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t. Collins, CO - Safe spaces weren’t enough, apparently to keep Colorado State University’s adult children students safe from the well-known hazards of “non-inclusion,” and prepared for the real world. And so the geniuses in administration, gathered up all the non-inclusive words/phrases they could think of and banned their use on campus. Colorado State University MARCH 2020

students are now shielded from words like “Americans.” Just think how terribly non-inclusive that word might be to those that aren’t Americans. Even the word “America” is on the list! And that’s only the beginning. Because in the rarefied atmosphere of extreme liberalism, words that YOU may think are perfectly fine may be causing extreme duress to the perpetually offended. Table of Contents

Here’s

a few more words from the absurd list that must be avoided at all costs: “male,” “female,” “ladies and gentlemen,” and “Mr./Mrs./Ms,” “straight,” and “normal person.” Want more? War, cake walk, eenie meenie miney moe, freshman, hip hip hooray, hold down the fort, and starving are all words that have also been deemed as “non-inclusive” by the university. www/underwritersinsider.com

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REPORT

ALABAMA DOI: DOES YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY TRACK YOUR DRIVING? A LOOK AT USER-BASED INSURANCE Does Your Insurance Company Track Your Driving? A Look At User-Based Insurance

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magine a world in which your auto insurer installs a device in your vehicle to monitor your driving. The insurance company receives data on your driving which helps to determine the amount you pay for coverage. This is a reality today for some. It’s called usage-based insurance (UBI) or telematics and an increasing numbers of insurers are offering this option. If you’re thinking of signing up, make sure to thoroughly understand the program, including the pros and cons.

TOP CONSIDERATIONS How UBI works. UBI tracks driving behavior through devices installed in a vehicle or through smartphones. The devices can measure miles driven, time of day, where the vehicle is driven, rapid acceleration, hard braking, hard cornering and air bag deployment. Depending on the 24

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insurer and what is allowed in the state, the data collected is then used by insurers to help determine premiums.

Prepare for the future of UBI coverage: If there are flaws in your driving habits you should start trying to correct them, as the technology shift suggests UBI may become the most common way to determine auto insurance premiums.”

factor. UBI may directly impact your premium because programs associate costs with individual and current driving behaviors, instead of relying on statistics based on past trends and events. For example, if you mainly drive short distances at slower speeds, you will probably be charged less than a driver who drives long distances at high speeds. Pros and cons of UBI. Like any policy there are several advantages and downsides to UBI.

Pros UBI premiums vs. traditional • Premiums should be priced auto premiums. more accurately by linking There are several variations of UBI including pay-as-you-drive, payhow-you-drive, pay-as-you-go and distance-based insurance. Traditional auto insurance relies on actuarial analysis of data including driving records, creditbased insurance scores, personal characteristics, vehicle types, garage locations and more. A UBI program adds individual driving behaviors as an additional rating Table of Contents

costs to driving performance. • If you have driving habits associated with lower risks, it can help save you money. • It can motivate drivers to improve driving habits such as avoiding hard stops or bursts of acceleration. • Real-time tracking may accelerate the response time if you’re in an accident. • MARCH 2020


Cons

TOP THREE THINGS • Insurers tracking mileage TO REMEMBER and monitoring behavior raises privacy concerns. 1. UBI or usage-based • The technology is still insurance uses information relatively new and insurers about your driving behavior are still developing how raw to determine your auto data collected will be used to policy premium, as opposed price auto insurance policies. to traditional auto policies • Not everyone is a better than that use actuarial analysis ‘average’ driver and may not of data like driving record, be eligible for discounted vehicle type, and insurance rates. credit score. 2. Conduct an honest HOW TO PROTECT assessment of your driving YOURSELF behavior to determine if UBI Honestly evaluate your driving can offer you discounts. habits: While the commercials for UBI promote the discounts 3. Know exactly what driving data is collected and used drivers can receive, it can also by your insurer to determine lead to higher premiums. Before your UBI premium. making the jump to UBI, know what you are signing up for. Editor’s Note: Little has been Know what data is collected: published on the underwriting Make sure you trust your insurer bias contained in the premium with your information. Research decisions resulting from UBI what devices will be used to data. For example, it would be monitor your driving and fully interesting to know if real-world understand what behaviors will data suggests that harder than be tracked. average stops and quicker than average starts really result in Prepare for the future of UBI more losses - or if it simply reflects coverage: As tracking technology develops, UBI will become more the assumptions of the code common. Mobile phone apps author. A professional driver, as are also being used to monitor an example, one on the road all driving behavior. If there are day, would be more likely to drive flaws in your driving habits you in a crisp manner when driving should start trying to correct his/her own vehicle, but would them, as the technology shift they be at greater risk of a loss suggests UBI may become the than an elderly retiree just trying most common way to determine to stay awake on the way home auto insurance premiums. from bingo?

Continued From Page 15

REDOX MOLECULAR SIGNALING produced internally by your own embryonic fetus before you were born, and continuously until you die. These redox primary cells are the fuel that runs your body. and are more essential to your life than stem cells because they are the healthy communication system that enables all your cells to coordinate your bodily functions. Without them you are dead. So effective is the enhancement of redox molecular signaling that a successful company, ASEA, has been formed to bring Redox Cell Signaling Supplement to the public. Watch the short video below to learn more about this revolutionary product:

An interesting fact: ASEA makes business opportunities available to individuals to market their line of cell signaling products. For more info contact Ihor Lenkho at 561-252-3680, or click HERE.


REPORT - AAA Continued From Page 13

OLDER MEN MAY STRUGGLE TO DRIVE

Ridesharing – If the older adult has Health with support from the AAA a smartphone, they can download Foundation for Traffic Safety. a rideshare app to help with local transportation.

About AAA Foundation Initiating a conversation about for Traffic Safety:

safe driving with an older driver, especially a parent, is challenging for most people. While there is no simple or easy way to address the AAA suggests older drivers and subject, AAA is here to help. Visit their families speak with their seniordriving.aaa.com for some physicians in addition to exploring important tips. alternative forms of transportation and recognize that these options About LongROAD: Recognizing may complement their driving. that lifestyle changes, and Transportation alternatives vary innovative technologies and from city to city, so AAA suggests medical advancements will have a significant impact on the driving the following: experiences of the baby boomer Carpooling – Sharing a ride with generation, the AAA Foundation friends or neighbors is one way for for Traffic Safety launched a ground-breaking, multi-year older adults who limit driving. research program to more fully Public Transportation – When understand and meet the safety available, city buses, light rail and and mobility needs of older drivers subway systems are great ways to in the United States. get around. By planning ahead, an older driver can build up a comfort The AAA LongROAD (Longitudinal level with public transportation Research on Aging Drivers) services to prepare for a time study is one of the largest and when he or she may have to limit most comprehensive databases available on senior drivers or stop driving. incorporating 2,990 participants Local Transportation Services – being followed for five years. It will If the cost of a taxi or difficulty support in-depth studies of senior walking to a bus stop is an driving and mobility to better obstacle to using public transit, understand risks and develop an older adult could benefit from effective countermeasures. using low-cost, communitybased informal transportation The research was performed services called supplemental at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public transportation programs. 26

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Established in 1947 by AAA, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is a not-for-profit, publicly funded, 501(c)(3) charitable research and educational organization. The AAA Foundation’s mission is to prevent traffic deaths and injuries by conducting research into their causes and by educating the public about strategies to prevent crashes and reduce injuries when they do occur. This research is used to develop educational materials for drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and other road users. Visit www. AAAFoundation.org.

About AAA: AAA provides more than 60 million members with automotive, travel, insurance and financial services through its federation of 34 motor clubs and more than 1,000 branch offices across North America. Since 1902, the not-for-profit, fully taxpaying AAA has been a leader and advocate for safe mobility. Drivers can request roadside assistance, identify nearby gas prices, locate discounts, book a hotel or map a route via the AAA Mobile app. To join, visit AAA.com. MARCH 2020


NEWS - TECHNOLOGY

DATA STORAGE: THE HEART OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS

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ack in 1956, when even a gigabyte of storage was only a fantasy in the mind of the most imaginative computer scientist, this 500lb behemoth (bottom image) was as good as it gets - state of the art - 5,000,000 bytes of pure data storage. Fortunately, as data storage needs grew, so did storage capacity. To store this magazine in PDF format ,for example, would require about 6 of those gigantic IBM 5MB hard drives. A typical modern digital image would require at least 2-3 of them.

A SanDisk Cruzer 256GB thumb drive: $34.99 and 51,200 X the storage capacity of the 5MB IBM drive shown below, and, no doubt far faster & more reliable than the IBM drive.

To duplicate the storage on the computer I produce the Insider on, for example, (about 6.5 Terabytes) would require, get ready..., 13,500,000 5MB drives! Then there is the cost. IBM leased the beast for $3,200 a month, equivalent of $28,000 today! In contrast, the 256GB Sandisk thumb drive in the top image contains 51,200 times more storage space and only costs a flat $34.99 on Amazon. And it doesn’t require four men and a semi-truck to get it to your office.

MARCH 2020

This enormous box contains a 5MB IBM hard drive, 1956. It takes four men to maneuver the monster into a truck for transport.

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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.

E.T. Call... For Insurance?

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n a recent issue you were talking about “disruptive” changes to a marketplace and how it can shake up an industry. How disruptive would it be to the insurance industry if aliens appeared on Earth and needed coverage for their warp drive or whatever? J.T. Denver, CO.

ADVISOR

electromagnetic signals (or capable of conceiving and any clue) from a technically building a transmitter capable advanced civilization. of sending signals to the stars? Admit it: It’s a rare subset of Why? One reason we may not humans able to do so and we have detected alien life is best existed in our present form for understood by studying life on 100,000 years before someone Earth. Our planet is teeming broadcast that first weak radio with life. Yet with 8.7 million signal. species, many of which we have yet to even label, there is It may not be life that is rare only one species even remotely it may simply be intelligence capable of developing any capable of producing sort of advanced technology: technology. We often make Homo Sapiens. Man. And the assumption that once there even among our unique is life, advanced intelligence species, how many of us are will necessarily follow given

You’ve been doing some deep thinking, J.T. and we note that marijuana is legal now in Colorado. Go easy on that stuff. Still, your hypothesis about alien life is a current question, however, as researchers try and determine why they have yet to find a single solid clue pointing to extraterrestrial life as we search for 28

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MARCH 2020


sufficient time to evolve. Where is the evidence of that? On Earth, the odds have been 1 out of 8.7 million. Human-like technology may be a fluke - a one-off.

Is there any evidence that a modern crocodile, having existed almost unchanged for millions of years, is any smarter for the wait? The Advisor isn’t convinced that advanced intelligence is “selected for” as a Natural Selection, the process natural course of events - and it may be the reason we have not of evolution by which modern yet detected alien life. organisms have developed from simple life forms has no So far, we can only search for agenda. The process simply their advanced technology rewards traits in individual and there may not be any organisms that increase technology. Then we have the that organism’s chance to Fermi Paradox: “the observation reproduce. The process doesn’t that either the number of care if the organism becomes technologically advanced smarter - it may select instead civilizations is small–like one for bigger teeth, sharper vision or zero–or that the fraction of such civilizations that go on to or better camouflage. MARCH 2020

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colonize the galaxy is for some reason small or zero, and it’s not clear what this reason would be,” according to Anthony Aguirre a physicist at the SCIPP institute at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Then consider the sheer size and the vast distances in the search area. Our radio signals have traveled a mere 100 light years (a light year is 5.8 trillion miles) since the first broadcast. That’s only 1/1000th the diameter of our local galaxy - and there are billions of galaxies.. We’ve barely crossed our front porch. Any broadcasting alien race we wish to imagine must face the same limitations. www/underwritersinsider.com

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NOTABLE QUOTABLES IN THE NEWS - WITH COMMENTARY

SAY WHAT? Hands To Yourself, Joe

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ust before the speeches, we were ushered to the side of the stage where we were lined up by order of introduction. As I was taking deep breaths and preparing myself to make my case to the crowd, I felt two hands on my shoulders. I froze. “Why is the vicepresident of the United States touching me? I felt him get closer to me from behind. He leaned further in and inhaled my hair. I was mortified. I thought to myself, “I didn’t wash my hair today and the vice - presi dent of the United States is smelling it. And also, what in the actual f**k? Why is the vice - presi dent of the United States smelling my hair?” He proceeded to plant a big slow kiss on the back of my head. My brain couldn’t process what was happening. I was embarrassed. I was shocked. I was confused. There is a Spanish saying, “tragame tierra,” it means, “earth, swallow me whole.” I couldn’t move and I couldn’t say anything. I wanted nothing

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more than to get Biden away from me. … … By then, as a young Latina in politics, I had gotten used to feeling like an outsider in rooms dominated by white men. But I had never experienced anything so blatantly inappropriate and unnerving before.” Lucy Flores, the first of multiple women to have accused candidate Joe Biden of inappropriate touching.

Sounding Rather Foolish, Dan

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es. The short answer is yes. Increasingly President Trump’s support seems cultish. It’s all about him, it’s not about a policy, it’s not the standards of politics. Ronald Reagan had a very solid following but he stood for something in terms of policy. Franklin Roosevelt, same way. These cults, cults generally don’t end well. People will say it’s too much to say it’s a cult. I don’t think so. The further we go, it is always all about him. It’s not about a policy.” Disgraced former CBS anchor Dan Rather, expressing classic liberal befuddlement as to the popularity of President Donald Trump. Not about the policy Dan? Hmmm.

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MARCH 2020


Did the Trump policies have anything to do with liberating all ISIS controlled territory? Forcing NATO allies to pay their fair share? Throttling back N.Korea? Millions (6.4 million!) of new jobs including 500,000 manufacturing jobs, added to the economy? Lowest unemployment in decades with the lowest 10% of earners seeing their wages increase at an amazing 7% over the past 12 months? Lowest female, African-American and Hispanic unemployment in history? Negotiating a vastly improved trade deals with China, Mexico & Canada to the direct benefit of American workers? Nah, Dan, it’s just a cult.

Address after Trump’s delivery in an almost unbelievable demonstration of disrespect to the office of the president and the American people.

Pelosi “Little More Than A Partisan Troll”

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he country was deeply divided, but both parties maintained the tradition of civility and decorum. I was struck how members, even in the heat of furious debates, would not attack each other by name and followed rigid principles of decorum. They understood that they were the custodians of this and bore a duty to strengthen Pelosi: Petty, Peevish & Partisan institution and pass along those traditions to the next generation. At that moment, she think it shows you how petty represents the House as an institution and peevish and partisan and — both Republicans and Democrats. the Democratic Party has become. Instead, she decided to become little What’s wrong with more than a partisan troll from an her? Who mutters to elevated position. The protests of the themselves over the Democratic members also reached a State of the Union? new low for the House. Pelosi did not She looked like she gavel out the protest. She seemed to was reading the join it. That is why I argue in the Hill that, Cheesecake Factory if Pelosi does not apologize and agree menu all night going to honor the principle of neutrality and through every single civility at the State of the Union, she page. I think that she should resign as speaker.” should either be censured or I believe the same woman who led a resolution in the Jonathan Turley who was a witness in House to denounce a tweet last summer the House impeachment investigation — there ought to be a Senate resolution and a George Washington University Law denouncing her behavior last night.” professor speaking about the first time he walked onto the floor of the House Presidential advisor Kelly Ann Conway of Representatives 44 years ago - and responding to Speaker of the House Nancy his response to Pelosi’s petulant temper Pelosi ripping up the State Of The Union tantrum after the State of the Union.

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MARCH 2020

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BACK ISSUES

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BACK ISSUES

MARCH 2020

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CLAIMS & THE LAW - ZALMA Continued From Page 7

ZALMA

burden is met, the insurer bears the burden of proof that a policy exclusion applies to the loss. United National argues that the Heat Requirement Endorsement phrases itself as “a condition of this insurance” and therefore shifts the burden to Henlopen Hotel to prove that the included exceptions do not apply. The cardinal rule of contract construction is that where possible, a court should give effect to all contract provisions. United National’s desired reading of the Heat Requirement Endorsement as an ipso facto exclusion for frozen pipes cannot be reconciled with the document’s plain language. The Heat Requirement Endorsement informs Henlopen Hotel that it is “required to maintain heat at a level sufficient in buildings and other structures covered by this policy to prevent freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning and fire protection systems.” This precludes United National’s reading for two reasons. First, the compulsory action the 34

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Heat Requirement Endorsement obligates the insured to undertake is to maintain heat. Second, the exclusion is a consequence if the insured does not comply with the requirement.

supervening cause so extreme and unpredictable as to excuse the failure of Henlopen Hotel’s efforts to overcome and prevent such an occurrence.

Since Count II (Breach of the The focus of the language of the Implied Covenant of Good Faith) Heat Requirement Endorsement relates to an obligation addressed is at all times with the actions by an express term of the contract, taken by the insured and under its the implied covenant is displaced control. Resting a determination and United National’s motion for of coverage entirely on whether summary judgment on that count a freeze occurs—no matter the was granted. steps and precautions taken by the insured to prevent such ZALMA OPINION freeze—would likewise negate The Delaware Superior Court this operative language rendering disposed of the bad faith claim it meaningless. easily since it was clear the insurer acted upon a reasonable Whether Henlopen Hotel interpretation of its policy based maintained heat is a disputed upon the expert reporting of a question of fact. United National qualified expert. The fact that can show that the exclusion of the another qualified expert opined Heat Requirement Endorsement the exact opposite established applies and acts to preclude that there was disputed facts that recovery under the policy by could not be resolved at summary showing both that the pipe failed judgment. due to a freeze during the relevant cold spell, and that the freeze The conclusion, with regard to occurred because Henlopen Hotel breach of contract, seems to be a failed to adequately maintain stretch by calling into play a Deus heat in the hotel building. ex Machina – a supervening cause so extreme and unpredictable as The mere fact of a freeze might, to excuse the failure to prevent on its own, be sufficient to permit the freezing. This issue will be a jury to infer that the cause resolved at trial but probably of the freeze was Henlopen should have considered the fact Hotel’s failure to maintain heat. that pipes don’t freeze if they are However, proving a freeze is kept warmer than the freezing not per se conclusive, as the point of water – 32 degrees. fact finder could determine that the freeze occurred due to a Table of Contents

MARCH 2020


ANALYSIS - TAX CONSIDERATIONS

REASONS NOT TO CONDUCT COST SEGREGATION ON YOUR PROPERTY

Q

Mill work, partition walls, cabinetry/shelving, flooring, plumbing, furnishings, branch wiring, light fixtures, wall coverings, site improvements, and signage.

Who exactly is eligible for cost segregation? Well, anyone who owns a commercial building that contains any of the following:

What property doesn’t contain many if not all of the items from our list? Now for owners not taking advantage of cost segregation, the ever generous IRS does permit straight line depreciation over 39 yrs. (or 27.5 yrs. for residential rental property).

By Denver H. Burdette

uite frankly, I couldn’t find any. Therefore I can’t understand why more property owners aren’t taking advantage of this provision in the IRS tax code. As a matter of fact, less than 10% of commercial property owners nationwide have had the study done.

For example a property with purchase and renovation costs totaling $3,900,000, it’s owner will take $100,000 in depreciation on each years tax return for the next 39 yrs. Therefore, reducing taxable income by $100,000 each year. I suppose the obvious question for our property owner; Will you still be in business in 39 years? Or perhaps to be even more blunt, will you be here in 39 years? With the uncertainties in life and business and the knowledge See Cost Segregation Page 44

About the author: De

nver has been a resident of south Florida since 1973. He and his wife Karen moved to Wellington in 1994 and continue to call the western community their home. Denver has served as a member of the following groups: Talk of the Town Toastmasters (board member), Palms West Chamber of Commerce, Wellington Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club of Wellington, LeTip business networking group (membership chair) and West Palm Beach Business Referral Club. From 1987 to 2010, Denver’s insurance agency served the insurance and financial services needs of south Florida high net worth retirees. Denver and his wife have been part time real estate investors since the early 2000’s and are still active today in purchasing as well as brokering non performing real estate loans. Vacant land is also part of their investment focus. Denver and D.H. Burdette & Associates, Inc. are independent advisors for Stryde Solutions, LLC of Fenton, Mi. He is currently 1 of 500 advisors nationwide for Stryde that focus on helping business owners increase cash flow, improve their bottom line, and ultimately increase the value of their business. Since 2004 Stryde and it’s advisors have identified over $4 billion in benefits for business clients.

MARCH 2020

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TECHNOLOGY Continued From Page 5

see online. If the steps are at a manufacturer’s site or official YouTube channel, you’ll be fine.

KIM KOMANDO But you’re not the only one aggravated by it. Many people have no idea they can change this signature line, or even that it is, technically, a signature line.

let you check your credit for free. You can check both your credit and your future wife’s, and you can see itemized lists of all credit cards, loans, car leases and so on.

You may have noticed certain email platforms allow you to use a signature in their desktop versions, but that signature doesn’t carry over to the mobile versions. This can be frustrating, but it’s a pretty quick fix. Tap or click here to change your mobile email signature.

You will probably have to consult your realtor and financial representative for the best way to handle the uneven scores. Sometimes it’s a matter of putting one name on the mortgage and adding your fiancée after the closing. Tap or click here to check your credit report for free and what to look for.

Free credit report Q: I know that I have better credit than my future wife, who buys whatever she sees in Instagram ads. What’s the best way to get both of our credit scores before we go condo shopping? A: It’s hard to believe how difficult it used to be to check your credit. Until recently, the very act of checking your credit score was said to damage it. Today, many different services 36

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Help fixing a PC Q: I don’t want to pay a big box company for a house call to fix my two-year-old Windows PC. Last time, the kid tried to upsell me a bunch of services, including buying a new computer. A: You can Google a lot of tech support issues and find answers — but the problem is you can’t always trust what you Table of Contents

I’ve been answering general and tech support questions for over 20 years. In that time, I’ve developed a strong following of novices and pros alike. I have a dedicated question and answer community filled with people who can troubleshoot your problems. You simply have to sign up, and then all your questions are answered by either myself, my team or other trusted, knowledgeable folks. Tap or click here to check out the Komando Community forums.

Check your firewall Q: How do I know if my router and firewall are keeping the hackers out? There must be a way to test it to be sure it’s working. A: I’m glad you asked this question because people routinely forget routers have security settings, just like Wi-Fi networks and online accounts. But checking your router is a little more technical than checking your Wi-Fi. You sometimes have to look up specific instructions for your particular model.

MARCH 2020


NASA’S CURIOSITY MARS ROVER SNAPS ITS HIGHESTRESOLUTION PANORAMA

Yes, you can test your firewall’s effectiveness and it’s not nearly as hard as you might fear. You may need to consult your manual; in the likely event you’ve lost the original paper copy, you ASA's Curiosity rover has can almost always find an online captured its highestversion. Tap or click here to test resolution panorama yet your router to make sure it’s of the Martian surface. Composed keeping hackers out. of more than 1,000 images taken during the 2019 Thanksgiving What digital lifestyle questions holiday and carefully assembled over the ensuing months, the do you have? Call Kim’s national composite contains 1.8 billion radio show and tap or click here pixels of Martian landscape. The to find it on your local radio rover's Mast Camera, or Mastcam, station. You can listen to or used its telephoto lens to produce watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

N

In 2013, Curiosity produced a 1.3-billion-pixel panorama using both Mastcam cameras; its blackand-white Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, provided images of the rover itself. Imaging specialists carefully assemble Mars panoramas by creating mosaics composed of individual pictures and blending their edges to create a seamless look.

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 MARCH 2020

Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego built and operates Curiosity’s Mastcam. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages the project for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate “This is the first time during the in Washington and built the mission we’ve dedicated our Navigation Cameras and the operations to a stereo 360-degree rover. panorama.” the panorama; meanwhile, it relied on its medium-angle lens to produce a lower-resolution, nearly 650-million-pixel panorama that includes the rover's deck and robotic arm.

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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. MARCH 2020


Image Credit: Creative Commons

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

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

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

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2019 FAIA CONVENTION TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE!

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ne of the biggest insurance events held each year in Florida is the Florida Association of Independent Agents (FAIA) Convention. This year was the 116th annual convention, making it not only one of the largest, but one of the longest running events in US insurance history.

Click On The Image Below To View Booth Images

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MARCH 2020


2019 LAAIA CONVENTION TRADE FAIR BOOTH IMAGES NOW ONLINE!

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

Click On The Image Below To View Booth Images

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

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

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MARCH 2020


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

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

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

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

VISIT ZALMA BOOKS NOW!

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ANALYSIS - TAX CONSIDERATIONS Continued From Page 35

REPORT: CONSIDER COST SEGREGATING YOUR PROPERTY

Now I’m just thinking out loud but, “What are you waiting for”?

go to www.PropertyTaxCredits. com/338109 for our Cost Segregation self service page. Call me today to see how much Calculate your tax benefit on your your business can benefit from commercial property in less than cost segregation (and a host of other Tax incentives and cost 1 minute. reduction opportunities). Our goal is to increase cash flow, Here’s wishing you continued improve your bottom line and success in your business. May ultimately make your business 2020 be your most profitable year more valuable. yet!

Keep in mind that reducing your taxable income through this permissible acceleration of depreciation strategy is a no that provisions in the tax code brainer. Keep more of your profits aren’t always forever, the question and give less to Uncle Sam. seems to scream…Why not grab all the eligible depreciation as Call Denver Burdette at 561-798quickly as you can? Should we say 5559 today for full details. Denver the tax code helps those who help and D.H. Burdette & Associates, themselves? Inc. are independent advisors for Stryde Solutions, LLC. Since 2004 In my consulting business, we pay Stryde, GMG (it’s tax division) and the cost of the engineering based a family of nationwide advisors study for our business owner (now 500 strong) have identified clients. This study will generate over $4 billion in benefits for the feasibility analysis required to business owner clients. file with Uncle Sam. This is a risk free proposition. In addition our A free demonstration with our clients will also receive an audit proprietary software can identify defense report, although we’ve savings for your business in as never had a cost segregation many as 7 key areas in less than submission disallowed. 15 minutes. Our process is non disruptive and does not require Every action taken is in a business to change any existing coordination with your tax advisor. vendor relationships. “Use our In fact our mission is not to give money to increase your profits”! tax advice but taking advantage of opportunities to improve the Don’t want to speak with an bottom line for your business. advisor? That’s ok, you can now 44

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Neither D.H. Burdette & Associates or Stryde Solutions are authorized to provide tax advice. Before implementing any suggested strategy please consult with your tax advisor.

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