Page 1


Features 5 Advertising 9 Kim Komando 18 Inside Track 23 Insider Advisor 24 Classifieds 26 Say What? 28 Back Issues

2

News 4 7

N. Carolina Woman Guilty In Massive Florida Medicare Fraud Polar Vortex? Yes - And Coming With Potential Artic Weather Damage Claims - Sommer Horton, Esq.

9 10 11

How To Keep Your Private Info Out Of The Hands Of Others - Kim Komando

12

Obama’s State Of The Union - A Fixation on Fabricating Fantasy Spencer A. Lehmann, RHU

14 15 16 16 18

Inadequate Underwriting Is Expensive! - Barry Zalma, Esq. QQ Solutions Expands To California & Arizona - Appoints Insurance Vet Adam Meyerson Sales Manager

Georgia State Board of Worker’s Comp Enforcement Has Jesup Couple Arrested on Insurance Fraud Charges My Classic Car Spotlight Gives Agent A Way To Explain Collector-Vehicle Coverage All Risks, Ltd Acquires Stonebridge Underwriters North Carolina Issues First Captive Insurance Company Licenses 4th Fastest Computer In The World Simulates 1 Second Of 1% Of Human Brain - Takes 40 Minutes!

The Underwriter’s Insider


News 21 23

Decade Old Mars Rover Opportunity Continues To Explore The Red Planet

26

$20 Trillion Spent on “War on Poverty” As Poverty Level Breaks 50 Year Record Under Obama

26 27 27 30 30 36

The Politics of Income Inequality And The Professional Liars On The Left The Insider’s Advisor

Not So Fast Fellas - N. Carolina Insurance Commissioner Jumps On Carriers For Large Friday Afternoon Rate Increase Filings Lawsuit May Get Rocky - Ph.D. Sues NASA Claiming Mystery Rock Is Fungal Growth - Wants Further Investigation Seattle About To Encourage Ridesharing - Never Realizing Private Passenger Auto Policies Would Not Cover Public Livery - PCI Informs Gulfstream Now Taking Orders For Fastest, Largest Priciest Private Jet Watch The Video! Golf Magic At Scotland’s Gleneagles Golf Club - Must See Video! Texas Reins In ObamaCare Navigators Protecting Consumer’s Personal Information

www.underwritersinsider.com

Sponsors 6 8 11 15 14 18 22 22 23 25 32 33 35 37 38

Modern Insurance Consultants H.O.P.E. QQ Solutions St. James Insurance Company A.D. Bankers & Company NASA - Eclipse Agency Mgt. Accu-Auto SLB Group Encore HR Personnel Solutions Orrin R. Beilly, Esq. Barry Zalma, Esq. The Towing & Rental Group FYI Georgia View & News Orrin R. Beilly - Florida Lawyer Financemaster

Cover Photo: © R. Manera

3


NORTH CAROLINA WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY IN MASSIVE $28.3 MEDICARE FRAUD INVOLVING MULTIPLE FLORIDA REHAB AND PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINICS

A

North Carolina woman has pleaded guilty for her involvement in a $28.3 million Medicare fraud scheme involving physical and occupational therapy services.

submit approximately $28.3 million in fraudulent reimbursement claims to Medicare from 2005 through 2009. Medicare paid approximately $14.4 million on those claims.

Grishkoff, 5’10” 230lb former attorney Acting Assistant Attorney General who was disbarred in 1997, was vice Mythili Raman of the Justice president, director and registered Department’s Criminal Division, agent in Florida for a Delaware Acting U.S. Attorney holding company A. Lee Bentley III of known as Ulysses the Middle District Acquisitions Inc. of Florida, Special Grishkoff and Agent in Charge Paul co-conspirators Wysopal of the FBI’s used Ulysses Tampa Field Office Acquisitions and Special Agent in to purchase Charge Christopher comprehensive Dennis of the U.S. o u t p a t i e n t Health and Human rehabilitation Services Office of facilities and Inspector General outpatient physical (HHS-OIG) made the therapy providers, announcement. including West Margarita M. Grishkoff Coast Rehab Inc. in Margarita M. Grishkoff, 59, of Charlotte, Fort Myers, Fla.; Rehab Dynamics Inc. N.C., and formerly of southwest in Venice, Fla.; Polk Rehabilitation Inc. Florida, pleaded guilty today in the in Lake Wales, Fla.; and Renew Therapy U.S. District Court for the Middle Center of Port St. Lucie LLC in Port St. District of Florida to conspiracy Lucie, Fla., to gain control of these to commit health care fraud. Her clinics’ Medicare provider numbers. sentencing date will be set by the court. She faces a maximum penalty Working with co-conspirators in of 10 years in prison. Miami and elsewhere, Grishkoff and her co-conspirators obtained According to documents filed in the identifying information of Medicare case, Grishkoff and her co-conspirators beneficiaries through paying used various physical therapy kickbacks. They also obtained unique clinics and other business entities identifying information of physicians. throughout Florida and elsewhere to Grishkoff and her co-conspirators 4

then used this information to create and submit false claims to Medicare through the clinics Ulysses Acquisitions purchased. These claims sought reimbursement for therapy services that were not legitimately prescribed and not actually provided. Grishkoff and co-conspirators also paid kickbacks to co-conspirators who owned other therapy clinics that were used to further the fraud scheme. For example, Grishkoff and co-conspirators used the clinics they controlled to submit false reimbursement claims to Medicare on behalf of Miami-based therapy clinics such as Hallandale Rehabilitation Inc., Tropical Physical Therapy Corporation, American Wellness Centers Inc., and West Regional Center Inc. Grishkoff and co-conspirators would retain approximately 20 percent of the money Medicare paid on these claims and pay the other 80 percent of the fraud proceeds to the co-conspirator clinic owners. When Grishkoff and her coconspirators were done using the clinics they acquired through Ulysses Acquisitions, they engaged in sham sales of the clinics to nominee or straw owners, all of whom were recent immigrants to the United States with no background or experience in the health care industry. Grishkoff and others did this in an effort to try to disassociate themselves from the fraudulent operations of their clinics.

The Underwriter’s Insider


www.underwritersinsider.com

5


➨ Modern Insurance Consultants is a nationwide insurance agents E&O specialist and the #1 writer of agents E&O in Florida (FSLSO 2004 through 2010) ➨ Serving independent agents since 1994 ➨ One application gives you access to 18 markets writing agents E&O ➨ Modern Insurance Consultants has the E&O coverage you need • Limits available up to $10,000,000 • Premiums starting at $1,200 and deductibles as low as $1,000 • Exclusive E&O programs from A rated carriers • Insolvency, Defense Costs Outside the Limit and First Dollar Defense coverages available • 24 hour quote turnaround with our exclusive 2 page QuickQuote Application for agents and brokers available on our website

Have you been declined, non-renewed or rate increased? Apply now at www.modernins.com 1348 Old Dixie Highway Homestead, FL 33030 ph: 305.248.9495 fax: 305.248.9496 www.modernins.com info@modernins.com

6

The Underwriter’s Insider


POLAR VORTEX AND P&C CLAIMS

T

he Polar Vortex. What from the 40’s to the 80’s can cause exactly is it? From a layman’s concrete slab foundation cracking, standpoint it’s plumbing pipe just a lot of very cold failures and other weather. Normally, it property damage would not give us much issues. to think abut other than keeping warm, however, At the Horton I recently looked at my Law Group, we phone’s weather app have a proactive and saw that it was 40 approach to, not degrees in South Florida. only litigation, but Having been born and more importantly raised in Broward County forethought to I found this shocking. prevent a carrier More important, from a from having property and casualty to engage in Sommer Horton, Esq. standpoint, I found this unnecessary lengthy concerning for carriers. and expensive litigation. A properly worded policy, to include exclusions As a good seasoned property and or limitation that others may not have casualty adjuster knows, extremely necessarily thought of could lead to cold temperatures can cause arctic a much simpler, easier and cheaper weather property damage claims declaratory (“deck”) action. to occur and while 40 degree temperatures do not create ice or If you have questions about anything frozen conditions, not far off 32 included in these comments or other degrees does. If these weather legal matters, please feel free to patterns continue, it is a reasonable contact me directly at 561-299-0018 possibility that Florida could or shorton@horton-law-group.com experience temperatures severe enough to cause arctic weather property damage. Attorney, Sommer C. Horton is the Founder of the Horton Law Group, Property policies written in Florida P.A. representing clients in Dade, may not traditionally have included Broward and Palm Beach Counties. language to either prevent or limit arctic weather damage claims. This is She is a seasoned attorney with 10 something that should prudently be years of civil litigation experience. addressed in all new issued policies Ms. Horton is licensed in both, Florida and in all policy renewals. Even without ice-forming temperatures of and California. Ms. Horton is highly 32 degrees, temperature variances regarded for her creativity, strategic www.underwritersinsider.com

Table of Contents

Advertise In America’s Favorite Insurance Magazine! Reach More Readers At a Lower Cost Then Ever Before! Free Professional Ad Creation!

INFO HERE

judgment and her uncanny ability to deliver persuasive arguments in the courtroom. Areas of practice include: * Insurance Defense, Coverage Opinions, Bad Faith Litigation. * Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration & Litigation and Will Contests * Divorce, Custody Disputes, Alimony, Child Support, Guardianship & Relocation * Landlord/Tenant Disputes, Sale & Purchase of Commercial and Residential Real Property, Real Estate Failure to Disclosure, Fraud and Concealment Litigation * Business Incorporation, Planning, Buy/Sale Agreements, Mergers & Dissolution * Construction Defect, Negligence, Professional Negligence, Breach of Contract, Mold & Water Intrusion for Residential and Commercial properties. 7


FEB 2014 A Publication of AdMax Corp Corporate Offices

P.O. Box 31551 Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33420 561.718.0745 info@underwritersinsider.com © Entire Contents 2014 AdMax Corp

To best navigate The Insider, begin with the Table of Contents and select your topic. On the bottom of most pages is a Table of Contents link that will immediately return you for your next topic selection. EVERY SPONSOR AD LINKS DIRECTLY TO THE SPONSOR’S WEBSITE. CLICK ON ANY AD TO VISIT OUR FINE SPONSORS!

www.underwritersinsider.com

8

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


HOW TO KEEP YOUR PRIVATE INFORMATION OUT OF THE HANDS OF OTHERS

L

Really Cool Info - by Kim Komando

et’s be honest: Most of us prefer not to think about who watches what we do on the Internet. What’s the harm, some may think, if someone’s looking at my family pictures on Facebook? Well, there may be a lot of harm. Do you want everyone in the world to see pictures of your kids? That you’re on a family camping trip and not at home? Do you want advertisers vacuuming up details from your family’s socialmedia accounts? How about a potential cyberthief cobbling together enough of your personal information to steal your identity?

And that’s not to mention the other snoops, from the NSA on down, who might decide one of your Tweets or Facebook postings is “interesting.” Scammers, hackers, marketers, spies and identity thieves - together they could make anyone want to surf the Web privately. Here are a few ways to live in our digital world without staying up at night. First of all, you need to keep your computer free of viruses - programs you inadvertently download that could share your information with hackers. AVG or avast! are good places to start for free antivirus protection. AdAware and Spybot Search & D e s t ro y t a rg e t

adware and spyware. Next, note that every major browser has an “incognito” or “private browsing” mode. That’s one line of defense against advertisers that track where you go, or snoops who get on your computer. In most browsers, Control + Shift + P will bring up a private browsing window. (In Chrome browsers, Control + Shift + N brings up the “incognito” window.) Another tip: No matter what you do, you leave a lot of information behind on your computer. Your browser has a record of what you’ve been looking at and what you’ve downloaded. It also keeps those “cookies” you’ve heard about. Some cookies are useful, and some are troubling. A program like CCleaner, a well-reviewed cleaning program, will keep unwanted cookies and other junk off your computer. Are you worried about someone snooping in your email? Not only does the technology exist, some companies already do it. Gmail users, for example, are used to seeing, say, dog-related ads next to their email window if they’ve been discussing pooches with a friend. That’s done automatically and, to be fair, that’s the price you pay for using Google’s powerful email service for free. To be as secure as possible against other prying eyes, try using a program called PGP – that’s short for Pretty Good Privacy. (The name is modest – if used correctly, the program should keep your email private

See Kim Komando Pg 33 www.underwritersinsider.com

Table of Contents

9


INADEQUATE UNDERWRITING IS EXPENSIVE Expert Analysis & Commentary by Barry Zalma, Esq.

O

ne of the operators of a leased food truck was burned inside the truck by oil from a deep fryer that splashed on her. The insurers for the lessor dispute with one another coverage. The automobile insurer claims that the injury should be covered under the commercial general liability policy that, although excluding coverage for injuries arising out of the use of automobiles, covers “mobile equipment,” defined as vehicles used for a primary purpose other than transporting persons or cargo. The commercial general liability insurer asserts that the primary purpose of the food truck was to transport persons and cargo so that it is not within the mobile equipment exception to the auto exclusion.

and the passenger in their truck brought an action (the Gomez action) against Royal and others for injuries sustained in connection with the accident.

Barry Zalma, Esq., CFE is a California attorney specializing in insurance coverage, insurance claims handling and fraud who serves as a consultant and expert for insurers and policyholders. He founded Zalma Insurance Consultants in 2001 and serves as its senior consultant. He recently published an e-book, “Getting The Whole Truth,” which is available at his Web site, www.zalma.com. Go to Zalma Books at http://www.zalma.com/zalmabooks. htm.

Royal Catering Company (Royal) owned a fleet of food trucks. It leased its trucks to operators who drove from site to site selling food. Royal leased one of these trucks to Esmeragdo Gomez, who, along with his wife Irais Gomez, operated the truck. The Gomezes’ food truck had only two seats and two seatbelts. The truck was not equipped to transport persons other than a driver and a cook. Each Join Barry Zalma’s new Blog:

http://www.zalma.com/blog

10

day, Mr. Gomez returned the food truck to Royal. Royal washed and maintained the truck and repaired it as necessary. On the day of the accident, Mr. Gomez was driving the Gomezes’ food truck. A guest sat in the truck’s passenger seat, and Mrs. Gomez stood in the rear of the truck. At an intersection, Mr. Gomez swerved to avoid an approaching truck. Mr. Gomez’s evasive action failed to avoid a collision. Just prior to the collision, hot oil splashed on and burned Mrs. Gomez. The Gomezes

Table of Contents

Royal tendered the Gomez action to American States Insurance Company (American States), which had issued automobile (American States Auto Policy) and excess automobile insurance policies to Royal. American States agreed to provide a defense under a reservation of rights. Royal and American States tendered the Gomez action to Travelers Property and Casualty Company of America (Travelers), which had issued to Royal commercial general liability (Travelers Primary CGL Policy) and excess-umbrella general liability policies. Travelers declined to provide a defense. American States, Royal, and the Gomezes submitted the Gomez action to binding arbitration. The arbitration concerned only Royal’s liability on a products liability theory—i.e., that Royal provided a defective deep fryer basket, which caused the hot oil to spill on Mrs. Gomez. Regarding responsibility for the accident that caused Mrs. Gomez’s burn injuries, the Arbitrator found: The liability proportions for Mrs. Gomez’s injuries are assigned as follows:

See Zalma Pg 31 The Underwriter’s Insider


QQ SOLUTIONS EXPANDS PRESENCE IN CALIFORNIA AND ARIZONA AND APPOINTS INSURANCE INDUSTRY VETERAN ADAM MEYERSON AS REGIONAL SALES MANAGER

D

eerfield Beach, FL (PRWEB) January 21, 2014 QQ Solutions, Inc, the leading provider of cloud-based insurance agency management systems for independent agencies nationwide, has appointed Adam Meyerson as Regional Sales Manager for California and Arizona. Based in Los Angeles, Meyerson will be responsible for the sales of the company’s cloud-based agency management system, QQ Catalyst™ to insurance agencies in California and Arizona. Born and raised in Southern California, Meyerson has held sales and marketing positions with leading insurance carriers and insurance software companies, including FSC, Bristol West Insurance, GMAC Insurance, and MAPFRE Insurance. Additionally, Meyerson currently serves as President of the Carrier Counsel as well as Master of Ceremonies for industry trade association, Brokers Independent Group, since its inception in 2009. “Adam is the right perso n at the right time to introduce our revolutionary cloud-based agency management system, QQ Catalyst, to independent insurance agents in California and Arizona,” said Michael Stebel, Chief Operating Officer of QQ Solutions. “With over fourteen years experience in the insurance industry, Adam’s career spans the agency,

www.underwritersinsider.com

carrier, and technology segments of the industry. He has an excellent understanding of the challenges facing insurance agents, what they need to do to grow and prosper, and how our industry-leading solutions can help.” For more information, click on the ad or

call QQ Solutions at 1.800.940.6600.

of the largest providers of insurance agency management systems for independent insurance agencies, QQ Solutions supports over 4,700 agencies, representing over 23,000 users nationwide. The company’s mission is to help independent insurance agencies compete in the digital world by

About QQ Solutions, Inc.:

leveraging the latest cloud technology, social media, digital marketing and realtime services.

Named one of the “25 Fastest-Growing Technology Companies” in South Florida by the South Florida Business Journal, QQ Solutions is a software-asa-service (SaaS) company that provides feature-rich, affordable solutions that help independent insurance agencies grow revenues, enhance productivity and operate more efficiently. One

QQ Solutions strives to delight its customers by exceeding their expectations in product quality, customer service, training & support, and by meeting their evolving needs through a program of continuous product development and improvement incorporating the best available technologies.

Table of Contents

11


OBAMA’S STATE OF THE UNION: A FIXATION ON FABRICATING FANTASY

L

OP/ED BY SPENCER A. LEHMANN, RHU

ast night, January 28, of America, to not know the your law because of the law, the 2014, Barack Obama truth, that of that 9 million vast majority would have signed delivered he 2014 State whom you claim signed up for up anyway - Obamacare or no of the Union. Normally a Obamacare. rather boring teleprompter speech, highlighting the It is inconceivable that your sitting president’s claims advisors would have you of successful policy so wrapped in a cocoon, accomplishments assuring that you wouldn’t have the American Electorate known that of the 6 million that they were wise to you claim signed up for have elected the president Medicaid, many would have delivering the address, was signed up for Medicaid with while overlong, also about or without your onerous law. as honest and truthful The numbers of Americans as anything else uttered who sign up for Medicaid is by this specific president not only fluid, it is constant in since his first inauguration. that it happens every month. Meaning it was anything Likely, the majority of those but honest and truthful. who signed up would have anyway. Ignoring the many misstatements made An additional 3 million Spencer A. Lehmann is a Registered by Mr. Obama relating Americans (give or take) Health Underwriter (RHU), whose to a plethora of issues, signed up for private company, Lehmann/Wood & Associates, and cutting directly to insurance via the exchanges. Inc., specializes in Group and Individual his pronouncements What you don’t address, Long Term Care insurance and Medicare regarding his ObamaCare, which comes as no surprise, Supplemental Coverage. Mr. Lehmann aka the PPACA, Obama are the percentages of those retired from his company in 2005 and now continued his now legion 3 million Americans who spends his time writing on Health Care seeming history of being are among the estimated Insurance and Political Issues, both of a pathological liar when 12 million to 15 million which have encompassed over 40+ years of he declared on national Americans who lost their his life. He has been an actively involved television that to date, 9 insurance when 6.1 million member of the National Association of million Americans had insurance policies were Health Underwriters (NAHU) since 1978, and signed up for ObamaCare. cancelled as a direct result serves on the Board of Directors of several of your law, which placed Charitable Organizations’ helping Special Needs Children, and Inner-City Children to Mr. Obama, you know such onerous requirements experience and participate in the world of the better than that. It is on the Insurance companies Arts and Music. In his free time he plays golf impossible for you, the in demanding expanded with his wife, Fran, who usually wins. man in charge, the “Leader” benefits, many of which have

12

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


no basis in efficacy whatever. These are Americans who were already insured, so your claim that Obamacare was the instrumental driving factor in these Americans becoming insured, is patently bogus. You claim, Mr. Obama, that because of Obamacare, Medicare premiums have been kept stable, no increases, and the Prescription Drug costs have been lowered. Mr. Obama! Do you read the papers? Watch the news? Receive briefings from your advisors? Or do you just make this stuff up as you go along? That answer is already clear to any who are paying attention. First of all, Medicare premiums have most definitely not remained flat; they’ve increased, in some cases dramatically, for millions of seniors. The level of care has been reduced as the numbers of physicians participating in medicare have dropped since you instituted severe slashes to physician reimbursements in Medicare since you took office, and most importantly, Mr. Obama, since

FREE CLASSIFIEDS!

So your blanket statement that because of your law the costs have decreased, is not credible. In fact, Mr. Obama, given your history of being an apparent pathological liar, nothing you said in your SOTU was credible. That so many of the Democratic Party members gave you standing ovations after your many misstatements and downright lies, is testimony to their being your willing accomplices in ignoring the dictates of the Constitution and declaring your intent to continue to rule by dictating law and making law by fiat, obviating your responsibility to work with the Congress, and in your declaring your intent to make law by Executive Order rather than going through the Congressional Legislative process as is expected of you “stole” $716 billion from Presidents of our constitutional Medicare to help fund your democratic republic, not Obamacare. of dictators of third-world countries, whom you seem to Next, as regards the cost of wish to emulate. prescription drugs, you allege that because of Obamacare The State of the Union, Mr. the cost has gone down. The Obama, under your watch, is actual cost of prescriptions may pretty lousy, Sir. More news to have lowered to some degree, come, not at 11:00 PM, but in but the out of pocket costs to the eleventh month of this year, the Consumer have increased. 2014.

JOIN MY NETWORK!

HELP WANTED — POSITION WANTED 4 — SALE ITEMS

CLICK HERE! www.underwritersinsider.com

Table of Contents

13


GEORGIA STATE BOARD OF WORKER’S COMPENSATION ENFORCEMENT CAUSES FELONY ARREST OF JESUP HUSBAND AND WIFE ON INSURANCE FRAUD CHARGES

A

n investigation conducted by the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation’s Enforcement Division has led to the arrest of a City of Jesup husband and wife for Insurance Fraud. According to Enforcement Division Director Stan Bexley, criminal arrest warrants were issued on January 27, 2014 for Carlos Vazquez in the Magistrate Court of Glynn County Georgia. Carlos Vazquez has been charged with 1 (one) felony count of Insurance Fraud, 1 (one) felony count of Forgery in the First Degree and 1 (one) felony count of Conspiracy to commit a crime (Insurance Fraud). Carlos Vazquez was arrested on January 27, 2014, and booked in the Glynn County jail.

14

Heather Lea Woodcock Vazquez was arrested on January 28, 2014, and has been charged with 2 (two) felony counts of Insurance Fraud and 1 (one) felony counts of Conspiracy to commit a crime (Insurance Fraud). Heather Vazquez was booked in the Wayne County jail after voluntarily turning herself in. Carlos and Heather Vazquez operate a paint contracting business that provides residential and commercial painting in and around the Brunswick and St. Simon’s area. The business operates under the names Los Painters, Inc. and Los Painting and Power Washing of Jesup.

Table of Contents

The Enforcement Division’s investigation alleges that Carlos and Heather and Vazquez in conspiracy with one another gave false and misleading information to multiple insurance agents in order to purchase workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Carlos Vazquez is charged with presenting a bogus certificate of insurance to a general contractor in an attempt to conceal the fraud. It is alleged in the complaint that the Vasquez’s defrauded insurance companies out of approximately $30,000.00 in workers’ compensation premiums. The Underwriter’s Insider


MY CLASSIC CAR SPOTLIGHT GIVES AGENTS WAY TO EXPLAIN COLLECTOR-VEHICLE COVERAGE American Collectors Highlights Agreed Value, Other Features

A

merican Collectors Insurance, a national provider of specialty coverage for collector vehicles and collectibles, is featured on a segment of the "My Classic Car" television show, which provides independent agents a way to explain the advantages of collector-vehicle coverage to their clients and prospects. The five-minute segment, online at http://youtu.be/-QwlyUfuTGE, features Jill Bookman, CEO of American www.underwritersinsider.com

Collectors, discussing the features of collector-vehicle insurance with Dennis Gage, host of My Classic Car television show. "The segment on collector-vehicle insurance is a good feature for insurance agents to share with the many collectors in their client base," commented Bookman. "Many consumers are overpaying for insurance on their collector vehicles, and this show helps them understand why collector-vehicle coverage is actually more suited for them and typically costs less than a standard auto policy." Collector-vehicle

insurance

Table of Contents

from

American Collectors provides agreedvalue coverage, meaning that a policyholder receives the full collector value of the vehicle in the event of a total loss, rather than actual cash (depreciated) value. American Collectors sponsors the My Classic Car television show, which appears on Velocity (a Discovery network that reaches 60 million households) Saturday 6:30 am ET and Sunday 9:30 am ET and MAVTV (26 million households) five times per week. Additionally, the show runs on MyClassicCar.com, which draws 20,000 unique visitors each month, and on the MyClassicCarTV channel on YouTube. 15


ALL RISKS, LTD. ACQUIRES STONEBRIDGE UNDERWRITERS

H

UNT VALLEY, MD (January 2, 2014) – All Risks, Ltd., the nation’s largest independent wholesaler, today announced its acquisition of Stonebridge Underwriters, a national general agency and program administrator, based in St. Paul, MN. Stonebridge Underwriters has developed a variety of competitively priced, multi-line programs that were developed to support underserved classes of business. Stonebridge has joined All Risks, Ltd. effective January 1st, 2014. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. “Similar to our National Specialty Programs unit, Stonebridge works with financially strong, “A+” rated carriers to provide competitive

insurance products to niche markets. Integrating Stonebridge’s successful program business to our current national program platform was a natural fit,” stated Chris McGovern, All Risks, Ltd. Senior Vice President, of the acquisition. “Their enhanced coverages and expanded niche expertise bolsters our exclusive program offerings to our retail partner network.” Bryan Meyer, President of Stonebridge Underwriters, and his staff have joined the National Specialty Programs unit of All Risks, while continuing to operate from St. Paul. They will continue to focus on expanding their existing programs for Coin-Operated Laundry & Dry Cleaners, Golf Courses, Pawn Shops

NORTH CAROLINA ISSUES FIRST CAPTIVE INSURANCE COMPANY LICENSES

R

ALEIGH -Insurance Commissioner Wayne G o o d w i n announced today that the North Carolina Department of Insurance has issued four captive insurance company licenses since the state's Captive Insurance Act went into effect in late October 2013.

a pure captive insurance company licensed Dec. 30, 2013, and managed by Atlas Management, LLC of Charlotte

The new North Carolina-domiciled captive insurance companies are:

SR Insurance, Inc., LLC, a pure captive insurance company licensed Dec. 31, 2013, and managed by Atlas Management, LLC of Charlotte

West & Joyce Insurance Company, 16

Cade Reassurance, LLC, a pure captive insurance company licensed Dec. 31, 2013, and managed by Atlas Management, LLC of Charlotte

Table of Contents

and Tattoo & Body Piercing Artists to All Risks retail insurance partners nationwide. Retail agents can view details of each of these exclusive national programs at www.allrisks.com/products/ specialty-programs/. All Risks, Ltd., based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, is the largest national independent wholesale brokerage firm offering comprehensive insurance solutions with a full service platform of brokerage, contract binding, exclusive national programs and specialty personal lines products for retail insurance agents and brokers nationwide. The 49-year-old firm employs over 600 staff members in offices located in Maryland, Arizona, California, DC, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington. To learn more, visit www.allrisks.com. Synergy Insurance, Inc., a protected cell captive insurance company licensed Dec. 31, 2013, and managed by Synergy Captive Strategies, LLC of Las Vegas "North Carolina is off to a strong and promising start as a captive domicile," said Goodwin. "With our state-ofthe-art law and commitment to the success of captives, I am confident we will become one of the most desirable states in the country for the formation and re-domestication of captive insurers." Captives create jobs for those who form and perform services for the captive, and they generate premium tax revenues for the state or jurisdiction in which they are established. The Underwriter’s Insider


4TH FASTEST COMPUTER IN THE WORLD SIMULATES 1 SECOND OF 1 PERCENT OF THE HUMAN BRAIN - AND IT TOOK 83,000 PROCESSORS AND 40 MINTUES And you thought you weren’t so smart? by Ron Manera

O

n a blazingly fast supercomputer designed to simulate supernovas, highenergy particle acceleration nuclear detonations and the prediction of earthquakes, scientists instead successfully simulated the operation of one second of one percent of the human brain. The water-cooled Japanese K computer is housed at RIKEN’s Advanced Institute for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan. It’s rated performance of 10.51 petaflops per second using 705,024 SPARC64 processing cores has been verified. The advanced computer boasts 1 petabyte of main memory - about the equivalent of 250 thousand personal computers. (1.4 million GB) In 2011, the K Computer was deemed the fastest in the world, but has since fallen behind other supercomputers such as the IBM Sequoia with a LINPACK performance of 16.325 petaflops. Sequoia is 55% faster than K, utilizing 123% more CPU processors, but is also 150% more energy efficient.[11] As of June 2013, the world’s fastest supercomputer is China’s Tianhe-2, capable of a LINPACK performance of over 33 petaflops; K is currently the world’s fourth-fastest computer. www.underwritersinsider.com

According to reports, the simulation involved 1.73 billion virtual nerve cells connected to 10.4 trillion synapses. Between each virtual neuron in the joint project between Japanese and German scientists.

An exascale computer is one that can perform a quintillion floating point operations per second, thought to be the same power as a human brain. Such a computer does not exist - but it may in the near future.

The next step in super computing will be an “exascale” computer which will have the ability to effectively map much more of human brain activity.

Intel has announced that it aims to have this future computer, 100 times more powerful than the K Computer operational by 2018.

Advertise In America’s Favorite Insurance Magazine! Reach More Readers At a Lower Cost Then Ever Before! Free Professional Ad Creation!

INFO HERE

Table of Contents

17


Breaking Industry News

T

he North Carolina Department of Insurance received a homeowners insurance rate filing from the N.C. Rate Bureau in the late afternoon of Friday, Jan. 3. The N.C. Rate Bureau, which is not part of the Department of Insurance and represents all companies writing homeowners insurance in the state, has requested a statewide average rate increase of 25.3 percent, varying by territory, with a requested effective date of Aug. 1, 2014. The requested rate changes range from -2.7 percent to +35 percent. The insurance companies have also requested revisions to the current geographic rating territories. The filing will be reviewed by Department of Insurance experts to determine what, if any, rate adjustments are warranted.

I

nsurance and Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said arctic weather that struck Georgia last week caused an estimated $75 million in insured losses. “That figure may rise as new claims are reported,” Hudgens said. “The damage was quite extensive in some northern counties.”

disputes with insurance companies, and our investigators were able to secure a settlement favorable to the consumer.”

A

ccording to a recent story in the San Diego UT, “California’s new health insurance exchange has gotten kudos in recent months for enrolling the most people in the nation, and generally has had fewer paralyzing glitches than the federal government’s, but that doesn’t mean ObamaCare has arrived in the state without its share of problems. Many people who purchased policies through exchange operator Covered California are complaining about missing insurance cards, inaccurate doctor directories, inundated call centers and double or triple billing. And Covered

California came under fire this week from insurance agents and advocacy groups, who complained about continued long wait times on the exchange’s three telephone call centers, numerous problems with the online enrollment site and multiweek lag times in getting policy paperwork transferred from the exchange to insurance companies.”

A

ssuredPartners Inc. completed its acquisition of Commercial Insurance Services through its newly formed operation, AssuredPartners of West Virginia. This acquisition marks the first platform deal for AssuredPartners in West Virginia. Commercial Insurance Services specializes in commercial insurance, employee benefits services, workers’ compensation insurance, risk management, claims management and personal insurance. Reported revenues for the firm are approximately $9.5 million.

T

he Texas Supreme Court held that contractual liability exclusion in an insurance policy does not apply

I

n 2013, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens’ Consumer Services Division helped thousands of Georgia consumers settle disputes with their insurance companies, returning $9.3 million in insurance claims to policyholders, money they might not have received without his help. “Representatives in my Consumer Services Division helped consumers and businesses retrieve $9,353,702.10,” Hudgens said. “Many of the citizens who called my office had claim 18

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


to contractor’s agreement to perform work in a good and workmanlike manner. According to an article in lexology.com, “In Ewing Construction Company v. Amerisure Insurance Company, the Texas Supreme Court, resolving certified questions from the Fifth Circuit, held that a general contractor’s agreement to perform in a “good and workmanlike manner” does not trigger the contractual liability exclusion of a commercial general liability policy. The policyholder contracted with a school district to construct tennis courts in a good and workmanlike manner. Id. at *1. The school district later sued the policyholder for alleged faulty construction of the tennis courts. Id. Amerisure denied coverage under the policyholder’s commercial general liability policy and the policyholder brought suit in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Id. The district court held that the policyholder had “assumed liability for its own performance” under its contract with the school district, triggering the contractual liability exclusion for damages the insured is obligated to pay “by reason of the assumption of liability in a contract or agreement.” Ewing Constr. Co. v. Amerisure Ins. Co. The district court held that the exception to contractual liability exclusion for damages “the insured would have in the absence of contract or agreement” did not apply because the claims against the policyholder sounded in contract, not tort. Id. at 747-49” [MORE].

A

rizona’s health-care enrollment determined to fall far short of projections. Lake so many other venues struggling to meet enrollment projections in their exchanges, Arizona barely reached 54% of it’s projected signups - putting the state in the bottom 10 of federally facilitated exchange states. “Erin Klug, health insurance exchange program www.underwritersinsider.com

manager for the Arizona Department of Insurance, said Wednesday that the rollout has uncovered problems in the state that her department will have to address as enrollment grows.” [MORE]

T

he State of New York has completed a comprehensive investigation into “Shadow Insurance,” wherein a number of life insurance companies engaged in a practice of Insurance companies use shadow insurance to shift blocks of insurance policy claims to special entities — often in states outside where the companies are based, or else offshore (e.g., the Cayman Islands) — in order to take advantage of looser reserve and regulatory requirements. Reserves are funds that insurers set aside to pay policyholder claims. Among other recommendations, “State insurance commissioners should consider an immediate national moratorium on approving additional shadow insurance transactions until those investigations are complete and a fuller picture emerges.” Read the full report [HERE].

T

he independent insurance agents’ association in Massachusetts is the newest sponsor of the American Insurance Marketing & Sales (AIMS) Society’s Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) professional designation program. Earning the CPIA designation requires completion of a series of Insurance Success Seminars. The three day-long CE-qualified CPIA workshops teach practical before-, during- and afterthe-sale techniques for producers, sales managers, account managers, service staff and company marketing representatives.

T

rustedChoice.com has rolled out a new lead-generation opportunity for independent agents. The new “Advantage” program allows

Table of Contents

agents to pay a monthly flat fee for unlimited leads generated from the consumer insurance information and quoting site. Participation in TrustedChoice.com is free to agents who are members of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big ‘I’). The no-cost basic listing includes agency name, location and contact information when consumers search TrustedChoice.com to “find an agent.” Through February, Big ‘I’ members may subscribe to the “Advantage” program for $39 per month. Signup is available at www. ProjectCAPMarketing.com. More than 1,500 agencies have signed up to participate in TrustedChoice.com, a joint development of the Big ‘I’ and Consumer Agent Portal, LLC (dba Project CAP).

T

he American Insurance Marketing and Sales (AIMS) Society will hold its 27th Annual PROto-PRO Executive Retreat February 13-14, 2014, in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event provides insurance agency owners, sales managers, producers, account executives, and company leaders an opportunity to discuss ideas they can use to help boost sales success and increase revenue. “Each year, PROto-PRO offers insurance professionals a chance to step back from our daily activities and deliberately focus on ways we can better manage and grow our businesses,” said AIMS Society President June Taylor, CPIA, CIC, CPIW, DAE, principal of White House, Tenn.based Wilkinson Insurance Agency. To register or learn more, visit bit.ly/ PTP2014.

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

CLICK HERE! 19


Eastern Floor of Aram Chaos This image reveals exposed layers in Noctis Labyrinthus which may contain signatures of iron bearing sulfates and phyllosilcate (clay) minerals. This is an enhanced-color view generated from images acquired by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). 20

Table of Contents

Credit: Nasa The Underwriter’s Insider


DECADE OLD MARS ROVER OPPORTUNITY CONTINUES TO EXPLORE THE RED PLANET Sister Rover Spirit, Stuck in the Martian Sand, Stopped Transmitting in 2010 Both Rovers. Landing on Mars in 2004, Were Expected To Last 90 Days Eighth graders didn't have Facebook or Twitter to share news back then, in January 2004. Bekah Sosland, 14 at the time, learned about a NASA rover landing on Mars when the bouncing-ball video on the next morning's Channel One news in her Freder icksburg, Texas, classroom caught her eye.

what it does each day. "I watched that news and said, 'This is amazing: a rover on another planet!' Gears started turning in my head that day about engineering and space -- thinking about a career. It was definitely a milestone in my life and something I'll always remember."

"I wasn't particularly interested in On her path to space at the that career, hightime," she recalled school teacher last week inside Brett Williams in the spacecraft Fredericksburg operations facility inspired her to build where she now real rockets, and she works at NASA's completed a 2013 Jet Propulsion engineering degree Mars Exploration Rover Team Laboratory in from the University Member Bekah Sosland Pasadena, Calif. "I of Texas, Austin. But remember I was talking with friends, nobody in 2004 was predicting that and out of the corner of my eye I either Spirit or Opportunity might noticed this thing bouncing and still be roving Mars in summer 2013, rolling on a red surface. I watched as which is when Sosland joined JPL. it stopped and opened up, and it had this rover inside." "I certainly never thought I'd have an opportunity to work on Opportunity," That animation portrayed how NASA she said. "That only became possible landed the Mars rovers Spirit and because this mission has been Opportunity three weeks apart, using going so incredibly long. The reason airbags to cushion the impact at Opportunity has worked so long is the the start of the missions, planned to people who built it and operate it. I'm last for three months. Spirit reached loving that I can be a part of this team Mars on Jan. 4, 2004, Universal Time now." (Jan. 3, PST) and worked for six years. Opportunity landed on Jan. 25, UT Most of the engineers who operated (Jan. 24, PST) and is still exploring, with Spirit and Opportunity during the Sosland now on the team planning three-month prime missions in 2004 www.underwritersinsider.com

Table of Contents

have switched to other projects, including later Mars spacecraft. Sosland is among several on Opportunity's team today who were in school a decade ago. Unlike her, Mike Seibert in late 2003 was eagerly tracking the run-up to the rover landings, while he was an engineering undergraduate at the University of Colorado. He had even ordered cardboard 3-D glasses in anticipation of images from stereo cameras on Spirit and Opportunity. "I was living in my fraternity's house in Boulder that January. People thought I was weird, wearing 3-D glasses and looking at those pictures from Mars," said Seibert. Less than two years later, he was working on the rover team at JPL. He has, since then, served as a mission manager and in other roles for both Spirit and Opportunity and participated in many key moments of the extended missions. The dramatic landings and overland expeditions of Spirit and Opportunity have also inspired countless students who have not gained a chance to work on the rover team, but have participated in the adventure online by exploring images from the rovers or other activities. What an adventure it's been. Though See Mars Rover Page 34 21


22

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


“The Final Authority on Everything!” On Income Inequality

P

resident Obama has been doing a lot of talking lately about “income inequality.” It seems to me and my wife that people earn about what they are worth. Since my wife and I worked 30 years to build our agency, should I have to pay a new intern the same as what I take in compensation? We love the Insider, please keep it coming! - H.J. Houston, TX It’s the same old politics of hate and envy, H.J. and as transparent as thin air. There will be income equality when there is talent & apptitude equality. When there is effort equality. When there is intelligence equality. When everyperson’s appetite for hard work is exactly equal.

ADVISOR

The left seeks equal outcome. Everyone should end up in the same place economically, they seem to believe, or something is wrong. Somebody must be cheating somebody else - and now it’s government’s job to “equalize” things. Wealth redristibution is a clear, stated goal of the Obama administration. Important to note: Progressives (the left) forget all about “unfair” income inequality when it applies to multimillionaire sports figures or movie stars. This little bit of apparent hypocrisy is a teaching moment: It’s really not about income disparity - it’s about giving the masses someone, something to hate: the rich; the successful. It’s how Progressives have always gained power.

Dr. Walter Williams recently said it best: “Though sports and Hollywood personalities earn multiples of CEO salaries, you’ll never find leftists and progressives picketing and criticizing them. Why? The strategy for wantto-be tyrants is to demonize people whose power they want to usurp. That’s the typical way tyrants gain power. They give the masses someone to hate. In 18th-century France, it was Maximilien Robespierre’s promoting hatred of the aristocracy that led to his acquiring dictatorial power. In the 20th century, the communists gained power by promoting public hatred of the czars and capitalists. In Germany, Adolf Hitler gained power See ADVISOR Page 35

President Obama and the Progressives don’t want a free market where a person is evaluated on all the descriptors mentioned above and offered compensation they can accept or reject. The idea of someone’s compensation being determined by the marketplace is antithetical to the philisophy of powerless individuals requiring big government dictating compensation. Yet the difference in approach between the political left (Democrats/Progressives) and the political right (Republicans/ Conservatives) is no where more clearly displayed then in this simple economic debate about compensation. www.underwritersinsider.com

Table of Contents

23


2-20 or 20-44 Agent Needed In Pembroke Pines, FL

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

Comm.P&C Producer Central Florida Commercial Insurance sales from a retail agency / broker or direct writer with a proven track record. Must have 3 to 10 years experience, 220 license, with an industry focus or mix of targeted niches. Must have aggressive sales skills and credible business relationship development abilities. Central Florida. Michael@einsgroup.com 10-8

INSURANCE BOOK OF BuSINESS WANTED Looking for seasoned, quality book in SE Florida. 35 year veteran will slowly ease your exit or quick buyout - your terms. Email: Appropriaterisk@gmail.com 10-11

Wholesale Broker/Carrier

Asst. Controller Hartford

License Insurance Agent 220 - Kissimmee Area

Strong Stat/GAAP with corporate tax is required. Will consider negotiating relocation assistance. Contact:

We are looking 220 Insurance Agent License in Kissimmee Florida. A detail-oriented professional with excellent timemanagement, organization and computer skills High school diploma or equivalent (GED) with a valid state driver’s license and reliable insured transportation. Currently posses an active 220 License Call us at 407-847-2539 10-9

Jeanine Drahota Lost Dutchman Search 480-563-7676 jkd@lostdutchmansearch.com 10-7

CSR/AGENT Will Train Jacksonville, FL

Opportunity for permanent position with possibility of ownership. Contact: Excelinsurance@hotmail.com 11-1

24

CSR 440 or 220 Agent N Miami area Looking for a 2-20 agent or CSR Bilingual ( English-Spanish ), Excelent on Customer service Email resume to jamie@ jmendezandassociates.com 10-1

Table of Contents

Great opportunity for the agent looking for the opportunity to be paid by production rather than salary. Our Pembroke Pines office is looking the right people to write commercial and/or personal lines. Email cr2dome1@ gmail.com for more information. 10-7

Roswell, GA Premium Finance Sales Opportunity Are you ready to take your sales career to the next level? Est. in 1984 and based in Roswell, GA, Advanced Insurance Systems Inc. is a fast paced, high growth technology company that develops and markets premium finance software throughout N. America. While working mostly insidesales in our Roswell office, you will be challenged by the development of new business and the on-going support for existing clients. Help move sales opportunities through demos, proof of concept and responding to requests for information and proposals. Resumes to:

Arthur@financemaster.com

10-10

Experienced 2-20 Commercial Agent in Boca Raton, FL Great opportunity for the experienced Agent looking for the opportunity to be paid well by production, rather than salary. Our office in Boca Raton is looking for a results oriented commercial agent. Compensation will be far higher than industry standards, including renewals. Contact email address with resume and cover letter: agencyops@gmail.com 10-11 The Underwriter’s Insider


Experenced Commercial Lines CSR-Tampa Area Established large Independent Agency seeks experienced Commercial Lines CSR. Duties include all aspects of customer service incl. telephone calls from customer and underwriters, issue COI, Auto ID Cards, Evid. of Prop. Market new and renewal policies, prepare proposals, process invoices, binders, policies, endorse., audits, recommend., etc. This position requires a minimum of 4 years of commercial account handling. Knowledge of AMS360 management system will be a plus. Contact: susank@adcock-insurance.com 10-8

P&C Carrier Asst. Controller Upper NY State Stat/GAAP - solid yellow book required.Company will negotiate relocation at offer. Great area to raise a family. Enjoy all outdoor sports - hunting, fishing, hiking, water sports, skiing. Contact: Jeanine Drahota Lost Dutchman Search 480-563-7676 jkd@lostdutchmansearch.com 10-7 “The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.� - Herbert Spencer

www.underwritersinsider.com

Multinational Account Executive

NY/NJ/CT area

International property & casualty insurance skills including professional lines, directors & officers too. Manage, marketing servicing and be a resource for multinational or domestic P&C Programs. Carrier or Broker background preferred. Selfstarter, foreign language skills a plus. NY/NJ/CT area Contact: Michael@einsgroup.com 10-8

FREE CLASSIFIEDS HERE 2-20 Agent Wanted Today Insurance Services is looking for friendly, sharp, and PATIENT agent partners to take advantage of the health care reform opportunities, and the sizzling auto insurance market! I can help you- Can you help yourself? www.todayins.com CALL TODAY! 321-360-8516

IMPORTANT! Florida Insurance & Series 6 License Qualification Courses Now Forming! A.D. Bankers Since 1979 SEE OUR AD HERE!

10-7

Experienced CSR Wanted - New Port Richey area Experienced Commercial Lines CSR wanted for Roe Insurance, Inc in New Port Richey, Fl. 34655. Applied Systems experience required, will service approx 250 small C.L. clients, mostly in the nonprofit industry. Contact: greg@roeins.com 10-6

Table of Contents

Gainesville, FL Area

4-40 or 2-20 Needed Insurance Den Inc needs a 2-20 or a 4-40 licensed agent. Email: insuranceden@aol.com Fax: 352-628-5619 Phone: 352-628-2331 10-5 25


SAY WHAT? Notable Quotes You May Have Missed!

America Has Never Been So Divided

The inverse law of punditry is the heavier the breathing the less the significance there is, [to the message.]” - Lanny Davis, former special counsel to Bill Clinton and committed liberal, nevertheless panning the Rev. Frederick Lucas Jr. for comparing New York City to a “plantation” during Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration.

$20 Trillion Spent on “War on Poverty” As Poverty Level Breaks 50 Year Record Under Obama

During the years that the Republicans were actively involved when I first became speaker, we worked on things like welfare reform, capitalgains tax cuts, economic growth. We actually had 5.5 million people leave poverty in that period while under Obama; 3 million additional people moved into poverty. So what we learned is that big government can’t solve the problem of poverty because it has exactly the wrong tools and exactly the wrong principles.” Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich pointing out the obvious: The liberal “war on poverty,” now 50 years old and having cost the American taxpayer $20.7 trillion, has only been successful in encouraging a massive expansion of the federal welfare bureaucracy. And just last month, the government reported that poverty had broken a 50 year record under Obama. Gingrich went on to say about programs such as Medicare, Medicaid and the Food Stamp Program are “trapping people in poverty, creating barriers to their rising by giving them just enough things to be dependent on that it’s

26

very expensive for them to give that up. That’s a huge disincentive to people learning to work and learning to rise.”

Not So Fast, Fellas...

New homeowners insurance rates went into effect in July 2013. I am appalled that the insurance companies would request another increase just six months later. I believe the insurance companies should withdraw this rate filing immediately. If they do not, the insurance companies should expect a full hearing on this matter; I will not entertain any settlement negotiations. I urge North Carolina homeowners to take advantage of the public comment period and let their insurance companies know what they think about the notion of another homeowners insurance rate increase. Also, I take offense at the insurance companies’ concerted efforts to file this request late on a Friday afternoon, when they think the public won’t be paying attention.” - North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin after The North Carolina Department of Insurance received a homeowners insurance rate filing from the N.C. Rate Bureau in the late afternoon of Friday, Jan. 3. The N.C. Rate Bureau, on behalf of all companies writing homeowners insurance in the state, has requested a statewide average rate increase of 25.3 percent, varying by territory, with a requested effective date of Aug. 1, 2014.

Dirty Harry Fails to Impress

With all the major issues we had to deal with, my personal contacts with Senate Majority Leader Reid were often in response to his calls about Air Force objections to construction of a windmill farm in Nevada because of the impact on their radars. He also once contacted me to urge that Defense invest in research on irritable bowel

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


syndrome. With two ongoing wars and all our budget and other issues, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Uncivil, incompetent in fulfilling basic constitutional responsibilities (such as timely appropriations), micromanagerial, parochial, hypocritical, egotistical, thin-skinned, often putting self (and reelection) before country -- this was my view of the majority of the United States Congress.” - Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates under both Bush and Obama expressing a scathing review of congress and Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) in particular in his tell-all memoir, “Duty.”

they consider a local ordinance regulating ride sharing programs or transportation network companies (TNC) urging council members to clearly understand that personal auto insurance policies are not intended to cover this use of a car and will likely exclude any and all coverage for vehicles that get in accidents while engaged in TNC activities. The letter explains that “Ridesharing is a new trend popping up in major cities around the country where a company uses a smartphone app to connect drivers with people needing a ride for a fee as part of an organized program thereby turning the family car into a public livery conveyance.

Oops - Didn’t Think of That...

A Lawsuit Dumber Than A Box Of Rocks...

We support innovation of new companies and transportation methods, however drivers and passengers must know where they stand regarding insurance coverage. A personal auto insurance policy will not provide coverage for an accident if the car is being used in a TNC program. Policyholders need to be protected and understand that personal auto insurance policies have a clear livery exclusion that has been in force and upheld by the courts for decades. This new trend raises a variety of insurance related questions that should be considered. Drivers and passengers should be aware that their personal policy will not provide coverage for losses or damage while the car is used in a ride sharing program. Council members should also question how drivers and passengers will be covered if the car is hit by an uninsured or underinsured driver, given that the personal auto policy will not provide coverage. PCI believes the regulation by municipalities like Seattle of ride sharing services is appropriate. However, the business of insurance is regulated by the state, and we recommend that insurers and ride sharing companies engage in a dialogue and reach agreement on legislation that might be introduced in the state legislature that will ensure uniformity across the state on issues of insurance coverage and ride sharing.” - From a January 30th letter from the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America to the Seattle City Council as

www.underwritersinsider.com

This is an ongoing legal matter and we are limited in what we can discuss about the filing. However, NASA has been publicly sharing our ongoing research into the rock dubbed “Pinnacle Island” since we originally released the images from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity earlier this month. The rock, which NASA is studying to better understand its chemical composition, also was widely discussed during a Jan. 22 NASA Television news conference. As we do with all our scientific research missions, NASA will continue to discuss any new data regarding the rock and other images and information as new data becomes available.” - NASA responding to a lawsuit filed by Rhawn Joseph, Ph.D. in the United States District Court Northern District of California seeking a writ of mandamus to force NASA to further examine the mysterious rock. The petition, through a series of declarative statements regarding the petitioner’s opinion on the insufficiency of NASA’s examination, seeks to “compel NASA to perform its scientific duties and obligations as detailed above...” [MORE]

Table of Contents

27


28

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

www.underwritersinsider.com

Table of Contents

29


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

TIRED OF THE WAITING IN LINE FOR YOUR AIRPORT PAT DOWN? GULFSTREAM NOW TAKING ORDERS FOR THIS 610MPH, $65 MILLION PRIVATE JET THE BIGGEST, FASTEST, PRICIEST PRIVATE JET YET

HERE To Visit Insider Sponsors, simply click on the Sponsor’s ad! 30

GOLF MAGIC AT GLENEAGLES GOLF CLUB IN SCOTLAND - WATCH IT!

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


Continued from Page 10

ZALMA 1. To Raul Carillo: 20% 2. To Royal Catering Trucks, Inc.: 40% 3. To Esmeragdo Gomez: 25% 4. To Irais Gomez: 15%. Based on the arbitrator’s award, by stipulation, a judgment was entered against Royal on Mr. Gomez’s loss of consortium claim and Mrs. Gomez’s products liability claims in the total amount of $2,428,577.34, including costs.

The Litigation American States brought an action against Travelers, and Travelers crosscomplained against American States; both insurance companies sought to establish Royal’s coverage under the other company’s insurance policies. American States brought an action against Travelers seeking a declaration that Travelers had a duty to defend Royal in the Gomez action under the Travelers primary and excess-umbrella

www.underwritersinsider.com

general liability policies and for truck was an “auto” and not “mobile equitable contribution and equitable equipment,” reasoning that “the whole subrogation/indemnity for American point… of this endeavor is to move States’s payment of food and other the defense costs items to places “If the Travelers and settlement in where people the Gomez action. are waiting to wanted to avoid Travelers crossbuy them” and liability for injuries complained against that food was caused by the food American States, the “cargo” the the Gomezes, and Gomezes’ food truck it only needed Royal seeking truck transported. to add food trucks to declarations that the litany of vehicles Travelers had no The Insurance duty to defend or that were mobile Policies indemnify Royal in equipment. The the Gomez action The Travelers underwriter used a under either the policy defined Travelers Primary standard form and did “Auto” as “a CGL Policy or the land motor not apply judgment to Travelers excessvehicle, trailer avoid a risk it knew it umbrella general or semitrailer liability policy, that faced.” designed for travel America States had on public roads, a duty to defend and including any indemnify Royal in attached machinery or equipment. the Gomez action under the American But ‘auto’ does not include ‘mobile States Auto Policy, and that American equipment.’” States had a duty to indemnify Royal in the Gomez action under the “‘Mobile equipment’ means any of American States excess auto policy the following types of land vehicles, before Travelers had any duty to do so including any attached machinery under the Travelers excess-umbrella or equipment: … “f. Vehicles not general liability described in a., b., c. or d. above policy. maintained primarily for purposes other than the transportation of The trial persons or cargo.” court granted Travelers’s The American States motion for Business Auto Policy s u m m a r y adjudication and denied Section II of the American States Auto A m e r i c a n Policy defined “auto” as: “a. Any land States’s motion motor vehicle, ‘trailer’ or semitrailer for summary designed for travel on public roads; judgment. It held that the See Zalma Pg 35 Gomezes’ food

Table of Contents

31


Experts and Consultants for Insurance Disputes 4441 Sepulveda Boulevard Culver City, California 90230 310-390-4455 zalma@zalma.com http://www.zalma.com

Consultation from Zalma Insurance Consultants (ZIC) can save you or your client thousands of dollars in the defense or prosecution of an insurance dispute. ZIC provides expert advice and counsel insurers and plaintiffs’ counsel find indispensable. Consultation from ZIC can save you, your counsel or client hundreds of hours of investigative and legal work. ZALMA INSURANCE CONSULTANTS is a service of Barry Zalma, Inc. a California professional corporation. Barry Zalma is an internationally recognized expert on insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance bad faith, insurance fraud detection, the defeat of false and fraudulent claims, Barry Zalma, Esq. insurance claims handling, and the resolution of insurance disputes. As a consultant, expert witness, lawyer, author, mediator or arbitrator he serves all parties who need consultation or expert testimony on matters relating to insurance coverage, insurance claims handling, insurance fraud and the tort of bad faith. Barry Zalma founded Zalma Insurance Consultants to help resolve any insurance claim problem faced by you or your clients that do not need Mr. Zalma’s services as a lawyer. His experience and skill as a consultant and expert witness can make the difference before a jury or other trier of fact. For more than 44 years as a claims person and insurance coverage attorney, Barry Zalma has represented insurers, advised insurers on claims handling, interpreted coverages and testified as an insurance coverage, insurance bad faith, insurance claims handling and insurance fraud expert on behalf of insurers and policyholders in state and federal courts.

Expert Testimony

Zalma Insurance Consultants serves insurers, policyholders, underwriters, brokers, agents, adjusters, public insurance adjusters, lawyers and any person involved in an insurance dispute. Because he is an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of California M r. Zalma may be prohibited by California case law from acting as a consultant or expert witness and, therefore, refuses to serve in any situation where a past client of his law firm, Barry Zalma, Inc. is adverse to anyone seeking his services.

Y ou can obtain M r. Zalma’s C.V . at http://www.zalma.com and his e-book publications http://www.zalma.com/zalmabooks.htm and blogs daily at Zalma on Insurance, http://zalma.com/blog.

32

Table of Contents

at

The Underwriter’s Insider


Continued From Page 9

KIM KOMANDO

from everything but governmentlevel decryption.) It does require some effort and the cooperation of friends and family. For more information, and detailed setup info, go to the PGP site here.

National Security Agency’s spying, a determined government agency can break many of these defenses. So, don’t think you can get away with anything illegal. But against many of the usual suspects - marketers, identity thieves and the like - these tips will make the Internet a much more secure place for you. Copyright 2014, WestStar Multimedia

Entertainment. All rights reserved. Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about consumer electronics, computers and the Internet. To get the podcast, watch the television show or find the station nearest you, visit: http://www. komando.com/listen. To get Kim’s free email newsletters, sign-up at: http:// www.komando.com/newsletters.

Next step is to keep your Web browsing private. I told you earlier how to keep it safe from advertisers and snoops with private browsing, but that won’t stop your Internet provider and dedicated hackers. The best way to keep it safe from them is to use what is called a Web “proxy.” Tor is the most famous of these. With Tor, each site you visit is sent though a relay of volunteer servers. No one on either end of the connection can see what Web sites you’re visiting. But you can also go with a private company that offers a so-called “VPN,” or virtual private network. These can run you $40 or $50 a year, and require a bit of setup, as well, but can be useful in a lot of ways. Besides keeping your Web surfing private, a VPN lets you watch TV broadcasts in the U.S. while you’re traveling in other countries. But they are also very valuable for those of us who travel and are at the mercy of sometimes-unsecure local Wi-Fi networks; they will keep your email and chats private with encrypted communication. Now, as we’ve seen from the recent revelations about the www.underwritersinsider.com

Table of Contents

33


Continued From Page 21

MARS ROVER MAKES 10 YEARS Spirit and Opportunity were built as nearly identical twins, and both succeeded in the main goal of finding evidence for ancient watery environments on Mars, their stories diverged early. Spirit was sent to a crater where the basin's shape and apparent inflow channels seen from orbit suggested a lake once existed. Opportunity's landing area, almost exactly halfway around the planet, was selected mainly on the basis of a waterclue mineral detected from orbit, rather than landform shapes. Spirit's destination did not pan out initially. The crater may have held a lake, but if there are any lakebed sediments, they are thoroughly buried under later volcanic deposits. Opportunity, the luckier twin, landed a stone's throw from an exposure of layered rock that within weeks yielded compositional and textural evidence of a water-rich ancient environment. Within the initial three-month missions and without expectation of surviving a full year, each rover set out cross-country toward other destinations: hills on the horizon for Spirit and craters exposing deeper layers for Opportunity. Spirit drove a total of 4.8 miles (7.7 kilometers), some of that with one of its six wheels not rotating. Loss of use of a second wheel while the rover was in a sand trap contributed to the 2010 end of that mission. Opportunity has driven 24 miles (38.7 kilometers) and is still 34

going strong. One key to Spirit and Opportunity working for years, instead of a few months, has been winds that occasionally remove some of the dust accumulating on solar panels that generate the rovers' electricity. Also, the ground crew became adept at managing each rover's power consumption and taking advantage of slopes for favorably tilting the rovers toward the sun during Martian winters. "Ultimately, it's not only how long the rovers work or how far they drive that's most important, but how much exploration and scientific discovery these missions have accomplished," said JPL's John Callas, project manager for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project, who has worked on the Spirit and Opportunity missions for more than 13 years. By driving to outcrops miles from their landing sites, both rovers reached evidence about multiple episodes of Martian history, "traveling across time as well as across Martian terrain," he said. Opportunity is currently exploring outcrops on the rim of Endeavour Crater, which is 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. "Opportunity is still in excellent health for a vehicle of its age," Callas said. "The biggest science may still be ahead of us, even after 10 years of exploration." The science achievements have already provided major advances in understanding of Mars.

found after driving from the crater floor where it landed into hills to the east: "In the Columbia Hills, we discovered compelling evidence of an ancient Mars that was a hot, wet, violent place, with volcanic explosions, hydrothermal activity, steam vents -nothing like Mars today. "At Opportunity's landing site, we found evidence of an early Mars that had acidic groundwater that sometimes reached the surface and evaporated away, leaving salts behind. It was an environment with liquid water, but very different from the environment that Spirit told us about. "When Opportunity got to the rim of Endeavour Crater, we began a whole new mission. We found gypsum veins and a rich concentration of clay minerals. The clay minerals tell us about water chemistry that was neutral, instead of acidic -- more

Why Do Ad Agencies Hate The Underwriter’s Insider? Because Our Total Ad Cost is Less than Then They Normally Earn in Commission! Pay Yourself - Not The Ad Agencies! INFO HERE

The rovers' principal investigator, Steve Squyres of Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., described some of the key findings, starting with what Spirit

Table of Contents

The Underwriter’s Insider


favorable for microbial life, if any ever began on Mars." "Because of the rovers' longevity, we essentially got four different landing sites for the price of two." The evidence the rovers glean from rocks at these sites may not be the only huge benefit of the adventures, though. Bekah Sosland and Mike Seibert may be examples of something even greater. Squyres said, "I'm incredibly proud of the science we've done on this mission, but in the end, perhaps our most important legacy will turn out to be the young people who have seen what we've done and made career choices based on that. If an outcome of our mission is to help inspire a new generation of explorers to do even better than we did, that will be the greatest thing we could have accomplished." The Mars Exploration Rover Project is one strong element in a robust program of NASA's ongoing and future Mars missions preparing for human missions there by the 2030s. The Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter missions have been studying the Red Planet since arriving there in 2001 and 2006, respectively. NASA's next-generation Mars rover, Curiosity, is examining an area that once offered conditions favorable for microbial life. NASA launched the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, or MAVEN, mission two months ago, to begin orbiting in September 2013. The agency plans to launch a mission to Mars in 2016 called Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, or InSight, to learn about www.underwritersinsider.com

the deep interior of Mars. A Curiositysize rover planned for launch in 2020 has the task to check for evidence of past life on Mars. Special products for the 10th anniversary of the twin rovers' landings, including a gallery of selected images, are at http://mars. nasa.gov/mer10/ . Continued from Page 35

ADVISOR by promoting hatred of Jews and Bolsheviks.” Conservatives, in stark contrast, believe in “opportunity equality” rather than “income equality.” Conservatives have shown no desire to gain power by dividing and segmenting groups - they wish for everyone to succeed. And everyone succeeds to the level of their talent and effort in a free-market meritocracy. Yet Conservatives are very, very bad at messaging. While Progressives sling their disingenuious slogans from coast to coast, Conservatives, who never seem to figure it out, naively respond as if the political left is simply misinformed but sincere. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Continued from Page 31

ZALMA

or b. Any other land vehicle that is subject to a compulsory or financial responsibility law or other motor vehicle insurance law where it is licensed or principally garaged.” However, the policy excluded from the term “auto” “mobile equipment.”

DISCUSSION When determining whether a particular policy provides a potential for coverage the court is guided by the principle that interpretation of an insurance policy is a question of law. A liability insurer owes a broad duty to defend its insured against claims that create a potential for indemnity. American States argues that the trial court erred in holding that the Gomezes’ food truck was an “auto” and not “mobile equipment” under the Travelers Primary CGL Policy. Because the primary purpose of the Gomezes’ food truck was to serve as a mobile kitchen and not to transport persons or cargo.

From “Fast & Furious” to the IRS scandal to four dead Americans in Benghazi, to “you-can-keep-yourhealh-plan” Obamacare, Progressives are simply professional liars.

Under a plain reading of the Travelers Primary CGL Policy, the Gomezes’ food truck was “mobile equipment” and not an “auto.” The primary purpose of the Gomezes’ food truck was to serve as a mobile kitchen and not to transport persons or cargo. The inherent purpose of a mobile catering truck certainly could be seen as including the use and maintenance of its kitchen facilities. For the first two hours of the day, the Gomezes cooked food in their food truck while parked in

Sadly, Conservatives are too inept at messagaing to effectively point it out.

See Zalma Pg 37

Table of Contents

35


TEXAS REINS IN OBAMACARE NAVIGATORS

A

New Rules Help Protect Consumers’ Personal Information And Prohibits The Pushing Of A Political Agenda

USTIN The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) today issued final rules to strengthen protections for consumers who seek assistance from federal health benefit exchange navigators. The rules address insufficiencies in federal standards, as required by Senate Bill (SB) 1795.

benefit exchange, the rules require background checks, training, and proof of identity. Entities that perform or oversee an individual’s performance of enrollment assistance in a health benefit exchange must provide evidence of financial responsibility. Both entities and individuals providing enrollment assistance are required to register with TDI. There is no fee to register. The rules do not apply to licensed insurance agents.

The rules prohibit navigators while providing navigator services from the following: Charging consumers for providing information about health coverage Selling, soliciting, or negotiating health insurance coverage Recommending a specific health benefit plan, and Julia Rathgeber Texas Insurance Commissioner

“These rules will help ensure Texans have confidence that anyone registered as a navigator has passed appropriate background checks and received the training they need to safeguard a consumer’s most sensitive and personal information,” Commissioner of Insurance Julia Rathgeber said. For individual navigators who provide enrollment assistance in a health 36

Engaging in electioneering activities, or otherwise supporting the candidacy of an individual for government positions The final rules apply to both federal grant recipients and other entities and individuals which may wish to provide federal benefit exchange enrollment assistance. Under the rules, Texas Insurance Code provisions related to privacy and protection of personal information

Table of Contents

would also apply to navigators. TDI worked diligently to ensure a deliberate and transparent discussion throughout the rule-making process. An initial stakeholder meeting was conducted to gather comments on how the agency should approach implementation of SB 1795. A formal rule proposal was published in the Texas Register on December 6, 2013, with a 30-day public comment period. Public comment also was heard at two public hearings on the rule proposal. TDI received more than 300 pages of written comments on the rule proposal. The final rules have been submitted to the Texas Register for publication on February 7, 2014. To view the final rules, please visit: http://www. tdi.texas.gov/rules/2013/documents/ navadoptionorder.pdf. Navigators have until March 1, 2014, to register with TDI and until May 1, 2014, to complete the required 20 hours of preregistration education courses that consist of TDI-certified, Texas-specific training on the following topics: Texas-specific Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program provisions (five hours), applicable privacy requirements (five hours), ethics (five hours), basic insurance terminology and how insurance works (two hours), exam preparation (two hours), and completion of a final examination (one hour)

The Underwriter’s Insider


Continued from Page 35

ZALMA the Royal parking lot. During the next eight hours, the Gomezes made 12 to 13 stops to cook, or at least heat, and sell food. During those stops, the food truck was not “transporting” anything, but was immobile. The food truck had only two seats and only two seatbelts, and the truck was not equipped to transport persons other than a driver and a cook. Apart from the specific inclusion of vehicles “maintained primarily for purposes other than the transportation of persons or cargo” within the Travelers Primary CGL Policy’s definition of “mobile equipment,” other language in the definition supports the conclusion that the Gomezes’ food truck was “mobile equipment” and not an “auto.” If Travelers had intended to exclude food trucks from coverage as “autos”—a significant consideration in light of the fact that Royal maintained a fleet of food trucks and was in the business of leasing such vehicles—it would have identified them along with the other special use vehicles it identified as “autos.” Because the Gomez action was a products liability action and the Travelers Primary CGL Policy provided coverage for products claims while the American States Auto Policy excluded from coverage claims arising out of equipment furnished in connection with Royal’s work.

Travelers Had a Duty to Defend Royal in the Gomez Action www.underwritersinsider.com

Therefore, judgment in favor of Travelers was reversed. The matter is remanded to the trial court to enter judgment in favor of American States, the Gomezes, and Royal on Traveler’s cross-complaint against them, and in favor of American States on its complaint. American States, the Gomezes, and Royal are awarded their costs on appeal.

ZALMA OPINION This is a case where weak – or nonexistent – underwriting cost the Travelers a great deal of money. They insured the owner and operator of a fleet of food trucks that were owned, modified and maintained by their insured. The definition of mobile equipment specified things like “bulldozers, farm machinery, forklifts” but did no exclude from mobile equipment “food trucks.” If the Travelers wanted to avoid liability for injuries caused by the food truck it only needed to add food trucks to the litany of vehicles that were mobile equipment. The underwriter used a standard form and did not apply judgment to avoid a risk it knew it faced. The failure was evidence of intent to cover the risk and Travelers’ claims people and counsel attempted to make the policy say what it should have said rather than what it said.

The Government Cannot Give to One Person What it Does Not First Take From Another. - Aesop Table of Contents

37


38

The Underwriter’s Insider

The Underwriter's Insider February 2014  

One of America's favorite insurance magazines, The Insider combines insurance news, politics, technology, & people - as well as award winnin...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you