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More Value for your Customers! Policyholders now Qualify for Discounted Drug Testing New Mexico Mutual

is pleased to announce a collaboration with two laboratory vendors, TriCore Reference Laboratories & Quest Diagnostics, to provide discounts for our policyholders for drug screening services.

Save 15% or more based on testing volume and the combination of services. • Utilize pre-employment drug screening as well as post-accident drug testing. • Include routine employee drug screening as part of a comprehensive work place risk and safety program. • For more information about discounted drug testing services with TriCore or Quest, please visit our website at NewMexicoMutual.com/Employers/PolicyholderResources.


“La Voz” is the official monthly e-publication of the

a L

Independent Insurance Agents of NM 1511 University Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87102. (505) 843-7231. Fax (505) 243-3367. Web site www.iianm.org. This publication is intended to provide accurate and authoritative information on the subject matter covered, but is distributed with the understanding that neither IIANM, nor any contributing author, publisher, contributor or advertiser is rendering legal, accounting or any other professional service and assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Further, the electronic links to our advertisers and/or contributors found in this publication are provided as a courtesy to our readers and do not necessarily indicate an endorsement by IIANM. News items from members of Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico and the general insurance industry are encouraged. The advertising deadline is the fifteenth day of the month, preceding publication. Advertising rates are available upon request. Please contact Rachel Sheffield at rachel@iianm.org for details

IIANM Staff President/CEO Thom Turbett Chief Strategy Officer Marit Peters VP of Member Services Consuelo Trujillo Insurance Programs Administrator Suzie Dodds, CIC Communications Director Rachel Sheffield Member Services Associate Renee Trujillo

2012-2013 Officers

o VZ

"The Voice" of Independent Agents since 1934

LaVoz cover courtesy of Gary Keenar, Swiss Re

Features

Become an IIANM 2014 Company Partner!

04

IIANM’s 2013 Company Partners

05

Why Are Captive Carriers Cornering the Renter’s Market?

06

IIANM Holiday Party Invitation

08

IIANM Dues Deductibility

09

Healthcare Coverage Conundrum: To Renew or Not Renew on 12/1

10

Community Corner

12

E&O and Checking Policies

13

Four Sales Truths to Set You Free

17

Google & Amazon: Insurance Distributors of the Future?

18

Union Standard’s Heavy Hitters

20

Identifying the Right Withdrawal Rate for Retirement

21

IIANM 2014 Calendar

22

Becoming a Social Business: A Model for Success

24

In Every Issue Tech Talk

14

November's Clickable Calendar

26

Odds n Ends

27

Advertiser Index

Chair Diana Hobbs

Acuity

Vice-Chair Gabe Portillo

Litchfield Special Risks

16

Secretary/Treasurer Connie Sevier

Market Finders, Inc.

11

Mountain States Insurance Group

National Director Sam Conlee Immediate Past Chair PJ Wolff

Burns & Wilcox

19

Back Cover

07

New Mexico Mutual

02

Trustco

09


Become a 2014 Partner! We invite companies to experience the enormous networking, recruiting and branding opportunities presented by becoming an IIANM Corporate Partner. Our Associate's Partnership program puts supporters front and center in a meaningful and memorable fashion.

The Partners Program is a win-win situation for both IIANM and its Partners. Our Partners appreciate this "one-stop" approach to supporting IIANM and its members. From IIANM's point of view, it saves time and resources formerly spent soliciting for event sponsors.

Benefits to you: • Support the Independent Agency Distribution System: Your backing makes it possible for IIANM to develop affordable, quality programs that enhance the professionalism of New Mexico's independent insurance agents. • Substantial Savings: The value of the various benefits you receive as an IIANM Partner far exceeds the cost! • Unique Perks: Many of the perks you receive as an IIANM Partner are not available to other companies - at any cost. • First Pick: Diamond, Platinum, and Gold Partners are guaranteed first pick of sponsorships and exhibit space at IIANM events. • No Hassle: We will not solicit money from you again this year! Six levels of participation are available:

Diamond

Gold

Bronze

Platinum

Silver

Copper

For more information, to view a graph with a breakdown of what each level is entitled to, and for a pledge form, click here. Contact Consuelo Trujillo at 505-999-5804 or consuelo@iianm.org with any additional questions.


The companies listed below have made a commitment to support the strongest agents' association in New Mexco. In turn, as members, please show your thanks by utilizing their varied products and services!


Why Are Captive Carriers Cornering the Renters Market? Independent agents may be missing out on an essential future demographic. by, Jacquelyn Connelly, IA assistant editor.

We’re trying to build clients for life - and this is the way to start it.

In terms of both earning business and satisfying customers, captive carriers are beating independent companies handily at the renters game, according to the J.D. Power 2013 U.S. Household Insurance and Bundling Study. Carriers like State Farm, Allstate and USAA capture the largest shares of the renters insurance market, while Nationwide and American Family earned the highest satisfaction ratings from more than 21,100 customers surveyed. “For the companies that are performing poorly, their sales channels are not cross-selling as successfully or aggressively,” says Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the global insurance practice at J.D. Power—an important piece of advice in light of the study’s finding that customer retention rates improve by a staggering margin when renters bundle an auto policy, from 67% when they do not to 91% when they do. So where do independent agents need to step up their game? “The shrewd sales tacticians are selling the bundle even if you’re only trying to shop for one policy,” Bowler says. “And they know that once they’ve got that bundle, they’re able to price it much more attractively.” At Loiselle Insurance Agency in Pawtucket, R.I., where business is split 70/30 in favor of personal lines, bundling is a common strategy when it comes to insuring renters. “I wouldn’t say we pursue [renters] as a monoline or a stand-alone product,” says vice president Melanie LoiselleMongeon. “But we certainly offer it every time we sell an auto policy if the person’s not a homeowner. We always try to bundle like that if we can.” Loiselle Insurance also incorporates renters into its overall agency marketing strategy, promoting policy information in various newsletters and profiling it on their website several Page 6

times a year. Loiselle-Mongeon notes that the agency insures a “significant” number of auto-only clients—folks she believes are “missing the boat by not purchasing a $200250 a year policy.” Education, then, is equally important from an agent’s standpoint. “I think the misconception is that the landlord will cover it if something happens,” Loiselle-Mongeon explains. “So they don’t even think about it. They don’t realize that they actually don’t have any coverage.” Of course, renters insurance doesn’t strike most agents as a particularly lucrative line of business. Bowler acknowledges a general perspective on renters as “the people who haven’t scraped together a deposit on their first home yet,” who might not have many assets that need insuring. “An agent is going to make far more money if they sell a car policy versus a renters or an umbrella,” Bowler says. “They’ll happily throw an umbrella on top, but they really want to get my car or my homeowners policy.” But by bundling renters with other lines of insurance, an agent might be able to capitalize on not only the present insurance needs of a largely underserved market—according to the study, 46% of renters are currently uninsured—but also their more profitable needs down the line. “If you win the business when no one else cares about them, and you serve the customer well, the persistency on that book is going to carry you into their richer needs,” Bowler explains. “In other words, as I grow up in terms of my insurance consumption, if you were the agent that sold me in the early days when nobody else would return my call, you’ve probably got my loyalty—and therefore my long-term value.” Loiselle-Mongeon agrees. “We’re trying to build clients for life,” she says. “That’s the way to start it.”

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013


Meet the new face of Mountain States.

New look. New website. Same core values.

Visit our new website at msig-nm.com *

* If difficulty viewing new site, you may need to refresh or empty cache and re-bookmark


IIANM’s Holiday Party! Your whole office is invited! Help us celebrate the season and enjoy cocktails & hors d’ oeuvres! See you there, December 5th, 2013 4pm - 8pm

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Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013


2012-2013 IIANM Dues Deductibility Dues to the Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico (IIANM) are not deductible as a charitable contribution but may be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. To the extent that IIANM engages in lobbying, the portion of the dues that relate to lobbying expenses is not deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. This law was enacted in 1993, effective January 1, 1994 [Section 13222 of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 1993)]. The non-deductible portion of dues for 2012-2013 is 23.14%. Please forward this information to the appropriate staff in your organization. The following is a recap of the non-deductible portion of dues for the past six years: FY 2007-08 FY 2008-09 FY 2009-10 FY 2010-11 FY 2011-12 FY 2012-13 FY 2013-14

Estimated Estimated Estimated Estimated Estimated Estimated Estimated

25.16% 18.23% 17.72% 21.92% 22.83% 22.71% 23.76%

Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual Actual

17.99% 17.35% 21.37% 22.19% 22.29% 23.14%

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013

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Health Coverage Conundrum: To Renew or Not Renew on 12-1 By Patty Padon

How will this affect the agent? Health Insurance Carriers have identified a loophole in the Affordable Care Act that allows the carrier to “Grandfather” their current plans and delay the application of the new ACA rules up to 12-31-14. This was the part where Obama said, “If you like what you have you can keep it”. As we’re finding out in the media this week, for many individual policies this was completely untrue; and for group policies it remains to be seen. Some states opted to not allow this, others allowed with certain terms or limitations, but New Mexico has decided to allow it. This is a decision which could cause a greatly increased E&O exposure to our agent and broker community, so following are some things to consider. How does early renewal affect the client? The major drawback is that your current insureds may not be able to take advantage of the new consumer protections offered by the ACA. This would include such things as: • Prohibition of pre-existing condition exclusions. This is perhaps the most important provision that must be pointed out to clients as you renew these plans. Most new hires will assume that what they have heard over and over again is true: when coming on to an employer’s plan after 1-1-14 they will be automatically covered for any pre-existing condition (even without prior coverage). They could be surprised to find out this may not be true if their employer’s group coverage is an old nonACA compliant plan. • Prohibition of excessive waiting periods. Most existing group plans have waiting periods before a new hire can be added to the group coverage. On ACA compliant plans it can’t be more than the first of the month following 60 days from their hiring, but existing plans may have a longer waiting period. • Essential health benefits unlimited annually. Most plans today do not include unlimited mental and substance abuse, or pediatric dental and vision or other EHB’s. • Non-discrimination. Most new hires will assume they will be offered coverage if they work 30 hours or more.

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As previously alluded to, this ‘opportunity’ to renew policies early could be an E&O nightmare in the making. If a new employee and the existing employer don’t understand the above issues, who will be blamed in the event of a miscommunication? Have you explained to the employer all of the above points? Even if you have, don’t forget the cardinal rule of E&O prevention: if it’s not signed in writing it didn’t happen. Make sure to have your client sign a document that states that you explained these issues and that they elected to keep their existing coverage by renewing early. Please also consider the time it will take to communicate this option in addition to all the other changes brought about by the ACA. Not only will the agent have to take the time to contact their entire book of business right now about the changes, but each client will also have to take the time to make an educated decision. If problems occur, this can later be construed as the agent’s fault and lead to an E&O complaint. I’ve already had the question, “Why did you wait so long to bring this to me?” Finally, if most (or all) of an agent’s book of business decides to take the early renewal, the broker will have effectively moved an inordinate number of policy renewals to the same date. This could cause time management problems down the road when the agent is faced with renewing a significant portion of their book at the same time open enrollment for the exchange will be going on. How can you possibly get to all of your clients and do a thorough and effective job of explaining their coverage? Hopefully this article will give those dealing with heal coverage placement in New Mexico something to think about. I’m personally concerned about our exposure here and caution my colleagues to think long and hard before jumping into early renewals with both feet. If you do, I recommend getting something signed in writing from your clients that they were contacted and understand the ramifications of deciding to take an early renewal. This next month could be an especially vulnerable time for health agents and I fear we may see an increase in E&O claims because of it.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013


Representing some of the most financially strong and innovative insurance companies in the specialty marketplace

“FINDING MARKETS FOR THE AGENTS OF NEW MEXICO SINCE 1977” WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR BUSINESS!!

Top-Tier Markets For:

Commercial / Public Auto General Liability Property / Vacants Garage / Dealers Liquor Liability Special Events Inland Marine Directors & Officers Liability Professional Liability / E&O Commercial Umbrella Watercraft / Motorcycles / ATVs Personal Umbrellas Homeowners Mobile Homes Dwelling Fire / Vacants New Mexico’s Locally Owned Managing General Agency

ESTABLISHED IN 1977

Market Finders, Inc. 5201F Venice Ave NE - P.O. Box 90280 Albuquerque, NM 87199-0280 (800) 530-8711 (505) 822-8711 Fax: (505) 822-1165 www.marketfindersnm.com


Meridian Insurance Services is Also a Best Practice Agency. Last month we congratulated Burke Insurance of Las Cruces for being selected a 2013 Best Practices Agency. This month we are pleased to announce that New Mexico actually has another Best Practice Agency: Meridian Insurance Services of Roswell. The national announcement that was released in October listed Meridian as an Arizona agency. It is actually a three agency group headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ but with branches in Roswell, El Paso, and Carson City, NV. Best Practices agencies are an elite group of independent insurance agencies around the United States participating in the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) “Best Practices” Study Group. Each year since 1993, IIABA and Reagan Consulting, an Atlanta-based management consulting firm, join forces to study the country’s leading agencies in six revenue categories. The agencies comprising the study groups are selected every third year through a comprehensive nomination and qualifying process and awarded a “Best Practices Agency” designation. The selected “Best Practices” agencies retain their status during the three-year cycle by submitting extensive financial and operational data for review each year. Congrats to Gena Fredrickson and her staff in Roswell for being selected as one of the ‘best of the best’!

Safeteen Documentary Garners Two Emmy Awards The New Mexico produced documentary ‘No Exceptions’ that deals with the addictive quality of opioid prescription drugs and heroin abuse walked away with two Rocky Mountain Emmy © Awards this past month in Phoenix. The show’s producer (and Safeteen Executive Director) Chris Schueler received the Academy’s highest honor, The Governor's Award, for his work with SafeTeen New Mexico. Safeteen is a non-profit that was co-founded and managed by the Big I of New Mexico. Association staff members volunteer their time and the IIANM Board provides some administrative funding to run the organization, which creates high school programs that address a variety of teen related social issues. ‘No Exceptions’ also received an Emmy in the Public/ Current/ Community Affairs Program/Special category. The documentary broadcast on KOB TV, KRWG TV and KENW TV in New Mexico in August, 2012. Chris Schueler and Christopher Productions, LLC has now won 23 Emmy © Awards for their social issue documentaries, many of which have been produced in conjunction with SafeTeen New Mexico. For more information visit www.SafeTeen.net, www.ChristopherProductions.org Congratulations Melissa Thompson of Cress Insurance for being nominated for Safeco Insurance's "Community Hero Award"! She volunteers for a Carrie Tingley Hospital event that helps the families of patients with expenses not covered by insurance. We can all help Melissa win $10,000 for Carrie Tingley hospital by voting once a day til November 4th.

Welcome New Member! JSS Insurance Jesus Cano 1116 Bridge Blvd SW Albuquerque, NM 87105 siresebas@gmail.com

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Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013


e&o and checking policies Virtual University’s Ask an Expert

ulty

VU Fac

An agent asks, "With the advent of download from the carrier websites directly into our agency management system, do we need to check the renewal policy for accuracy? We are currently investing a lot of time and money into this process and rarely find that the company makes a mistake on the renewal policy."

"I would like some feedback regarding whether or not we should check renewal policies. With the advent of download from the carrier websites directly into our agency management system and most 'paper' being shut off, do we need to check the renewal policy for accuracy? We are currently investing a lot of time and money into this process and rarely find that the company makes a mistake on the renewal policy." Quality control efforts can be expensive. However, mistakes in the form of E&O claims can be catastrophic. Below are a number of observations from the VU faculty

My experience is not as good at not finding errors. I have seen an insurer deny a claim on the basis of a mistake they made on a policy. They stated that if the mistake was not reported to them when the policy was issued, it is the agent's fault. I would not stop checking policies.

FACULTY RESPONSE

Not an easy one to answer. Unfortunately it depends if you maintain only electronic files and the agency management system allows for alerts and or exception reports providing for both the previous image and the new image to be retained then based upon your internal process you can evaluate the necessity. If you use transactional filing or you have a procedure for scanning documents identifying and attaching to the electronic file then again you can evaluate the necessity.

FACULTY RESPONSE

If, on the other hand, you maintain a separate and distinct paper file and you have bits of notes, correspondence, etc. in that file, then again you need to evaluate your internal processes. As an independent agency, you can operate under whatever internal and external processes you deem appropriate. It is not possible to provide the advice you are seeking based upon the information provided. Just because something arrives electronically doesn’t mean it is more likely to be accurate. In fact, its chance of being wrong now means that it is IN YOUR SYSTEM WRONG and will affect mail merges, management reports, and information given verbally. While carriers make few mistakes on renewals, they certainly do make them AND items have been known to download incorrectly (e.g. into

FACULTY RESPONSE

the wrong client), and downloads often overwrite agencyneeded information or bring in carrier codes instead of plain-English field entries. Moreover, automated renewals have caused many agencies to spend more time communicating with clients who don’t pay their bills (via reminders that should not be done!) than with good clients who pay their bills and don’t cause problems. The renewal gives the agency the opportunity, if they don’t find it anywhere else, to stay in touch with the clients. Plus, rounding the account would be a nice thing to do, both from a revenue standpoint and also for E&O protection. What kind of mistakes are you checking for? Some may not be a mistake, but could create major E&O problems. Are you talking personal and/or commercial lines? These are just a few thoughts. Check to be sure the insurer has used the same edition of the coverage form. If they have not, what were the differences in coverage? You should check to be sure no “strange” endorsements have been added, or requested endorsements omitted, that limits are as requested. For Business Auto, were the requested symbol(s) used? These are common omissions.

FACULTY RESPONSE

Yes. Always. Also check for wording changes and use of new forms. It is cheaper than an E&O claim.

FACULTY RESPONSE

To read more faculty responses including an article from agency management consultant, Al Diamond., click here. Please note: You will need your IIANM log-in to view complete article. Contact rachel@iianm.org if you need yours.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013

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Steve

Anderson.com by, Steve Anderson (Always feel free to email me with comments, new ideas or products that have worked for you. I will check them out and spread the word!)

Emailing Large Files Sometimes you just need to send a large file to someone else. It could be a new business submission or a video that is too large for most email servers. Cloud storage solutions like Dropbox, GDrive, or Microsoft SkyDrive are all potential solutions. But, when uploaded, your file is actually stored on that service’s hard drives somewhere. If your file contains sensitive information, you don’t want it stored anywhere you can’t control access.

Sending a “Scayl Mail” is as easy as sending a familiar email. You simply create a new message, enter the email address of the person you want to Scayl your large file(s) to, click the attachment button, select your large file(s) and then hit SEND. When you send to people who don't yet have Scayl installed, they will receive a download link to receive your “Scayl Mail” with your large file(s) attachment.

Scayl [pronounced “scale”] might be a solution. It is the world's first direct email application that allows you to send the world's biggest attachments. It's a fast, private, and secure way to send unlimited size files from you to one other person, or to many different people, without storing your files on a server that could be hacked. Scayl is as easy to use as a typical email application. It is a desktop application that runs on both Windows and Apple operating systems. You can send up to 20 files per individual message. How large can the files be? Because you don't have to upload and then download files to be shared, files can be literally almost any size. The system does not set a limit on file size or storage like cloud-based file sharing services do. When sending one-to-many, Scayl's “Mesh Technology” accelerates delivery even faster because the Scayl recipients provide the workload on the transfer. You do need to have the Scayl program installed on both the sender(s) and receivers(s) computer. Because the attachments are sent directly from computer to computer – and not stored anywhere else – your attachment(s) remains private. The program is currently free. You may invite others to install Scayl by sending a Scayl mail with an attachment to them, or simply share the download link with them. Once the program is installed you will need to choose and register your new @Scayl.net email account (my email is SteveAnderson@Scayl.net) and choose your password. You can install the program on several computers, but you will need to use a different address and password for each computer, e.g, MyOfficePC@scayl. net and MyHomeMac@scayl.net. Page 14

If any of your transfers are interrupted by one of you being offline, Scayl’s “Smart Resume Technology” picks up where it left off – assuring you all get the large file(s) completely delivered without having to start over. Progress bars and delivery completion feedback in the sender’s Sent folder and progress bars in the recipients’ inbox(es) update you on the status of your successful large file delivery process. If you only occasionally send large attachments to others it may not be worth the effort to have the recipient install the Scayl program. However, if you send large files to the same people regularly, Scaly just might be a good solution.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013


A History of Business Mobile Devices

Is Your Website ADA Compliant?

Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires that businesses and nonprofit services providers make accessibility accommodations to enable the disabled public to access the same services as clients who are not disabled. This includes electronic media and websites. While the ADA applies to businesses with 15 or more employees, even smaller businesses can benefit from ensuring that their websites are ADA compliant. Doing so opens your company up to more potential clients and limits liability. Web developers should include ADA compliant features in the original site and application plans. The US Department of Health and Human Services has a long list of items that should be included in a website to make it ADA compliant. Most of the items listed revolve around making sure that image, video, audio, plug-in, and graphic elements have text associated with them that describe what the item is or a description of the visual content in the element.

Sometimes it is good to take a look back at where we have been to be able to understand and appreciate where we are going. Today’s tip is a history lesson. My first mobile phone was a car phone – bolted to the hump of my car. My father-in-law had one of the first 200 Motorola cellular phones. It was a marvel of technology. It was amazing to be able to drive and to pick up a phone, get a dial tone, and make a call. That phone started redefining what it means to be connected. Based on the 2013 AT&T Technology Poll, 98% of small businesses use wireless or mobile technology in their daily operations and 66% of small businesses have stated that it would be a major challenge to operate their business without mobile technology. An infographic, created by SwitchPay, a mobile payment processing company based out of Irving, Texas, details milestones in mobile communication from the first mobile call in 1946 to the exponential mobile growth we are experiencing today. I suggest you spend some time strategizing on how mobile devices, and mobility in general, are impacting your insurance organization and what steps you can take today to embrace this trend. Click to view "The History of Mobile Technology in Business" infographic.

Keep an Eye Out!

Navigating the Internet is particularly challenging for people with limited or no vision. Many blind people use specialized web browsers and software that work with standard web browsers, like Internet Explorer, that have features enabling users to maximize their Internet use and experience. This screen reading software reads the HTML code for websites, and gives the user a verbal translation of what is on screen. Web developers need to keep this in mind when creating a website. The best screen readers use naturalized voices and alter tone and inflection based on HTML tags, so choose layout elements carefully. It is also important to keep in mind that navigation is significantly slower when using a screen reader than it is for sighted people. Minimizing graphics also helps shorten reading times and speed navigation for disabled users. Development tools and tutorials exist to help web designers meet compliance standards and go beyond to offer disabled users an enjoyable experience (and keep them coming back). More information is available at www.ada.gov.

IIANM’s New Website January 1st, 2014!

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013

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If you’re going to be successful in sales over the long haul, there are four concepts you need to fully accept and buy into. Missing any one of these will either prevent you from getting off the ground at all, or, if you do get off the ground, missing one of these will sabotage your long-term success and happiness.

1

It’s not about chasing the sale.

Almost everything you chase runs away, and you probably don’t want any part of the things that don’t run away. It’s recently been proven that even Great White Sharks will swim in the other direction if you swim at them and most prospects are far more timid than your average shark. Instead of chasing the sale, work on the connection and the relationship. Your objective here is to make it all about the other person. And by the way, there is no new relationship selling, it’s always been about relationships. The best salespeople, the ones who have had successful careers over the long haul, have not burnt out, and have led happy, fulfilling lives both personally and professionally, have always focused on doing what’s right for the other person. That said, are there some sale-chasers out there who have experienced some success? Yes, but it usually comes at the expense of other areas such as: their character, their reputation and their personal life. I’m also guessing they aren’t people you like or admire on a personal level. So in order to have a long, happy, successful sales career, take care of people and relationships and instead of having to chase sales, the sales will chase you.

2

You have to be completely accountable.

You need to have several levels of accountability in place to ensure you do what you need to do in order to be successful. The most important is accountability to yourself. That said, even the strongest and most self-disciplined among us will allow ourselves to falter from time to time, so it’s important to have a second and perhaps even third layer of accountability. Your second level consists of people you work with and other professionals, this group includes: managers and bosses, coaches and mentors, mastermind groups, and, in some cases, may even include your peers. The third level of accountability includes friends, family, and other acquaintances. All that said, ultimately the buck stops with you. Even with other people checking on you, it’s possible to cut corners, lie, and otherwise fudge things in your favor. You’ve got to push yourself and be willing to do whatever it takes to hold your feet to the fire even if that includes devices such as trap contracts and large fines.

3

time, you need to get enough leverage on yourself that you push yourself to get the job done every day. There’s a happy-medium and balance here, but I find that most people are not half as tough on themselves as they need to be. Most people will skirt responsibility and point the finger elsewhere when it comes to reasons for their failure. Accept responsibility, grab the bull by the horns, and get to work. Success or failure is completely up to you.

4

You have to get organized and control your time.

Getting organized and getting control of your time begins with goals and a plan. Decide what your business goals are for the year and then break them down to monthly, weekly, and daily activity. Organize, clean up, and set up your work area, files, computer, calendar, and other tools and then get to work. This doesn’t have to be complicated but it does take hard work and self-discipline to stick to your plan and do what must be done every day. When you’re at work, work. And when you’re working, make sure it’s on the items that will give you the most return on your time, effort and energy. You should be working on the 20% of items that give you 80% of your results, all other items should be delegated or eliminated. In sales, most of your time should be spent prospecting, presenting and closing. Continue to improve your organization and time management until you are spending 80-90%, or more, of your time in these three key areas and then put checks and balances in place to keep yourself at that level.

Four Sales Truths to

Set You Free by, John Chapin

You’ve got to be brutally honest with yourself.

You have to see yourself, and your sales career, warts and all. If you don’t have the sales you need, the prospects you need, and the overall results you want, it’s probably your fault. Own it and do something about it. This doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up to the point where you feel so badly about yourself that you can’t perform. At the same

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013

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by, Linda Koco InsuranceNewsNet

Insurance Distributors of the Future?

Internet superstars Google and Amazon are likely to become competitors for online insurance sales, according to predictions from life insurance and property-casualty executives polled by Accenture, a global consulting firm.

Since both Google and Amazon conduct sales worldwide over the Internet, they already have an international infrastructure in place, making the idea of an internet firm/insurance firm partnership feasible regardless of country. LIMRA has already picked up indications of U.S. executive receptivity to alliances between insurers and alternative distribution channels of this kind. In January, for example, LIMRA reported that 90 percent of industry executives it had surveyed believe insurance companies will continue to form strategic alliances with “non-traditional organizations” to expand distribution. (The example cited was MetLife’s trial alliance with 200 WalMart stores, not an internet company/insurance company alliance, but the concept of alternative distribution was the point.)

Gera described this transformation as “critical” to carriers’ ability to attract consumers. Which consumers? The ones who are becoming “increasingly unwilling to buy a product or service that does not provide the same levels of convenience, simplicity and speed to which they have become accustomed from many other services they use every day,” he said. He pointed in particular to the “digital generation,” or Generation D, as it is sometimes called. These are consumers who are already accustomed to buying books, electronic devices, music and travel online. The threat posed by internet giants is real, Gera contended. His reason: User-experience improvement is part of internet company DNA. “This is a strategic weapon in gaining market share in the insurance distribution business,” he contended. Some questions How might digital insurance distribution affect insurance sales agents in the United States?

They’ll have to wait People might have to wait a while for an expansion in the United States involving Google or Amazon, though.

Another Accenture survey, published in April, indicates that agents are still at the center of the action in the U.S.

It’s a fact that, in 2011, Google purchased an insurance quote service called BeatThatQuote.com. Then, the next year, Google began offering a quoting service for auto insurance and travel insurance in the U.K.through its web site. However, searches on Google for European-wide or U.S. Google-quoting services turned up nothing. As for Amazon, searches on that company’s website turned up many books and resources about insurance, but no links for making insurance purchases on Amazon or connecting up with a seller through Amazon. Even so, Accenture sees the shift to digital among carriers as inevitable. “Our study reveals that the industry is investing heavily to transform itself,” said Piercarlo Gera, global managing director-distribution and marketing services, in a statement. For instance, 78 percent of the surveyed European insurers are planning to increase investments in the digital transformation of their sales and distribution functions. They expect to spend $36 million, on average, in the digital Page 18

channel over the next three years.

The survey sampled views of more than 4,000 U.S consumers of automobile and home insurance products. It found n that although U.S. customers are turning to digital sources for insurance quotes and other information, they still prefer personal contact with agents when purchasing the products. Specifically, 76 percent said they prefer setting up and paying for their auto and home insurance policies in person with an agent, while only 58 percent prefer doing so via the Web. Where quoting is concerned, however, U.S. consumers are more digitally-minded. Forty-three percent said they favor obtaining quotes from websites, while only 26 percent prefer the phone and 26 percent, in person, Accenture found. So, for now at least, insurance sales agents in the U.S. continue to be the ones that U.S. buyers prefer when it comes to plunking down money to buy a policy. Numerous other industry surveys have produced similar findings, and on the life and annuity side of the business as well.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013


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A Berkley Company 6501 NMInsurance 87110Agents . www.usic.com PageAmericas 20 Parkway, NE Suite 600 Albuquerque, Independent of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013 A Berkley Company 6501 Americas Parkway, NE Suite 600 Albuquerque, NM 87110 . www.usic.com


Identifying the Right Withdrawal Rate for Retirement A tough economy has complicated what it takes to adequately plan for the future.

by, Dave Evans, certified financial planner and IA contributing editor.

There is no question that the economy has been topsyturvy since 2007. The “Great Recession” resulted in millions of Americans losing their jobs, and while the stock market and housing starts are finally seeing a rebound, the jobs picture has been fairly tepid. In response, many have found themselves either working longer than they had planned or unable to find work at all. The federal Quantitative Easing (QE) program and the resulting “taper” has given mixed signals to consumers, leaving great anxiety in its wake. Amid these choppy waters, people must still plan for their retirement. And they must consider a number of factors in order to do so effectively, including the desired age of retirement, whether total or partial; the desired standard of living, including where they plan to reside; their anticipated health status; and their outlook for inflation. One common rule of thumb has been the “4% rule,” devised in the 1990s by California financial planner William Bengen. He analyzed historical returns of stocks and bonds and found that portfolios with 60% of their holdings in large-company stocks and 40% in intermediate-term U.S. bonds could sustain withdrawal rates starting at 4.15%. He then adjusted each year for inflation, for every 30-year span going back to 1926. Based on this asset allocation, 4% became a well-accepted guideline for a sustainable rate of spending during a 30-year retirement, maintaining the inflation adjusted value of withdrawals. But recently, some analysts have questioned whether this 4% rule of thumb still applies, given the current low-interest rate environment. Not all academics agree on the 4% target, as some experts have postulated ranges from 2.9% to 5.5%. (It’s important to note that many retirees are not comfortable with a 60% allocation to stocks. Lower allocations to stocks translates into lower long-term returns, which translates into a lower withdrawal rate. But assuming the retiree is comfortable with a 60/40 allocation, the 4% rule can serve as a starting point for planning purposes.)

A key concern for many retirees is the fear of sequence risk: the risk that the negative returns start at the beginning of retirement, where the stock portion of the portfolio decreases by 20 to 30% or more. But if portfolio allows for adequate cash flow from the fixed income (perhaps using a laddered bond approach) for a period of at least six to eight years, that should be a broad horizon to recover most of the stock losses. Of course, many people pull money out of stocks during a down market, thus locking in the loss. The time since 2008 has been a great example of the market eventually rebounding, although many investors did not remain in the market and have not recovered their losses from 2007. For someone nearing retirement who requires $40,000 annually to supplement Social Security, the 4% rule means they will need $1 million to sustain a 30-year retirement. Surveys from Fidelity and TIAA-CREF indicate that the average retirement account balance of people age 55 and older is less than one third of this amount. Consumer spending accounts for about 70% of the U.S. economy, but more than ever, people need to save more and spend less in order to generate an adequate standard of living. It will be interesting to see how this equation is balanced to allow for a robust economy, while meeting the savings targets of workers. Only time will tell.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013

Page 21


IIANM’s 2014 Calendar

(tentative)

January

1st

Office Closed - New Year’s Day

7th & 8th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Jack Cleary

IIANM

9th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Bob Ouellette

IIANM

20th

Office Closed - Martin Luther King Day

February 11th & 12th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Kitty Leslie

IIANM

13th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Jeff Straight

IIANM

17th

Office Closed - Presidents Day

March 4th & 5th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Jack Cleary

IIANM

6th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Bob Ouellette

IIANM

13th

Agency Management Tools & Process (83A) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

26th & 27th

54th Annual Education Seminar (15 CE hrs)

Embassy Suites Hotel

April 8th & 9th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Kitty Leslie

IIANM

10th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Jeff Straight

IIANM

16th

Homeowners (ACSR1) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

17th

Commercial Liability Insurance (82A) (8 CE hrs)

Jeff Straight

IIANM

18th

Office Closed - Good Friday Jeff Straight

IIANM

24th

E&O Loss Control (ACSR4) (8 CE hrs)

30th & 1st

Southern Seminar (tentative) (15 CE hrs)

Las Cruces

May 6th & 7th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Jack Cleary

IIANM

8th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Bob Ouellette

IIANM

21st

Other Commercial Insurance (82B) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

22nd

Specialized Insurance and Bonds (82C) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

26th

Office Closed - Memorial Day Jack Cleary

IIANM

28th

Insurance Production Environment (83B) (8 CE hrs)


June 10th & 11th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Kitty Leslie

IIANM

12th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Jeff Straight

IIANM

19th

Commercial Liability (ACSR7) (8 CE hrs)

Jeff Straight

IIANM

26th

Professional Development (ACSR5) (8 CE hrs)

Jeff Straight

IIANM

July 4th & 5th

Office Closed - Independence Day

8th & 9th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Jack Cleary

IIANM

10th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Bob Ouellette

IIANM

16th

Personal Lines Related Coverages (ACSR3) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

17th

Commercial Property Coverages (ACSR6) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

31st

Personal Auto (ACSR2) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

August 5th & 6th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Kitty Leslie

IIANM

7th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Jeff Straight

IIANM

12th & 13th

Roswell Seminar (15 CE hrs)

Jeff Straight

Roswell

12th

Principles of Agency Management (83A) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

13th

Commercial Auto (ACSR8) (8 CE hrs)

Jack Cleary

IIANM

25th & 29th

Last Chance Seminar (15 CE hrs) (tentative)

IIANM

September 1st

Office Closed - Labor Day

2nd & 3rd

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Jack Cleary

IIANM

4th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Bob Ouellette

IIANM

24th and 25th 80th Annual Convention (tentative)

Sandia Casino

October 14th & 15th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Kitty Leslie

IIANM

16th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Jeff Straight

IIANM

November 4th & 5th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Jack Cleary

IIANM

6th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Bob Ouellette

IIANM

27th & 28th

Office Closed - Thanksgiving

4th

IIANM Holiday Party

IIANM

9th & 10th

Property & Casualty License Exam Review

Kitty Leslie

IIANM

11th

Life & Health License Exam Review

Jeff Straight

IIANM

24th & 25th

Office Closed - Christmas

December


“Social Business is the creation of an organization that is optimized to benefit its entire ecosystem (customers, employees, owners, partners) by embedding collaboration, information sharing, and active engagement into its operations and culture. The result is a more responsive, adaptable, effective, and ultimately more successful company. Social business can encompass using external social media, but it’s not a requirement. Technically, an organization can be a social business without engaging publicly in social media at all.” (Amber Naslund, President, Sideraworks) The concept of social business is more than theory. A growing number of agencies realize the need to adapt and understand that their business must be transformed or reinvented. They realize the need for a comprehensive social strategy that is clearly aligned with business goals. (Too often this is not the case. An Altimeter survey of nearly 700 social media professionals and executives found that only 34% of businesses felt that their social strategy was connected to business outcomes.)

Becoming a Social Business: A Model for Success By Rick Morgan “Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” (Matthew 9:17, King James version of the Bible) This parable accurately identifies the dynamic our industry grapples with as it tries to adapt, stay relevant, and make sense of the many challenges it faces in today’s rapidly evolving business environment. More often than not, agencies try to make social and mobile technologies work within the constructs of outdated business models, organizational structures and traditional processes. The result is an effort that fails. For example, social media is treated simply as a marketing tactic; a Facebook Page is launched and an administrative employee is put in charge. Disruption in day-to-day office procedures results with little if any real benefit. Clearly, there is a difference between organizations that simply engage in social activity and execute social media tactics, and those that actually become social businesses.

What is a Social Business? A Google search will turn up hundreds of definitions. Understanding what a social business model is and how it differs from a traditional business model is not all that simple. The concept of social business is new and still evolving. Yet, the definition below is a good start. I have followed Amber Naslund on several social channels for the past four years and consider her to be a pioneer and thought leader in this space: Page 24

Further, these agencies have senior management involvement, organizational alignment and operational processes in place that enable execution of their social strategy. They also understand the need to integrate social methodologies into their organizations in order to enable their businesses to adapt to the fast and ever changing business environment. These agencies know that use of new technology, as well as social and mobile initiatives, will only be successful if there is an organizational and cultural transformation that changes the way employees work, interact with one another and communicate with customers and prospects – in essence, a reinvention of the agency. The concept of reinvention is not new to our industry. When we first started installing agency management systems, we found that there was a big difference between just using “automation” vs. becoming an “automated agency.” Only when agencies reinvented operational processes and procedures (remember Transactional Filing?) did their investment in technology start paying off. Only when management became involved did agency management systems transition from being primarily accounting systems to tools that supported agency service, sales, and marketing activity. As difficult as process change is – changing an agency culture and the “people” part is even harder. It all starts with leadership.

Leadership Charlene Li, founder of Altimeter Group, and Keynote speaker at the 2013 ACORD Insurance Systems Forum said this about social business adoption: “The biggest determinants, by far, of whether you will be successful at social business are leadership and culture.” As mentioned above, all the technology in the world is useless if operational processes and organizational behaviors

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013


aren’t changed. Change starts from the top and an agency’s senior management and leaders are the ones responsible for facilitating this change. That is, success depends on change management initiatives being driven by agency leadership and practiced at every level from senior management down to customer service and support personnel. Thus, executives must not only talk about changing the organization; they must also become involved and demonstrate the behaviors that drive change. This is often referred to as “transformational leadership” where the leader provides employees with an inspiring mission and vision for the organization and encourages them to challenge the status quo and to alter the landscape in which the business competes.

What does a Social Business look like? It is difficult to understand exactly what a social business is and how it is different from a traditional business by a definition alone. Perhaps looking at some examples of the operational and organizational changes a growing number of agencies are making will make it easier to understand what becoming a social business means. Trust Employees Empower and trust your employees to participate on social sites on the agency’s behalf and trust that they will do the right thing. Consider starting a blog and use it to educate your customers and prospects and demonstrate your subject matter expertise. But also use it to build and strengthen your brand personality. Agency staff will be the foundation for building a fully collaborative social business. A shift in employee behavior becomes a key success factor in driving organizational change. Encourage your employees to build personal brands on social sites. Thus, opting out of social networking activity is not an option. Successful social businesses depend upon a team effort. They create processes that support organizational consistency. For example, when a new employee joins the agency and wants to start blogging or Tweeting on behalf of the agency, a process should be in place that governs employee training and certification in the social media policy that the agency has in place. (See ACT’s guide to creating a social media policy.)

Flexible and responsive work The definition of work changes – the incoming workforce will demand a more open and flexible work environment. Options as to how, when, and where work happens are expanded. For example, new models in the form of small virtual offices, expanded geographic locations, flexible work hours, 24/7 availability, outsourcing, niche or expertisedriven agents are transforming how we define work. For example, becoming a social business means producers – in addition to using social tools to create personal brands – spend less time behind desks and more time in the field making “real life” contact, meeting in places like Starbucks

Collaborative work environment Develop a collaborative (vs. hierarchical) organizational structure. The new social and connected cultures have set new expectations when it comes to speed of communication and response. Traditional hierarchically structured agencies will not be able to adapt to this new standard of consumer expectation. Further, information must be available and shared – not horded, restricted or reside in silos. In fact, many agencies are inviting customers to participate in agency decisions. For example, they have customers sit on the agency’s board of directors or participate in advisory councils. Become transparent in your communication. Customers and employees expect to communicate more seamlessly and develop personal relationships. Agencies have found that this is one of the best ways to build trust.

Community Involvement Become personally involved in your real-life community, including active involvement and support of charitable initiatives. The profiles of successful agencies reflect social values that are embedded in the core of the organization. This is also a key value for customers – they want to do business with a company that is socially responsible.

Technology Deploy technology that facilitates collaboration. Technology will not change an organization’s culture. However, having a strong understanding of your agency’s cultural objectives will have an impact on your technical requirements, choice of technology and how to implement and configure it. Clearly, there will be need for agency management system technology to support the new social business model.

Responsive Marketing Most personal lines and small commercial customers are interacting with agents and insurers across the full range of channels: in-person, by mobile device, by phone, and even through services like Skype or Google Hangouts. It is necessary to understand your customer and adjust your marketing and communications accordingly. For example, shift marketing dollars from traditional marketing channels to digital ones. (i.e., Yellow Page ads to digital/online marketing). Keep track of the communications preferences of your clients and be prepared for communications of differ types from a wide variety of devices.

Reinvention of Agency Processes In addition to organizational and cultural changes, many traditional processes are also in need of reinvention. We need to think through how many of our everyday processes might and should change, enabled by the new technologies available to us. Everything from managing passwords, e-signatures, certificates of insurance, ID cards, online selfservice, mobile options, policy delivery, billing and payment options, and even coverage offerings must change to meet current customer service expectations.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - www.iianm.org - * November 2013

Page 25


Clickable Calendar

November 2013 Click on class title to register

Sunday

3

Monday

4

Tuesday

5

Wednesday

6 P&C Pre-Licensing Exam Review

Thursday

7

Friday

Saturday

1

2

8

9

L&H Pre-Licensing Exam Review

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30

e e c c i i f f f f O osed O osed Cl Cl IIANM’s Job Bank Looking to fill a position within your agency? Trying to find a job but don’t know where to look? Whether you are looking for somewhere new to share your special skills or an employer looking for quality, professional employees, we are here to lend a helping hand. Click here to take advantage of IIANM’s Job Bank. Do you have an agency you’re trying to sell, or in the market to buy one? Check out our Classifieds!


Aviation History Month. Celebrate the history of air travel, from the early ballooning experiments of the Montgolfier brothers in November 1782 to Wilbur and Orville Wright’s first powered airplane flight in December 1903 and beyond.

Choose the right turkey for your Thanksgiving feast

Leaving a tip? Here’s how much How much to tip can seem as complicated as calculus. You don’t want to seem cheap, but you don’t want to overdo it—especially if money is tight. Here’s a quick, basic look at what’s expected in a variety of everyday situations: • Waiter/waitress (full service): 10-15 percent of the bill, before tax • Bartender: $1-$2 per drink, or 15-20 percent of the total tab • Cleaning service: 15-20 percent per visit • Hairstylist/barber: 15-20 percent • Masseuse: 15-20 percent • Car valet: $2-$10 when picking up your car • Room service: 15-20 percent • Skycap: $2 for the first bag, then $1 for each additional bag • Hotel housekeeper: $2-$3 per night (or more for a high-end hotel, or if you’ve got more than two other people staying with you)

With Thanksgiving approaching, you may be wondering what kind of turkey to buy for your big feast. The choices can be a little confusing. Check this quick guide to learn what the different labels mean:

Odds Ends

• Butterball. Despite the name, these turkeys don’t actually have any butter. The turkeys come fresh or frozen. The fresh ones have no added ingredients. The frozen birds are injected in the breast with a solution of vegetable oil, water, salt, emulsifiers, and a preservative. The solution is made to enhance the flavor and provide moisture that is lost during the freezing process. • Kosher. Kosher turkeys are soaked in cold saltwater even before the feathers are plucked. The process draws out the blood and impurities, following Jewish dietary laws. Because they go through both rabbinical and USDA inspections, the birds are very clean. The saltwater soak also makes for a more flavorful bird. Kosher poultry are fed an all-natural diet with no hormones or antibiotics. • Free-range. These birds are fed an all-natural diet and aren’t confined. Often, the birds eat natural feed that is not organic but is tested for chemical residue. Generally, they have more breast meat, about 50 percent less fat, and a quarter fewer calories than regular turkeys. However, some consumers have found that freerange turkeys are a little tougher. That’s because they are less fatty, so be careful not to overcook them.

• Taxi driver: 15 percent (depending on the city); an extra $1-$2 if the driver helps with any bags

10 Ways you can be more productive at work.

n

Dangerous household items that are poisonous to pets


For all your commercial property needs, the path is clear.

COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

From skyscrapers to main street businesses, lessor’s risk to vacant property, Burns & Wilcox does it all. With unlimited access to the broadest range of markets, we can place coverages for every one of your commercial property clients. Whether their needs are traditional or complex, the expertise of Burns & Wilcox means you are always on the right road. Albuquerque, New Mexico | 505.822.0018 | toll free 866.643.8538 fax 505.822.0092 | albuquerque.burnsandwilcox.com Commercial | Personal | Professional | Brokerage | Binding | Risk Management Services

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