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WE LOVE YOUR BUSINESS! To celebrate we are extending our 5% new business commission program. Bring your business home to New Mexico Mutual and celebrate with a 5% increase in commission on NEW BUSINESS* bound with effective dates through August 31, 2012. We appreciate your business and our partnership! We look forward to providing your clients the opportunity to put their business with a New Mexico company. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your sales representative.



New Mexico’s Experts in Workers’ Compensation Insurance. 3900 Singer Blvd. NE • Albuquerque, NM 87109 • 505.345.7260 or 800.788.8851 •

*Excludes accounts that were insured with New Mexico Mutual in the previous 6 months, short-term policies, rewritten policies, and renewal policies.

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


Independent Insurance Agents of NM 1511 University Blvd. NE Albuquerque, NM 87102. (505) 843-7231. Fax (505) 243-3367. Web site 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 for details


Features Averages

"The Voice" of Independent Agents since 1934

o VZ


Looking to Build a Digital Marketing Campaign for Your Agency?


IIANM's Southern Seminar - 15 hours of Continuing Education


Playing Chicken with Estate Tax Laws


Cater to Women-Owned Business


Congressional Leaders Urge HHS to Amend Navigator Rules


Industry Tid-Bits / Congratulations Are In Order!


Agencies Need to Meet Customer Preferences, Study Says


Five Sales Tips to Sell More with Better Body Language


2012 IIANM Company Partners


The Dangers of Adding Language to COIs


Manage Client-Agent Txting



ABEN - The Next Big Thing in Continuing Education


July's Clickable Calendar


Odds n Ends


President/CEO Thom Turbett Vice President of Member Services Consuelo Trujillo Vice President of Insurance Programs Julie A. Franchini Communications Director Rachel Sheffield

In Every Issue Tech Talk

Member Services Associate Renee Trujillo

Advertiser Index 2011-2012 Officers Chair Scott Jones Vice-Chair PJ Wolff Secretary/Treasurer Diana Hobbs National Director Sam Conlee Immediate Past Chair Kathy Yeager

Acuity Burns & Wilcox Hallmark Insurance Company Litchfield Special Risks Lovelace Health Plan Market Finders, Inc. MexiPass Mountain States Insurance Group New Mexico Health Insurance Alliance (NMHIA) New Mexico Mutual Risk Placement Service Trustco

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Averages by Chris Burand

We have a severe misuse of averages in the independent agency system today relative to agency values and benchmarks. When I hear people talking about using industry averages, I always think about the joke where three statisticians go hunting. They are standing on the edge of a clearing when a deer appears on the other side. The first statistician fires, missing five feet to the left. The second statistician fires, missing five feet to the right. The third statistician declares, "Bulls eye! On average, we got him!"


As Michael Lewis described perfectly in his book, "The Big Short," a significant cause of the economic boom and subsequent bust is based on this same faulty statistical thinking. Mortgages held by people with good credit scores were bundled with mortgages held by people with bad credit scores to create books of mortgages with average credit scores. As any rookie underwriter would know, this is stupid. Think about an insurance company creating an average book of business by taking great drivers and pairing them with awful drivers to create an average book. What will happen to profits? The claims of the bad drivers will outweigh the extra profits created by the good drivers. The foreclosures of the bad loans far outweighed the extra profit made by the good mortgages. This is one of many problems with averages. When averages are used incorrectly, at best the result is useless; at worst, the result is catastrophic. In independent agencies, using average commissions serviced per CSR (customer service representative) is useless and potentially catastrophic unless it used in combination with account size, type of accounts, and the quality of the producers with whom the CSR works. This may sound too complex, but choosing to consider only a simple average may result in a completely wrong conclusion. The alternative is to think through the steps that will lead to the correct answer. Asking what agencies are worth on an average basis begs an average result. If agency values are viewed as an average multiple of sales or an average multiple of profit, there is less motivation to build the agency's value. In other words, if all agencies are valued relatively the same, then why make the effort to build a better agency? When buyers only consider agencies at an average mul-

tiple of sales or an average multiple of profit, there is a high probability the buyer will pay too much for poor agencies. These buyers are not buying based on the performance of the specific agency; they are buying based on an average. This is a key reason many acquisitions fail to deliver an adequate return on investment for buyers.

Buyers often lose out buying high quality agencies because those agencies carry a premium the buyer will not consider paying. This is a huge lost opportunity. The buyer is also more likely to fail to adequately integrate the purchase. Why integrate when everything is already average? Many serial buyers of agencies and other firms do a horrible job integrating their acquisitions and this is one reason why. One of the real reasons serial buyers use averages is because they really are not interested in integrating the acquisition or improving operations or even running a good firm. They are simply interested in flipping the acquisition. If they can buy an agency for 1.5 times and they are trading on the stock market (or have hopes of trading on the stock market) for 1.7 times, they make 0.2 times immediately. If they buy an agency that is run better than their own and is therefore worth more than 1.7 times, they cannot flip it resulting in a true lost opportunity. But for a regular agency buying another agency, this average is not important. The only important number is the price which will bring an adequate return on the buyer's investment. This is clearly not the way most agency owners view acquisitions, even buyers that have purchased 10, 20 or 30 agencies. Failing to analyze their acquisitions in this manner, along with not conducting adequate due diligence and likely not maintaining adequate working capital, are reasons many serial acquirers have faltered more than regular agencies during this historic soft market. So what is an agency worth? As a buyer, it really depends on what it is specifically worth to you. As a seller, your agency's worth should depend on the quality you've built into it, the nature of the buyer buying it, and then a speculative factor whether high (a few years ago) or low (today). But it should not be average.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

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to Build a Digital Marketing Campaign

ing Over the past months, I have had the opportunity to speak with agencies who are looking to create digital marketing campaigns. Most agencies are not sure where to begin their efforts and have turned to their website developers or specific digital marketing vendors for advice. Many have found this new marketing arena confusing and costly. Some vendors use terms which are foreign to us and make our heads spin. Other vendors charge thousands of dollars a month with a multi-year contract, putting the cost out of reach for many agencies. We know from recent studies how important it is for independent agents to gain exposure from search engines and other forms of digital media. AM Best reported the independent agency channel is losing 1% of personal lines market share every few years to direct writers. One percent market share equates to over $300 million in commission dollars. So, what are agents to do? Is there a cost effective solution for independent agents? Yes, there is a solution that fits every agency and gives independent agents the ability to start a digital marketing campaign on their budget and without a multi-year contract hanging over their heads. Project CAP is that solution. Backed by the IIABA, Trusted Choice and key insurance carriers, Project CAP is an industry initiative with the vision to recapture personal lines market share for the independent agency channel.

for Your Agency? by George Robertson, CISR IIANC Automation & Technology Specialist

CAP provides a very cost effective way to enter the digital marketing arena. Your agency can elect to do it yourself or have the members of Project CAP do the work for you; thus allowing your agency to select a program that fits your budget without having a multi-year contract. Best of all, basic participation in these Project CAP programs is available to all Big I member agencies at no extra cost (Bronze package). What a value added member benefit! Starting with one of the basic packages - Bronze, Silver, or Gold - you can easily begin your digital marketing campaign. These packages range from $0 - $497 down and $0 - $297 a month. For those agencies that wish to have Project CAP handle your digital marketing efforts, you can select from the Platinum or Diamond programs. Costs for the Platinum or Diamond program start at $2.997 to $4,997 down and $797 to $1997 a month. Regardless of the agency marketing package you choose, all of them include automatic enrollment in the new consumer website. There is much more to Project CAP than what is outlined in this brief article, so I invite you to IIANM’s upcoming Annual Convention (September 19 & 20, 2012 at Albuquerque’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino) where we will host a special presentation on the specifics of Project CAP.

The digital marketing experts behind Project CAP are not just Internet experts. They are insurance professionals with over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry so they understand your business and needs. Digital marketing programs are built on proven principles and the four pillars of education, tools, content and service. Project CAP consists of two powerful integrated resources which are built around these pillars. First, there is the Industry Services Website which will provide independent agencies with all of the digital marketing tools, online education, web content, professional services and systems to enhance their online presence. (Open at The second component, the Consumer Agent Portal, will allow prospects to compare coverages from multiple insurance carriers and connect with a local independent agent in their area. This state-of-the-art website houses insurance information for consumers and agency profiles as well. (Coming to mid-2012)

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

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Attention southern New Mexico

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Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

16th Annual

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Southern Seminar Continuing Education:

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Playing Chicken with Estate Tax Laws

by Dave Evans

The federal estate tax has been a moving target for Americans to calculate. The James Dean movie, “Rebel Without a Cause,” has a famous scene: Following a knife fight that Dean's character Jim Stark was forced into by jealous protagonist Buzz Gunderson, Stark is challenged to a game of “chicken run,” which involves racing stolen cars toward a cliff. The person who jumps out first loses and hence is chicken. While it’s common to view this type of a movie scene in a detached way, the reality is that Americans are contestants in a much larger game of chicken, called “What is Congress going to do and when?” Many people used to believe that a divided Congress is actually a good scenario because it can’t overregulate and pass bad legislation. But because of the sunset rules that sometimes pertain to legislation, inaction by Congress is not necessarily a good thing; no action can become defacto action. A good example of this can be found within the recent status of estate tax laws.

Over the years, the estate tax has varied in a number of different aspects, particularly the exemption level and marginal tax rates. Since estate taxes can be viewed as a permanent consideration—setting aside gift taxes—it is important for people to make sure they have adequate funds to pay the taxes, so as not to require a forced sale of assets—particularly a closely held business—to pay the taxes.

The problem is that the federal estate tax provisions have been a moving target for affluent Americans to calculate. If someone died in 2000, he would have owed a tax of 55% on estates of more than $1 million, not passed onto a spouse.

Yet when George Steinbrenner died in 2010, his estate owed no federal estate tax, thanks to the Economic Growth

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and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA). That act started with an estate tax unified credit exclusion of $675,000 in 2001, but increased in steps from $1 million in 2006 to $3.5 million in 2009, with repeal of the estate tax and generation-skipping tax scheduled for 2010. But Congress never made the elimination of the federal estate tax permanent, so the estate tax returned.

In 2011, the estate tax came back at a maximum rate of 35%, with a $5-million exemption for individuals and $10-million exemption for married couples. For 2012, if the spouse who dies first fails to use up the full $5.12-million exemption, it carries over and can be added to the second spouse’s $5.12 million exemption. Additionally, the annual gift exclusion remains $13,000 per year, and gifts of tuition and payments of medical care are still exempt.

Now the game of congressional chicken comes into play: Under the current law, the estate tax exemption is scheduled to drop significantly from $5.12 million in 2012 to $1 million in 2013, and the estate tax rate is scheduled to jump from 35% to 55%.

So if you are a closely held business owner or an advisor to one, is your advice not to worry because the threshold will be raised to $3 million or $5 million anyway? And will the tax rate be 35%, 45% or even 55%? The problem is that the estate tax has been kicked down the road by Congress for a decade, and it creates a paralyzing effect on client behavior as they assume the can will continue to be kicked down the road. But just like in “Rebel without a Cause,” be sure not to have an accident.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

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When it comes to personal insurance, every part matters. Because When it comes to personal partcould matters. when one piece goes missing,insurance, the entireevery account comeBecause undone. when one piece goes missing, the entire account could come undone. At Burns & Wilcox, we can insure individual portions of their coverage At & Wilcox, we So canyou insure individual of their or Burns the whole account. do not have toportions turn away any coverage business. or the whole account. So you do not have to turn away any business. We have the expertise, resources and experience that can only We have the expertise, resources and experience that can come from being the largest independent wholesale broker only and come from being the largest independent wholesale broker underwriting manager. Need help with personal insurance? No and one underwriting manager. Need help with personal insurance? No one has you covered like Burns & Wilcox. has you covered like Burns & Wilcox. Albuquerque, New Mexico | 505.822.0018 Albuquerque, New Mexico 505.822.0018 toll free 866.643.8538 | fax|505.822.0092 toll free 866.643.8538 | fax 505.822.0092 • Commercial • Personal • Professional • Brokerage • Binding • Risk Management Services • Commercial • Personal • Professional • Brokerage • Binding • Risk Management Services

Steve by, Steve Anderson

Free, Public Wi-Fi Can be Dangerous to Your Health A few days ago I was sitting at a local coffee shop and watched a young lady come in with her laptop. She sat down at the table, connected her laptop to the free wireless network, and proceeded to log into her online bank account. I remember thinking at the time, "That is a dangerous practice." I then received an email from Steve Aronson, an agent in Massachusetts, highlighting the same issue. He suggested I write about how to protect your information when using free public Wi-Fi. Wireless access to the Internet has become a necessity for many people so they can stay connected. Whether you're on vacation at a resort, waiting in an airport or sitting in a coffee shop, it's likely you will be able to connect to the Internet through a wireless network provided by the property owner. Sometimes these will be offered for a small fee and sometimes they will be free. But be careful: sometimes free Wi-Fi can be a scam perpetrated by criminals hoping to steal your personal information. You could end up being the target of a "man in the middle" attack, in which a hacker is able to steal the information you send over the Internet, including usernames and passwords. And you could also have your files and identity stolen and end up with a spyware-infested computer. The attack could even leave your laptop open to hackers every time you turn it on, by allowing anyone to connect to it without your knowledge.

How the attack works You go to an airport or other hot spot and fire up your PC, hoping to find a free hot spot. You see one that calls itself "Free Wi-Fi" or a similar name. You connect. Bingo -- you've been had! The problem is that it's not really a hot spot. Instead, it's an ad hoc, peer-to-peer network, possibly set up as a trap by someone with a laptop nearby. You can use the Internet, because the attacker has set up his PC to let you browse the Internet via his connection. But because you're using his connection, all your traffic goes through his PC, so he can see everything you do online, including all the userPage 12

names and passwords you enter for financial and other websites. In addition, because you've directly connected to the attack PC on a peer-to-peer basis, if you've set up your PC to allow file sharing, the attacker can have complete run of your PC, stealing files and data and planting malware on it. You can't actually see any of this happening, so you'd be none the wiser. The hacker steals what he wants to or plants malware, such as zombie software, then leaves, and you have no way of tracking him down. All that is bad enough, but it might not be the end of the attack. Depending on how you've connected to that ad hoc network, the next time you turn on your PC, it may automatically broadcast the new "Free Wi-Fi" network ID to the world, and anyone nearby can connect to it in ad hoc peer-to-peer mode without your knowledge -- and can do damage if you've allowed file sharing. Security company Commtouch (previously Authentium Inc.) has found dozens of ad hoc networks in Atlanta's airport, New York's LaGuardia, the West Palm Beach, Fla., airport and Chicago's O'Hare. Internet users have reported finding them at LAX airport in Los Angeles. Commtouch did an in-depth survey of the ad hoc networks found at O'Hare, visiting on three different occasions. It found more than 20 ad hoc networks each time, with 80% of them advertising free Wi-Fi access. The company also found that many of the networks were displaying fake or

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

misleading MAC addresses, a clear sign that they were bent on mischief.

How to protect yourself The easiest way to protect yourself from Wi-Fi fraud is to not connect to any free wireless networks. If you're in a coffee shop, airport or hotel that has a legitimate Wi-Fi connection for a small fee, it's worth the price for peace of mind. Ask the business' staff if there is a hot spot available and get the name from them. Mobile device users should make sure they have downloaded all the security updates for their operating systems. If you function in a wireless environment on a regular basis, you are better off spending the money on a wireless card that you get through AT&T, Verizon or Sprint. This way, you have your own relatively secured wireless connection. This is what I do for access. If you choose to take advantage of free Wi-Fi availability, here are some things to keep in mind. • Never connect to a "computer-to-computer" network. When choosing a wireless network, check out the description of each one. A normal wireless network is simply called "wireless network" not a "computer-tocomputer" network. • Use HTTPS to access webmail and avoid protocols that don't include encryption. • Turn off your computer's file sharing capabilities. The instructions will vary slightly depending on what computer system you're using (Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, etc.). • Use a software firewall to further control who can connect to your computer and how. • Avoid conducting financial transactions or accessing any sensitive websites if you aren't using an Internet connection that you know and trust. It pays to be vigilant whenever you are connecting to a wireless network. If you have any doubt about the Wi-Fi connections, then don't connect. It's just not worth the potential problems.

Showing PowerPoint on an iPad I was recently asked to give a short presentation on the use of mobile technologies in an agency at a meeting of the Nashville Insurance Professionals. When I arrived, I found out that I would not have a projector available. Instead of relying on my laptop, I decided to use my iPad with a new app called SlideShark from Brainshark. SlideShark is a free PowerPoint viewing app that allows you to view and share PowerPoint slides using an iPad. It

could be a very interesting tool for producers who want to use PowerPoint presentations with prospects and clients without having to lug around an LCD projector and a laptop. It reminds me of the modern version of the old flip chart presentations. (Yes, I am that old!) The app works in tandem with the SlideShark web service. Like the iPad app, sign-up is free. The free version provides 100MB of storage, but you can upgrade your account to receive additional online storage space: $49 a year gets you 500MB, while 1GB costs $98 annually. Agencies with multiple users may want to consider SlideShark's team option, which offers 5GB total of storage for $149 per person per year. PowerPoint file sizes will vary, of course, but I uploaded three different moderately sized presentations to SlideShark and still only used about 25MB of my allotted 100MB. If you plan on uploading a lot of different presentations, you can pay for the additional storage space -- or be very aggressive about deleting presentations after you're finished with them. Even after uploading three presentations, there was still plenty of storage space in my free 100MB account. Getting PowerPoint presentations into SlideShark is very easy. You upload presentations through the SlideShark website and then download them to the iPad app for offline use. You can also add presentations via your iPad's Mail app by tapping and holding on the attached file and selecting Open in SlideShark from the pop-up menu. SlideShark also offers support for DropBox, GoodReader, and Box. SlideShark's strength is its ability to play PowerPoint presentations as a slideshow. The app gives you the ability to auto-play presentations, using a slider to set the amount of time before automatically moving to the next slide. This could be good for self-running trade show presentations. You can also manually control your presentation with an intuitive series of swipes (leftward to advance, rightward to go back, etc.). If you have an iPad 2 or third-generation model, even better. You can use Apple's Digital AV Adapter or VGA Adapter to connect an LCD projector and take advantage of mirroring to display your presentation on a large screen. The latest version also has built-in support for AirPlay for wireless connection to a supported device. While SlideShark's main purpose is to display PowerPoint presentations on your iPad, the app also offers a few modest editing tools. You can re-order your slides right on your iPad. You can also search for presentations, tag favorites, and delete files from your online account. The app also supports slideshow (.pps and .ppsx) file types. There's plenty to like about SlideShark. During the presentation mentioned above, I was able to use my iPad as my "teleprompter" and walk around instead of being tied to a podium. SlideShark allows you to leave your cumbersome laptop at home and turn your iPad into an effective presentation tool.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

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Cater to Women-Owned Businesses As female company ownership grows, independent agents can target their specific needs. by, Dave Evans The most recent IIABA Agency Universe Survey indicates that independent insurance agents write nearly 80% of all commercial insurance. And, an increasing trend leans toward female ownership of commercial clients, too. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, women-owned firms—firms where women hold more than a 50% stake in the business— now account for 4 in 10 of all closely-held concerns. This represents a substantial market segment with more than 10 million businesses majority owned by females. This is also a growing market segment. The number of women-owned businesses has increased by 44% from 1997 to 2007—a rate twice as fast as that of male-owned businesses. In 2009, women-owned firms created and maintained employment for more than 23 million Americans and had an estimated economic impact of $3 trillion. It’s important to note that the statistic that is cited states “closely-held firms.” This means that two in five closelyheld businesses have a female who owns 50% or more of the business. As it relates to the commercial insurance transaction, the gender of the business owner is probably not a factor. But as it relates to marketing to this segment, the business question becomes if independent agencies are reaching out to and marketing through community groups and activities to reach this target audience. Taking a personal example, my wife belongs to master’s swimming group, the local garden club (which hosted an event that drew more than 800 people in April), a knitting group, a local food pantry and Habitat for Humanity, which has a subgroup for women. While most independent agencies support some of these groups in their local area, they are likely doing it from more of a personal lines standpoint. Many local groups invite an occasional speaker to address them for a luncheon or fundraiser. But has your

agency focused on the financial services needs of woman business owners? First, more women are becoming the higher wage earner in their household, which means the household is more dependent on their income. Second, a higher percentage of women are unmarried and solely provide their retirement income. Since women live longer than men— six years longer if they do not smoke cigarettes—they have more longevity risk, so there is a bigger concern for the need to pay for long-term care expenses and have adequate savings for retirement. Women are also more physically active then the previous generation and more women regularly exercise than men. Accordingly, as business owners, they need to consider long-term disability insurance and overhead expense coverage in the event they become disabled and it affects the business. When renewing commercial insurance for female-owned business clients, is your agency engaging in a discussion regarding their unique needs for financial services? And is your agency investing in digital and other marketing capabilities that target females? An acquaintance owns and runs a concrete mixing and contracting company that has up to 100 concrete mixing trucks on the road. I have to confess that I didn’t hide my surprise well when I was first introduced to her. So, the lesson is that independent agents may want to consider tapping this trend and position their agency to respond to the unique needs female-owned businesses. And of course, the trend of increasing female ownership of closely-held businesses also holds true for independent insurance agencies.

Did you Know? Linda Walker of The Walker Agency was named one of the top 50 women-owned businesses in New Mexico by the New Mexico Business Weekly. Congratulations Linda!

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

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Congressional Leaders Urge HHS to Amend Navigator Rules by, Ryan Young

Representatives send letter asking for more state flexibility. Recently, Reps. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) and Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) along with 16 other members of Congress penned a letter to the Obama Administration regarding recently released regulations on navigator programs. The letter was sent on the heels of the annual Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention in Washington, D.C. The issue was one of several which agents advocated for during their meetings with members of Congress. Navigator programs were authorized under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and they charge particular entities with performing duties such as spreading public awareness of health insurance exchanges and “facilitating enrollment” in health plans. The law contains a laundry list of groups qualified to become navigators including unions, nonprofits, chambers of commerce and even commercial fishing organizations. These navigators will be government-funded and states are required to have them in their exchanges. Until the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released regulations on health insurance exchange operations in March 2012, it was not clear how navigators would function or be regulated.

But the regulations tie the hands of state insurance regulators by barring them from applying existing consumer protection laws to navigators. Even if navigators cross the line into duties that would normally trigger state producer licensing, continuing education requirements, mandated errors & omissions coverage or similar financial responsibility requirements, state regulators will be prohibited from applying these existing laws to these entities. The Big “I” believes this is both a consumer protection issue and an issue of fairness for producers. Navigators will be operating with what many consumers will perceive as government authority while not being subjected to many of the state laws and requirements that would normally apply. The letter requests that HHS revise its regulations on health insurance exchanges to allow states to apply existing consumer protection laws to navigators, if they take actions that would normally trigger the application of these laws. The letter also makes it clear that consumers could be exposed to bad actors through these regulations, and they will have no recourse if they are hurt financially.

Read the full letter here.

Insurance agents!

You spoke, we listened! New plans and more options now available!

Click here to visit our website. Page 16

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

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Mountain States Insurance Group is pleased to introduce a new suite of property enhancement endorsements. The following are some highlights of our Premier Endorsement. Contact your underwriter for more details and pricing. ADDED COVERAGES Business Income & Extra Expense Actual Loss Sustained – Up To 12 Months $250,000 From Dependent Properties $50,000 Expanded Blanket Limit $250,000 Accounts Receivable Valuable Papers and Records (Other then Electronic Data) Debris Removal Outdoor Signs not Attached to Buildings Expanded Crime Blanket Limit $25,000 Employee Dishonesty Forgery or Alteration Money and Securities Money Orders and Counterfeit Money Credit Card Invoices Computer Fraud Computers, Media & Electronic Data - In One Policy Year $100,000 Foundation $25,000 Lock Replacement $2,500 Covered Crime Reward $10,000 Brands and Labels $25,000 Business Personal Property - Seasonal Increase 25% or $50,000 INCREASED LIMITS Outdoor Property $25,000 Tree, Shrub or Plant $2,000 Pollutant Cleanup & Removal $25,000 Ordinance or Law Coverage $250,000 Property of Others $25,000 Property Off-Premises $25,000 Fine Arts $25,000 Sewer & Drain Backup $25,000

Stable – Secure – Permanent Page 18 Page 28 - 505.764.1400 5051 Journal Center Boulevard N.E., Albuquerque, New Mexico, Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico -87109 * July 2012 Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * -July 2012

Congr are in aotulations rder! Reynolds Insurance! Last month, The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, hosted “The 2012 Business Awards”. The Awards event, presented by Daniels Insurance, brought together VIP’s and business and community leaders who recognized the 91 local company nominees. Congratulations to Jake Rodar, and Reynolds Insurance, who walked away with a Business Excellence Award. This award recognized Reynolds Insurance for their growth, innovation and job creation as well as family-friendly practices. Good job guys!

Berger Briggs Real Estate & Insurance

Berger Briggs Real Estate & Insurance, Inc. is celebrating their 75 Anniversary! They are a full-service commercial real estate, management, and insurance firm that has served Albuquerque continuously since 1937. Congratulations on this big occasion, and many wishes for more great days ahead!

Manuel Lujan Agencies! Small Company Winner of New Mexico’s Healthiest Employers! The Manuel Lujan Agencies debuted a hale and hearty wellness program in 2008, partnering with wellness company Nuvita to encourage employees to live healthier lives through a combination of cutting-edge technology and old-fashioned teamwork among colleagues and personal support from wellness coaches. Congratulations to the offices of Manuel Lujan Agencies, for taking wellness to the next level!

This month marks Northern Insurance’s 40th year in business! Since 1972, Northern Insurance has been a leader in providing quality and reliable insurance and financial services to business owners and families, in both Santa Fe and Las Vegas, NM. Best wishes for this special occasion! And for many more years of accomplishments to come.

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Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

Agencies Need to Meet Consumer Preferences, Study Says ACT group names five trends changing the IA system, “must do” actions for being competitive. by, Victoria Goff

To succeed in the future, independent agencies need to communicate with consumers through a variety of ways to meet the diverse preferences of existing and prospective clients, a new Agents Council for Technology report says.

information—which may come from a carrier or vendor— and to best integrate it into their workflow, according to the study. While some vendors are already providing this data, there’s a lack of consistency for both solutions in an agency management system and participation from carriers, Berg says, speaking relative to the work group’s findings.

That includes engaging with the “connected consumer” - one who prefers to do business through non-traditional outlets such as social media, smartphones and tablets and tailoring different approaches to meet the needs of various age, ethnic, cultural and gender groups.

A new work group, the BI Think Tank, has formed to determine best practices for using business intelligence tools, according to the study. Among tasks, it plans to evaluate how agencies can best use existing tools, how existing reporting should be improved and if there’s other data analysis that should be available to agencies.

These trends of the connected consumer and demographic/diversity transformation are among those that ACT’s Strategic Future Issues Work Group says will change the reality for the independent agency system.

Berg says these tools are emerging and robust, and they can benefit an agency in several ways, including helping agencies follow up on leads and better understand existing and prospective clients.

This month, the roughly 20-person work group, a mix of agents, carriers and vendors, released its 2012 Key Trends and Industry “Must Do” Issues report. It is an update from the group’s initial 2009 study, and it sets priorities for other ACT work groups that determine how to address such trends and issues.

While agencies should expand the way they do business, trust remains at the core of the agency-consumer relationship, the study notes.

Four of the work group’s trends have been revised from those that were first identified in 2009. Along with the connected consumer and demographic/diversity transformation, they include social Web and mobile and mobility, which addresses consumers who use mobile devices to do business when and where they want. But one trend is new to the report: data availability and analytics, which the work group says can help agencies enhance their marketing, sales, servicing and management efforts. Already, it’s common for carriers and vendors to analyze and use data from business intelligence tools in their operations, says the work group’s chairman, Ron Berg, a senior technology research specialist for MetLife Auto and Home. But agencies need clear direction on how to use such

The challenge for agencies is to understand how to balance the “value-added personal interaction” they offer and the ability to “provide the service that’s needed to that connected consumer in the digital world”—all while understanding what they need to do differently for each consumer demographic group, Berg says. While this is a challenge for agencies, he notes that the end result is worthwhile.

“Technology [that is] done right [and] meets the endconsumer’s needs also has the benefit of providing speed and accuracy for the agent, so they have time-savings to do more marketing, to do more follow-up [and] to write more business,” he says. “So if it’s done well, it benefits everyone.”

The full report, 2012 Key Trends and Industry “Must Do” Issues, can be viewed here.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

Page 21

Five Sales Tips to Sell More and Build Better Relationships through

Better Body Language by John Chapin

While much has been written and said about how much you can read a person based upon body language, the reality is: body language does not typically say much about a person unless it is extreme. Someone with crossed arms is not necessarily closed off to your communication, they may be cold, or that may be their “standard stance”, this is typically the case with electricians, plumbers, contractors and similar professions. That being said, the average person has heard the basics on body language and as a result, they will read what they can into your body language. Because of this, you want to make sure your body language is as agreeable as possible. Here are some ideas on how to do that.

Five Body Language Keys 1) Don’t cross your arms.

John Chapin is an award winning sales speaker, sales trainer, coach, and co-author of the gold-medal winning "Sales Encyclopedia" a comprehensive how-to guide on selling. "Sales Encyclopedia" is written for

Okay, you saw that one coming right? The one tip about body language that almost everyone is aware of, states that a person with crossed arms is closed off to communication. As a result, keep your arms down by your side or otherwise uncrossed. The most agreeable position for the arms is open with the palms of the hands facing up or toward the other person. Note: When shaking hands, establish a 45 degree angle with your palm facing upwards. A hand-on-top handshake is a show of dominance while a hand-on-bottom handshake is read as much more accommodating and agreeable.

sales professionals in all industries at any level of experience. Utilizing more than 21 years of sales ex-

2) Keep your chin down and your eyes up.

perience and as a number one salesperson in three industries, John co-founded Complete Selling Incorporated, a company helping salespeople double their sales and find their motivation.

If you do the opposite of this, namely: chin up, eyes down, the other person may get the feeling that you are “looking down your nose at them”, not good. In addition to chin down and eyes up, it is a good idea to tilt your head slightly as this has been shown to be the most friendly and accommodating position.

If you would like access to John's free white paper on what it takes to be successful in sales along with a monthly newsletter, you can visit John's website at For permission to reprint, or to reach John, email him at johnchapin@

Page 22

3) Never go toe-to-toe with the prospect or customer. When you picture two people getting ready for a confrontation, what do you see? They are usually standing toe-to-toe, chest-tochest, directly facing one another. Directly facing someone headon can be subconsciously perceived as confrontational, even if you are several feet from them. As a result, it is best to stand at a slight angle to the person you are talking to. Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

4) Smile. Smiling is the one piece of body language that does have meaning all by itself. A smile says many positive things and sends a message of: warmth, genuineness, self-confidence, and professionalism. A smile can do more to build rapport and bring down the defensive walls than almost anything else. In addition, if you are having a bad day, by smiling you send positive messages to the brain and you will actually feel better.

5) The eyes have it. As mentioned in a previous article: 4 Sales Tips to Sell More and Build Better Relationships Through Better Eye Contact, if you really want to know where you stand with someone, or how they feel, focus on the eyes. The eyes are mirrors of what’s going on internally. They will let you know if someone is interested or disinterested, if they truly care or couldn’t care less, and whether they’re paying attention or off in another world. Here are some things to look for: · Is the person looking around? · Are his eyes glazed over? · Is he fighting to stay awake? · Does he have a look of confusion? · Is he looking right through you? · Is he looking at his watch or otherwise looking away from you? · Does he have an intense look? · Is he focused on and absorbed with what you’re presenting? Likewise, your eyes tell others a lot about you. Make sure your eyes say you are alert, interested, and focused. Also, make sure you are making as much eye contact as possible. In conclusion, when body language is an issue, it’s easy to notice. If your prospect is completely reclined and relaxed when she should be on the edge of her chair, you have a problem. If she is leaning back with her arms folded, and she really looks as though she couldn’t care less—once again, you have a problem. These are extreme examples and thus good signs as to how someone feels, at the same time, subtleties in body language are very rarely indicators of exactly how someone feels. Body language needs to be coupled with other items, such as what the eyes are telling you, before it has any real significance. That being said, you still want to ensure your body language sends all the right messages because over 90% of the people you run into on the street believe that body language is a big factor and they will make judgments about you based upon yours.

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The Dangers of Adding Language to COIs by, Bill Wilson In one case, an agent looked at including a copy of an

Exactly what does the written contract require? Many

additional insured endorsement with a certificate versus

proprietary company additional insured endorsements only

making a statement on a certificate.

provide vicarious liability. Some provide coverage on an

“Would you recommend including the actual endorsement

excess basis.

for all additional insureds with the certificate as a best

What if the contract specifically requires that XYZ be cov-

practice vs. stating ,'XYZ Is additional insured as respects

ered for direct liability on a “primary and noncontributory”

general liability as respects premises leased to named

basis? Then XYZ is not afforded the degree of additional

insured if required by written contract?'” the agent asked.

insured status “required by written contract.”

“If so, do you have any suggestions on how you would do

On the other hand, if the actual additional insured en-

that efficiently at renewal when the agency management

dorsement is simply provided, all of the responsibility is

systems are set up issue large volumes of renewal cer-

transferred to XYZ to determine if it complies with XYZ's

tificates at one time?,” the agent continued. “It creates a


second step of getting the actual endorsement and physically attaching it to the many renewal certificates."

Ultimately, one may want to balance the likelihood of an as-

A certificate can be opened to misinterpretation anytime

with the cost of providing the endorsement.

tute attorney twisting the wording that is put on a certificate

that verbiage is added to it. For instance, consider the given example: “XYZ Is additional insured as respects general liability as respects premises leased to named insured if required by written contract.”

This question was originally submitted by an agent through the VU’s Ask an Expert Service. Answers to other coverage questions are on the VU. For help accessing the website, email to request login information.

Is it acceptable to add a statement to a certificate, instead of including additional insured endorsements? Agents and brokers often have to balance business decisions with errors & omissions considerations.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

Page 27

Manage Client-Agent Txting With more clients now preferring to talk to agents through text messaging, agencies often ask if they should even allow clients and staff to text, and if so, how do they control errors & omissions exposures and documentation in agency management systems? Ultimately, empowered clients are going to communicate with agents in the manner most convenient to them, so the real issue becomes, how is the agency going to manage texting if a client prefers to use it? If clients are texting staff members on their personal phone, there are a number of issues to consider: • What if a staff member is on vacation where his phone is not functioning or is too busy to take care of the issue? • What if a staff member is ill and unable to pay attention to incoming messages on a real-time basis? • What if the individual is actually no longer a staff member?

by, Patricia Alexander

Learn ways to handle the emerging client preference of cell phone texting. conversation to the business email address to include it in the agency management system. This would be the best approach for a question-and-answer session. It is important for all agency employees to learn how their specific phone works for text forwarding: • iPhone: Information can be found here. Another approach is to take a picture of the iPhone screen when the text is displayed by pressing the power button on the top of the phone simultaneously with the home button on the bottom front of the phone. This approach creates an image of the text message and the picture can then be emailed to an Outlook account. • Android: Each manufacturer handles this in a different way and sometimes there are even differences for certain phones from the same manufacturer. It is best to check the operating information for the specific phone for this function.

• What if the individual says he will take care of the request and does, but doesn't document it in the system Send Texts from Email and something is incorrect? There is likely no more of an errors & omissions exposure in receiving and responding to texts than there are in phone calls, emails or face-to-face conversations. The biggest issue facing agencies now is how to make this format work seamlessly.

Outlook can be used as a tool to manage text messaging with a client. There are several steps to set up and implement the use of Outlook. By investing the time to research, implement and train employees on a process, the rewards will be great.

Already, some agencies have addressed this issue. Below are some recommendations based on their practices:

Microsoft explains the options for using Outlook and provides lots of screen shots in its tutorial, Set Up Text Messaging (SMS) in Outlook.

Forward Texts to Email Immediately forward an initial text that is received on a personal phone to your business email address. Text a response back to the client from the business email account on Microsoft Outlook. The client's text response will come back into the email program, which will allow you to accumulate the stream of the conversation and attach it to the agency management system. Some phones allow an entire text conversation to be captured. In this case, it could be acceptable to continue the conversation on the phone, and then send the entire

Page 28

Create an Agency Text Address Agencies can also receive text messages directly. Many VoiP phone systems can have a number set up for receipt of text messages. It works differently with every system, requiring agencies to work with their phone system provider. Once established, an agency employee will need to monitor this number during business hours to manage immediate responses to clients. Agencies without a VoiP system can set up a Google Voice number at The settings section of

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

the Google Voice account includes an option to show the email address for text forwarding. After a text message is received, it should be forwarded to the Outlook email address of the agency employee working with the client. Agencies should promote the number to clients, so those who want to communicate in this manner can do so. When an agency employee receives a text message on his phone, he should inform the sender of the number that is monitored during business hours and that the text would receive attention even when that employee is unavailable. Agency Tech Tools Evolve Many people say it is seamless to include an email, voicemail or other documentation in an agency management system—but the case is not so with texts. Some agency principals want to ban receiving texts because it is difficult to manage the capture of the text information. But agents and brokers need to remember that capturing email information in an agency management system was not always simple. Once upon a time, agents copied emails and pasted them into an activity or note because they couldn't be attached to an agency management system.

In today’s world, texting is a reality. And young clients aren’t the only ones texting. Texting eliminates telephone tag and it results in an almost instant response. This is what many people are programmed to want. The Case for Texting Here are some things to consider about allowing and managing texting at an agency: • Want to be relevant to your client base? If so, embrace this technology. • Set standards and best practices. These really are no different than handling face-to-face conversations, phone calls and emails. An agency standard should be that all conversations about a client’s account are documented in the agency management system or the system that the agency is using to collect client data. • Be proactive. Determine how to best receive texts at the agency level and educate your staff and clients. • If a client and an agency employee are friends, texting will inevitably occur on a cell phone. Define, train and implement the process to get this moved to an agency level as quickly as possible.

Various agency management vendors talked to their user groups about the issue, and then they enhanced systems to handle email attachments. From this grew the ability to easily attach other attachments, and some agents hope vendors will create streamlined workflows for capturing texts, possibly as a part of a mobile app.

This story is an excerpt of the article originally written for the Agents Council for Technology. The full-length version of this story is available on ACT’s website. The article reflects the views of the author and should not be construed as an official statement by ACT.

The initial attachment functions were clunky, but as time and technology progressed, this function improved.

Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012 Page 25

page 29

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s nd


Workplace etiquette Etiquette is more than knowing which fork to use. In the workplace, good manners set you apart as a professional—and the lack of them may suggest that you’re not ready for prime time. Remember these basic rules:

• Respect co-workers’ privacy. Don’t interrupt people without a good reason, eavesdrop on their conversations, or otherwise get in their personal Odds business. • Watch your volume. You’re sharing a workplace, so make an effort to keep your voice (and music) down to avoid disturb¬ing others. ake up with a little lemon


WStart your morning off right with a glass of

water—and some fresh lemon juice squeezed into it. Lemon juice is an antioxidant, and also a good source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. In addition, it may give your immune system a boost and help with digestion throughout the day. If you do squeeze a fresh lemon (as opposed to getting juice from a bottle), be sure to wash it thoroughly ahead of time to clean off any dirt or bacteria that may drift into the juice.

• Clean up. Keep your desk or workspace uncluttered and clean to project a professional image—and to show that you’re able to organize your work and your attitude.

Celebrate our independence at the movies When the fireworks are over and you’re out of hot dogs, what better way to celebrate the Fourth of July than with a good movie? 1. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) 2. Independence Day (1996)

The (sort of) true origin of a treat


yer hot d og G et

3. The Patriot (2000) 4. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) 5. Born on the Fourth of July (1989) 6. Forrest Gump (1994) 7. 1776 (1972)

Americans love hot dogs. Every year we eat about 7 billion of them between Memorial Day and Labor Day alone. And the typical American eats about 60 a year. Where do hot dogs come from (aside from ballpark vendors, of course)? Their origins are shrouded in mystery. Some sources say they date back to the 1st century, when the Roman Emperor Nero’s cook first experimented with stuffing the intestines of pigs with spiced meats. The word “frankfurter” comes from Frankfurt, Germany, where pork sausages in buns are said to have been served in the 15th century; “wiener” is from Vienna (Wien), home to pork sausages originally called “wienerwurst” (Vienna sausage)in the 1800s. In the United States, a German immigrant named Charles Feltman is credited with selling sausages in rolls around the year 1870, in Coney Island, N.Y. Another German native, Antonoine Feuchtwanger, is said to have sold sausages in St. Louis at around the same time, offering a split bun to hold them, at the suggestion of his wife. And the term “hot dog” itself? That’s similarly shrouded in mystery. According to one of the more popular tales, a newspaper cartoonist in 1900 drew a picture of a frankfurter with legs, a tail, and a head, but unable to spell “Dachshund,” dubbed it a “hot dog.” The story is disputed, however.

Rise of the e-book Books may not be on the way out, but e-books are gaining a foothold in readers’ lives. Almost three in 10 adult Americans own at least one device for reading electronic books, and more than one in five have read an e-book within the last 12 months. And they appear to be reading more, with regular ebook readers perusing an average of 24 books over the past year, compared with the 15 books read by the average reader of “dead tree” volumes.

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Calculate the cost of turnover Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico - - * July 2012

page 31

July 2012 La Voz  
July 2012 La Voz  

The Official E-Zine for Independent Insurance Agents in New Mexico