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Tennessee agent FEBRUARY/MARCH 2011

VOL. 53, NO. 1

IN THIS ISSUE The Reach of Social Networking ISO Homeowners 2011 Changes Insuring “Green” Risks

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OFFICERS Glen Page, CIC, CPIA President Page, Chaffin & Riggins Insurance 8122 Walnut Run Cordova, TN 38018 Ph: 901-755-5526 email: glen@pcrins.com Elaine Morton, CPIA President-elect Morton Insurance Agency, Inc., Bartlett email: elaine@mortonagency.com

Tennessee agent TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S

Steve Peay Vice President Boyle Insurance, Memphis email: stevep@boyle.com

February/March 2011 Vol. 53, No. 1

Lorrie Palmer, CIC Secretary Holman and Holman, Springfield email: lpalmer@holmanandholmanins.com

Articles

Donnie Hogan, CIC Treasurer Fred M. Smith & Son, Inc., Springfield email: donnie@fredmsmith.com Leighton Bush, CPIA Immediate Past President Bush Insurance & Financial Services, Nashville email: leighton@bushins.com

N AT I O N A L D I R E C T O R June W. Taylor, CIC, CPIA, CPIW, DAE Wilkinson Insurance Agency, White House email: june.taylor@wilkinsonins.com

DIRECTORS Carl Butcher, CIC, CPA C. L. Butcher Agency, Knoxville email: carl@clbutcher.com

Changes in ISO Homeowners 2011 Homeowners policy forms have been updated by ISO and the proposed effective date for the majority of juristictions is May 1, 2011. Mary LaPorte explains the coming changes. . . .7 Green risks…should they be a red flag for your agency? Utica Mutual E&O consultant Curtis Pearsall looks at the potential risks of insuring “green” projects. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 Social networking demystified Why does social networking matter to insurance agents? 2011 convention presenter Ted Janusz demystifies the topic. . .14 Tech bit looks at social email Gregg Marshall writes about tools to help you integrate your email usage with your clients’ social media activity. . . . . .17

Tina M. Hutsenpiller, CPIA Hutsenpiller Insurance Service, LLC, Mt. Juliet email: tina@hutsenpillerinsurance.com Joseph P. (Joe) Kerr, CIC, CPIA Kerr Insurance Services, LLC, Brentwood email: joe@kerrinsurance.net Britt Linder, CIC Peterson Insurance Services, Inc., Bartlett email: britt@peterson-insurance.com Herbert Montgomery Clay and Land Insurance Agency, Memphis email: hmontgomery@clayandland.com Bill Oglesby, II, CIC, CPIA Brown Insurance Group, Crossville email: bill@brown-insurance.com Barry Wilson, CIC Mid-South Insurance Office, Inc., Memphis email: bwilson@mid-southinsurance.com

Columns Welcome New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 President’s Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 PIA Calendar & Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21

S TA F F Pamela D. Cass, CPIA, pcass@piatn.com Director of Education & Convention Sandy Clive, CPIA, sclive@piatn.com Director of Member Services Lochiel Gaines, lgaines@piatn.com Director of Communications, Trade Show Coordinator Liz Maden, lmaden@piatn.com Director of Accounting Services

The Tennessee Agent (ISSN 1081-566X) is published bimonthly by the Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee, Inc. Statement of fact or opinions expressed in any article are solely that of the author and does not imply opinions of the officers, directors or staff of PIA of Tennessee, Inc. The publishing of any article or advertisement does not imply endorsement by PIA of Tennessee, Inc. No material within this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the consent of the Editor.

Editor: Lochiel Gaines, lgaines@piatn.com Advertising inquiries should be made to the Editor, The Tennessee Agent, 504 Autumn Springs Court, A-2, Franklin, TN 37067. Telephone 615/771-1177 Fax 615/771-3456 Email – lgaines@piatn.com Website – www.piatn.com


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Welcome, New Members Active/Agency

Al Bardayan Karen Morrow Eve Schroeder Jannie Vukadinovich Al Bardayan Insurance Nashville

Bart Howell Howell Insurance Services Lenoir City

Greg Augustine The Augustine Insurance Group Clarksville Dennis Beamer Price & Ramey Insurance Elizabethton

Dan Ervin Price & Ramey Insurance Morristown Brad Jenkins Price & Ramey Insurance Dandridge

Associate/Company Devin Fuhrman Allied Insurance Cos. Des Moines, IA www.alliedinsurance.com Daniel Zdunski Erie Insurance Group Brentwood www.erieinsurance.com David Parker James Alexander Hanover Excess & Surplus, Inc. Wilmington, NC www.hanoverxs.com Peter Burrous Brennan Paris Johnson & Johnson Charleston, SC www.jjins.com

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President’s Perspective B Y G L E N PA G E , C I C , C P I A

y fellow PIA members and dear friends, as I prepared to write this article, I thought that maybe it was time to take a different perspective of our current time and conditions. Every time you turn on your television, pick up a newspaper or read a magazine, there are storms, floods, earthquakes, political unrest, crime and the list goes on and on. So I thought it was time to try and see the “bright side of life.” You know they say every cloud has a silver lining. A couple of weeks ago in the Memphis area, we had a blizzard, a five-inch snow. As usual the city ground to a halt! Schools were out, the streets were in a mess and we were all conducting business with limited staffs. As I looked around I saw people, young and old, out in the snow playing and building snowmen. People were taking a bad situation and making something good out of it, having fun instead of grumbling. Look at all the snow and cold weather all over the world and maybe global warming is not quite as bad as predicted, and we might not all burn up and blow away (pun intended!). The economy stinks, and we all know that, but hey, look at the bright side of the situation. We are keeping our doors open and continuing to do business, just at a slower pace. We have to accept this and be thankful for what we have.

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I see people more willing to help other people in need. Sometimes it takes adversity to bring out the humanity in us. What I’m trying to say is let’s try to look at the bright side of life and make something good come out of all this. I see this in our PIA family, and I’m proud to be a part of this family. Let’s continue to respect and help each other for the good of all. May God bless each and every one of you! •

THE TENNESSEE AGENT February/March 2011

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Changes in the ISO Homeowners 2011 BY MARY LAPORTE, CPCU, CIC, LIC, CPIA

he Homeowners policy forms have been updated by the Insurance Services Office (ISO) and the proposed effective date for the majority of jurisdictions is May 1, 2011. Many of the changes do not really affect coverage at all, but are designed to clarify the wording in the policy. Those include the definition of “insured” and the “perils insured against” wording. Also, some recent court decisions influenced changes in the areas of Collapse Coverage and Water Damage. Additional wording has been added to those policy provisions to more clearly communicate the intent of the coverage and to eliminate any ambiguity. Here are some other changes:

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Changes that Reduced Coverage Personal Property Located in Self-storage Facilities A 10 percent limit has been introduced for personal property located in a self-storage facility. ISO explained that the use of self-storage facilities has grown over recent years, and the losses for property located in them may go undiscovered for extended periods, potentially increasing the severity of the loss. Coverage can be increased by use of the newly introduced HO 06 14 Increased Amount of Insurance for Personal Property Located in a SelfStorage Facility. Changes that Broadened Coverage Mary LaPorte is an agency consultant and educator who is on the national faculty for the Society of CIC and conducts continuing education classes throughout the country. Mary provides consulting services in the areas of agency workflow and E&O loss control. Visit her website at www.lpinsuranceconsult.com

Theft The policy has been broadened to cover theft of property for a student away at school as long as the student has been there at any time during the 90

days immediately before the loss. The previous form allowed only 60 days. ISO recognized that many students may leave personal property at school when returning home for summer break, and the 60 days limitation was inadequate to provide coverage for the full summer period. Motor Vehicle Exclusion ISO responded to agents’ concerns about the language used in the Homeowners 2000 policy. In both Section I—Property Not Covered and Section II—Liability Exclusions the coverage did not extend to a motor vehicle unless used solely to service an “insured’s” premises. There were concerns that an otherwise covered motor vehicle (such as a riding lawn mower) would have no coverage if it had been used even one time in the past to service a neighbor’s premises. The policy now states that there is coverage for a motor vehicle “used solely to service a residence” (and not the “insured’s” premises only). There would still be no coverage if the vehicle were ever used for servicing any type of premises other than a residence. Toy Vehicle Provision There was concern under the previous policy that no liability coverage was provided off premises for toy vehicles designed for use by small children. The policy now states that the motor vehicle exclusion does not apply off premises for a vehicle “designed as a toy vehicle for use by children under seven years of age, powered by one or more batteries and not built or modified after manufacture to exceed a speed of five miles per hour on level ground”. So, thankfully the coverage is now extended to these toys C O N T I N U E D

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unless Dad “soups it up” to go more than 5 miles per hour! Expected or Intended Injury The exclusion for Expected or Intended injury in the previous policy has an exception which states that the exclusion does not apply to “bodily injury” resulting from the use of reasonable force by an “insured” to protect persons or property. The exception now includes coverage not only for “bodily injury” in such a case, but “property damage” as well. Controlled Substance The liability exclusion for loss resulting from the use, sale, manufacture, delivery, transfer or possession of a controlled substance had an exception for the legitimate use of prescription drugs by a person following the orders of a licensed “physician”. It was recognized that there are dentists, nurse practition-

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ers and other health care professionals who are also lawfully able to prescribe drugs. The wording was changed to say “following the lawful orders of a licensed health care professional”. Good News, Bad News Some of the policy changes, while reducing coverage in one way, broadened coverage in another. The most significant of these include: Deductible Provision The deductible clause was reworded to clarify that the deductible applies on a per-loss basis, and when two or more deductibles apply under one loss, only one deductible – the highest deductible – will apply. The clause was previously located after the definitions section, but is now placed more appropriately in the Section I Property Conditions. This could be considered a broadening of coverage in the event that a carrier may have charged more than one deductible.

In some cases this is also considered a reduction in coverage. As a result of this change, the deductible provision is removed or revised on multiple endorsements. Endorsements such as Owned Motorized Golf Cart Physical Loss Coverage no longer show a separate deductible, so the Homeowners policy deductible, which may be greater, would now apply. Electronic Equipment Limits The Electronic Equipment coverage has been amended in response to agents’ concerns about a possible gap of coverage between the Homeowners policy and the Personal Auto policy for tapes, CDs, records, etc. that are in or upon an insured’s motor vehicle at the time of a loss. A $250 sub-limit now applies for antennas, tapes, wires, records, disks or other media that are in or upon a motor vehicle and are used with electronic C O N T I N U E D

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equipment that reproduces, receives or transmit audio, visual or data signals. This is a reduction of coverage. The previous form provided a separate $1,500 sub-limit for electronic apparatus and accessories used primarily for business while away from the residence premises and not in or upon a motor vehicle. This paragraph has been removed, while the previous $500 off premises business personal property limit has been increased to $1,500. This is a broadening of coverage. Vermin The previous policy excluded coverage for loss caused by birds, vermin, rodents, insects and animals owned or kept by an “insured”. The word “vermin” has always been subject to multiple interpretations, since it lacks a specific definition. The removal of this word is a broadening of coverage. At the same time, an exclusion was added for infestation, or discharge or release of waste products by animals to allow the Homeowners policy wording to be similar to the exclusion in ISO commercial property forms. The policy now excludes damage caused by “Nesting or infestation, or discharge or release of waste products or secretions, by any animals”. This has removed coverage for some losses previously paid, such as skunk damage. Endorsements Changed, Added or Deleted In addition to the changes to the Homeowners coverage forms, changes were made to some of the Homeowners endorsements. Here are a few of the highlights: HO 04 35 Loss Assessment Coverage In response to insurers’ concerns that deductibles in the Association’s policy higher than $1,000 are common today, ISO has removed the special limit of $1,000. HO 04 43 Replacement Cost Loss Settlement For Certain Non-Building Structures On The Residence Premises Endorsement This optional endorsement will now

provide replacement cost for swimming pools, therapeutic baths and hot tubs that are inground, or semi-inground, with walls and floors made of reinforced masonry, cement, metal or fiberglass. HO 04 95 Water Back-Up And Sump Discharge Or Overflow The $5,000 limit has been removed and replaced by a schedule to provide selected limits of $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 or $25,000. HO 05 43 Residence Held in Trust This endorsement is being replaced by HO 06 15 Trust Endorsement, allowing the policy to be issued in the name of the grantor (in most cases, the owner and resident of the home before the trust was established) rather than the name of the trust. HO 06 07 Limited Coverage For Theft Of Personal Property Located In A Dwelling Under Construction Endorsement This new optional endorsement will provide limited coverage for theft of personal property in a dwelling under construction. HO 24 13 Incidental Low Power Recreational Motor Vehicle Liability Coverage Endorsement The endorsement has been modified to include motor scooters as a type of vehicles not covered under this endorsement, along with motorized bicycles, mopeds or motorized golf carts. HO 24 77 Canine Liability Exclusion Endorsement In some jurisdictions, insurers have been reluctant to issue a Homeowners policy to the owner of certain breed of dogs. To support availability of Homeowners coverages in these situations, ISO has introduced this exclusionary endorsement. This new endorsement excludes liability coverage for a specifically named and described canine, whether owned by or in the care, custody or control of an insured.

has been revised to include an oral or written publication in any manner. This change is intended to address Internet exposure. HO 24 10 Personal Injury Coverage Limit of Liability) (Aggregate Endorsement An aggregate limit has been introduced with the new Personal Injury endorsement. The updates in the Homeowners coverage forms and related endorsements reflect ISO’s responsiveness to the changing needs of the policy holders. Clarifications have been made to avoid ambiguity. The policy enhancements outweigh the few reductions in coverage, and provide agents with a stronger contract to better address the customer’s exposures. • This article first appeared in The Georgia Professional Agent. It is copyrighted by the author.

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HO 24 82 Personal Injury Coverage Endorsement The definition of “personal injury”

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THE TENNESSEE AGENT February/March 2011

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“Green” risks…should they be a red flag for your agency? B Y C U R T I S M . P E A R S A L L , C P C U , A I A F, C P I A

was recently approached by an agency asking if I would write an article on insuring “green” risks. No problem. As I began my research, however, it was apparent that this was an exposure I was not up to speed on. While I had a general impression of what “green” meant, this industry has truly exploded. Fortunately, there are many excellent websites which helped educate me on where this industry is and where it is headed. Simply google “green buildings” and you, too, can access more information on this subject than you probably thought imaginable! Since there is no doubt this industry is here to stay, this presents a tremendous opportunity for your agency to increase its knowledge to more adequately serve this building segment, both on the personal and commercial sides. This industry is projected to grow over the next five years, according to the consulting firm, to a $96 billion to $140 billion market—and that’s despite current negative market conditions. This firm further notes that today the global green building market is around $36 billion to $49 billion for residential and non-residential buildings, compared to the 2005 total of $10 billion. This article will not delve into why this is occurring. Its primary goal is to shed some light on some potential issues your agency might face as it looks to insure “green” risks. Because your community most likely has some personal or commercial buildings being renovated or built “green,” this is a critical time to invest in increasing your knowledge level.

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Curtis M. Pearsall is Special Consultant to the Utica National E&O Program.

Essentially, “green buildings” heavily involve increasing the efficiency with which buildings and their sites use and harvest energy, water and materials. In addition, they protect and restore human health and the environment throughout the building’s life-cycle: siteing, design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation and deconstruction. There are many issues surrounding this industry as well as potential insurance implications of which you should be aware. E&O claim activity in this area has been minimal—if there’s been any at all—but it’s fair to say that it is only a matter of time. Potential issue: the placement of the risk With respect to your homeowners carriers, are they receptive to these risks? If so, do you have authority to bind the way you do for a more traditional home construction risk? Speak with your carriers to determine their appetite, as you might find they get a little uneasy when you state you have a customer looking to insure a “rammed earth home” or a home constructed of straw bales. Or what about ICFs—insulated concrete forms described as essentially Lego® blocks made from styrofoam? If you find your carriers are not receptive to these risks, research companies that are. Another potential issue: coverage af forded Is the carrier using the standard homeowners policy? If so, be alert to C O N T I N U E D

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gaps for such items as cisterns, underground storage tanks and storm systems to collect water. I suspect that carriers serious about writing these risks will develop a customized form addressing the uniqueness and the exposures. For example, a contractor you insure has a significant exposure in making sure the risk meets the necessary certification standards. Does the GL form cover that? You need to know.

tomer. Each home may be so unique that they may struggle to adequately address these risks and determine the proper factors for valuation. There are probably parts of the risk for which you will be able to determine a value and others which may require the assistance of a contractor or professional appraisal service. This is where you will benefit from the expertise and understanding of exposures of a company committed to dealing with “green” risks.

Determining the value of the structure Valuation is a key issue to both your customer, in the event of a loss, and your agency in properly protecting your cus-

OK, the coverage is placed and now the customer suffers a loss. Are you confident that the loss will be adjusted fairly? One of the websites I visited raised some questions and points worth repeat-

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ing: Is the cost for a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional to consult on the repair covered? Are recertification fees covered? The question of “like kind and quality” will come into play if the lumber used was extremely rare or unique. These and other questions need to be addressed and resolved before a loss, not after. It’s probably only a matter of time before you have a customer—personal or commercial—involved with a “green” risk. Don’t wait…if you take time now to better understand these risks as well as the exposures and issues, this will keep your agency from raising a red flag when it’s asked to insure a green risk. •


Social Networking (Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn) Demystified BY TED JANUSZ

Do you realize Nearly 247 million Americans are now Internet users—that’s 73% of the population 43% of online consumers belong to a social network 74% of social network users send messages to their friends as part of their daily routines, and 87% of parents of teenagers are online 96% of Generation Y participates in social networking?

Ted Janusz is a professional speaker, author and marketing consultant who has been invited to appear on Geraldo at Large on the FOX News Network to share his business insights. He advises on “How Social Networking Can Help Grow Your Agency” and will be a featured speaker at the PIA of Tennessee 76th Convention and Trade Show. His Website is: www.januspresentations.com

Why Social Networking Matters Department store magnate John Wanamaker once said, “Fifty percent of my advertising dollars are wasted. The problem is, I don’t know which fifty percent.” As a professional insurance agent, have you ever felt the same whenever you have advertised your services? But there is one form of marketing that always works—personal recommendations. Eighty percent of all purchases are not based on full-page newspaper ads, but rather on word-ofmouth advertising. And here is why: The average adult has a direct sphere of influence of 52 people. In addition, if you are average, you know 400 people. People you went to school with, work with or you know socially. If you assume that each of those 400 people know 400 others (of course, there would be some overlap, but let’s keep it simple), you now have an immediate network of

160,000 people. And if you assume that each of those 160,000 people know 400, well, you are up to 1/3 of the U.S. adult population. And which are clients more likely to spread about your agency, good news or bad news? Because as a professional insurance agent, your chief competitive advantage is high-quality client service, your average satisfied client will tell five to eight others. Your average upset client (if you have any) will tell ten to 16. In fact, one in five will tell 20 others how angry you have made them. Web 2.0 now makes it easier and faster for them to do so. Introducing Web 2.0 Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn are five applications we will discuss in this article that are components of Web 2.0, a popular term for Internet applications in which the users are actively engaged in creating and distributing Web content. Web 1.0 probably consisted of the Web sites you saw back in the late 90s, which were nothing more than fancy electronic brochures. Web 1.5 would have been something like Amazon or eBay, sites on which one could buy, sell and leave reviews. What Web 3.0 will look like is anybody’s guess! Let’s look specifically at the five Web 2.0 applications mentioned above. C O N T I N U E D

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Tweet, Tweet According to a recent LinkedIn Research Network/Harris Poll, 69 percent of Americans do not know enough about Twitter to even have an opinion. “Twitter is like text messaging, only you can also do it from the Web,” says Dan Tynan, the author of the Tynan on Tech blog. “Instead of sending a message to just one person, you can send it to thousands of people at once. You can choose to follow anyone’s update (called “tweets”) simply by clicking the Follow button on their profile, or viceversa. The only rule is that each tweet can be no longer than 140 characters.” This is fine, but what is the business application of Twitter? In the past, says Natalie L. Pethouhoff, an analyst at Forrester Research, companies would depend on focus groups to get the reactions of clients during a two-hour session that can cost $10,000 to $15,000. Now

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companies like Comcast, Dell, HR Block, Kodak, Southwest Airlines and Whole Foods can “follow” what real customers are saying about them in real time. And they can answer questions and resolve complaints from real customers immediately, if they so choose. To get a quick introduction to Twitter, you can access an online guide from Tony Hsieh, the founder of the online shoe store Zappos and a Twitter evangelist, at: twitter.zappos.com/start. To see how you can use Twitter to promote your agency, please visit business.twitter.com. To follow in real time what people are saying about you and your agency on Twitter, type in your search words at: search.twitter.com. Top Websites According to Google Trends, four of the top Web sites in the United States are: MySpace, YouTube, Google, and Facebook.

MySpace In November 2003, Tom Anderson and Chris DeWolfe designed a Web site to provide a service at no charge to regular people looking for a way to connect with others having similar likes and dislikes. MySpace was initially popular with bands, who didn’t want to go through the hassle of creating and maintaining a Web site, but sought a way to distribute their music, photographs, videos and other information to their fans and would-be fans. YouTube YouTube was started by three former employees of PayPal in 2005, and then sold to Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion dollars. Not bad for a one-year-old startup! Unlike the other Web sites we discuss here that allow for the posting of words and photos, YouTube is the number one video-sharing Web site. Best of all, you C O N T I N U E D

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can post your video on the site for free. A simple Flip video camera (priced at under $150 on Amazon.com) can do the trick for you. What is the business application of YouTube? Let’s examine some successful examples: Blendtec—a Utah-based manufacturer of blenders posted a series of videos entitled “Will it Blend?” In these videos the company attempted to pulverize items such as golf balls and iPods. The first eight episodes resulted in three million downloads in a week. Even better for Blendtec, they sold out of the $600 blender—in the first 24 hours. Old Spice—The Man Your Man Could Smell Like—by employing humor, Procter & Gamble has been able to get consumers to choose to watch this commercial nearly 30 million times! (By the way, the only special effects employed in the entire video are for the contents in the actor’s left hand.) Diet Coke + Mentos—Check out the geysers this combination creates! While Cocoa-Cola stayed away from promoting this phenomenon (perhaps out of fear of litigation), Perfetti (the maker of Mentos) jumped in with both feet, posting both a large link to YouTube on its Web site and sponsoring its own contest. In the process, they sold a lot of mints. The key to business success on YouTube: Do not post a video of someone from your agency in a head shot saying blahblah-blah. Nobody will view it. To be noticed by a younger audience you are trying to attract on YouTube, be sure to be humorous, offbeat or very personal. And take good care of your clients. What kind of damage do you think United Airlines’ customer Dave Carroll has done with his humorous little video “United Breaks Guitars” on YouTube? So far the video has nearly 10 million hits. Google In response to the popularity of this and other Internet search engines, many

telephone companies have eliminated the publishing of their White Pages directories. (Only 1 in 9 consumers were using their White Pages.) And, rather than using the Yellow Pages, 97 percent of consumers now use the Internet to shop locally. Ninety percent of these searches start with a search engine. Consumers use Google, the most popular search engine with over a 70 percent market share, over a billion times each day. To make sure that your agency has a presence there, register for a free Google Places listing at places.google.com/business. Facebook Facebook was originally created by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, intended for use by his fellow students of Harvard University as “The Facebook.” It was meant to be an online replacement of the book one receives as freshmen when entering college or university containing photos and other information about our new freshman classmates. Within 30 days, about half of the students of Harvard had a profile on the site. Facebook soon spread to other Boston area colleges. Presently, approximately 85 percent of all college students have a presence on Facebook. According to ComScore, in May 2009, Facebook for the first time surpassed MySpace in the number of users in the United States. Facebook has been able to overtake MySpace as the number one social networking site in the world because it no longer has the stigma that it is “just for high school or college students.” Anyone may now join Facebook. The fastest growing segment of users of Facebook is now neither high school nor college students, but rather females age 55-65. Why? With the rest of their family on Facebook (the average user spends an hour a day on the site), it’s the best way for them to keep up with the stories and the photos of their children and grandchildren! to “Social Media According Revolution,” here is the number of years it took each of the following to reach 50 million users: Radio—38 years Television—13 years

The Internet—4 years Pod—3 years Facebook has added 100 million users—in the last nine months—to bring its worldwide total number of users to now over 600 million. According to the Facebook Global Monitor, here is a listing of the percent of a country’s citizens (not just the percent of those citizens who are online) who currently maintain a profile on Facebook: Iceland—53 percent Norway—46 percent Canada—42 percent Hong Kong—40.5 percent United Kingdom—40 percent United States—35.5 percent Chile—35 percent Israel—32.5 percent Bahamas—30.5 percent Why Has Social Networking, Especially Facebook, Become So Popular? Social networking allows so much more than e-mail or text messaging. In addition to writing on someone else’s “wall” on Facebook, sharing photographs and videos. Facebook is the number one photo-sharing site on the Internet, with 2.5 billion photos uploaded to the site each month. At a glance, you can see what all of your “friends” are up to. And because you choose your friends on Facebook, you can virtually eliminate spam, and spam composes up to 90% of all e-mail. What is the Business Application of Facebook? People have a “profile” on Facebook, whereas a business has a “page.” You and I can have “friends” on Facebook, while a business has “people who like this” (formerly “fans”). Over 1.6 million businesses now have Facebook pages. Profile

Page (more than 1.6 million businesses)

Represents a person Has “friends”

Represents a business Has “people who like this” (formerly “fans”)

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As an example of the power of social networking, an 18-year-old male from Oklahoma started the “Flo, the Progressive Girl” Facebook page, which is now even more popular than the official Progressive Facebook page! Create a free Facebook page for your agency by going to www.facebook.com/ pages and clicking the “Create Page” button in the upper right corner. The Dif ferences Among the Popular Social Networking Sites MySpace is a social networking site for bands, and other music and entertainment. Facebook is a site at which you can “poke” your friends, play games, and post photos on your profile and comments on your friends’ “walls.” LinkedIn, on the other hand, is like the corporate boardroom. No fun and games here, this site means serious business. It was the last major social

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networking site to allow photographs. Even now, each LinkedIn user exhibits only one. LinkedIn LinkedIn is a professional contact database launched in May 2003 by Reid Hoffman, formerly of PayPal. Its members can create a profile and network with its more than 90 million members in 200 countries. Members include executives from all Fortune 500 companies. LinkedIn has the oldest, and wealthiest, users of the major social networking sites: Average age—41 Six-figure household income Two-thirds are male Four-fifths have college degrees Four Quick Ways to Maximize Your Par ticipation on LinkedIn A question I often get asked in my conference presentations is, “I’ve signed

up on LinkedIn. What’s next?” Though LinkedIn does not come with a user’s manual, you don’t need to be a computer whiz to derive immediate benefits from the site. Here are four quick and easy ways to maximize your participation on LinkedIn: In the screen shot below of the LinkedIn application, across the top of the screen, you will find the Groups and More links. 1) Groups—To network with as many people as you can, join as many relevant groups as you can. For instance, I have joined alumni groups for the three colleges I attended, for the current and former companies for which I have worked, and for my business interests (such as “keynote speakers”). You may want to join a group such as PIA-National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, whose mission is “to C O N T I N U E D

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Calendar of Events PIA LOCAL CHAPTER MEETINGS

PIA ANNUAL CONVENTION

• East Tennessee Chapter Contact Ron Welch, 865/689-6254

• 76th Annual Convention & Trade Show June 9-11, 2011 Marriott Shoals Resort & Spa Florence, Alabama

• Memphis Chapter Second Tuesday of every month in Memphis Contact Steve Peay, 901/766-0200 • Chattanooga Chapter Fourth Tuesday of every month in Chattanooga Contact Nancy Brannan, 423/892-6427

PIA Education C P I A D E S I G N AT I O N • CPIA 1 March 3, 2011 in Nashville 7 hours C.E. • CPIA 2 August 4, 2011 in Nashville 7 hours C.E. • CPIA 1 November 3, 2011 in Nashville 8 hours C.E.

• Personal Lines Coverage Basics 12 hours C.E. credit • Commercial Lines Coverage Basics 12 hours C.E. credit C O N T I N U I N G E D U C AT I O N O N L I N E • C.E. approved courses, including Ethics and Flood 12 credit hours for most courses D E S I G N AT I O N P R O G R A M S

P R E - L I C E N S I N G E D U C AT I O N • Online Study and Traditional Self-Study Property & Casualty, Life & Health, Series 6 & 63. Go to: www.piatn.com/education TRAINING FOR NEW EMPLOYEES Online training for employees with less than 12 months experience • Agency Orientation for New Staff • Delivering Quality Service to the Customer and the Employer

• Certified Professional Insurance Agent (CPIA) Fulfills Ethics C.E. requirement. Approved for Utica E&O loss control credit • Personal Lines Coverage Specialist (PLCS) Online self-study; C.E. approved • Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist (CLCS) Online self-study; C.E. approved

2 0 1 1 E D U C AT I O N P A R T N E R S Accident Fund of America • Arlington-Roe • Bolton & Co. • Grange Insurance PIA Advantage Services Corp. • ServPro • U.S. Risk Insurance Group • Utica National Insurance Group

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Tech Bit Social Email BY GREGG MARSHALL

live in my email client. Probably 85 percent of my written communication with the outside world is done with email. I’d bet it’s the same for you. I also do a little bit on social media, mostly LinkedIn with a little Facebook and Twitter thrown in. But, I have many business contacts who are much more active on social media. If you are in sales, you know that a big part of your selling job is establishing a relationship with your customers, especially if you are in the kind of sales that has the same customers over a long period of time. If you’ve read any of Harvey Mackay’s books, you know about the “Mackay 66,” a set of questions designed to help you get to know your customers better (http://www.harveymackay.com/tools/mackay66.c fm). In sales parlance it’s called building rapport. There are tools to help you integrate your email usage with your clients’ social media activity. They are very useful to help you expand the range of inputs you have about what’s going on in your clients’ lives. The first one I tried, but gave up on about a year ago because it lacked Outlook integration at the time, is Gist. They’ve since added Outlook integration as well as integration with Salesforce.com CRM. Gist (http://www.gist.com) takes your email contacts, your streams of emails sent and received, and your social media contacts and combines them into a single, consolidated database of the people you know and communicate with. Then, from the various social media, including blogs and some sites I normally don’t frequent, they create a dashboard of activity, even emailing you a summary if you want. Gist makes it possible to proactively keep up with your contacts, perhaps responding, or reaching out when appropriate. I have to say I tried Gist, found it interesting, but since it wasn’t integrated with Outlook not hugely useful since it was another step I needed to take to use it. I recently tried Gist again, and would find it

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useful in integrating various social media channels but found it hard to “tune” to present what is important to me. Its default settings highlighted people and companies I’m not sure were really relevant. But I’m sure that if I were to spend more time with it, letting it know what is important, its daily summary email would be much more useful. The other tool I have been using for about a year is Xobni (http://www.xobni.com). If you are wondering how they came up with such an unpronounceable name, it is inbox spelled backwards. I switched to Xobni because it integrated with Outlook before Gist had that option. I have stayed with Xobni because it is really useful. One feature I wouldn’t have expected to use much, because it overlaps a feature built into Outlook, is its ability to index and search my Outlook PST files. That’s a big deal for me because I have pretty much every email I have sent or received since 2004 when I switched over to Outlook. Before you panic, at the end of each year I do an archive to push the emails from that year into its own PST file. I also travel a lot. So when I leave town, I use Microsoft’s free SyncToy (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details. aspx?FamilyID=c26efa36-98e0-4ee9-a7c598d0592d8c52) to copy my PST files onto my notebook. When I return, it’s the reverse back onto my desktop. That really messes with the indexing of both Outlook, driven by desktop search, and Xobni. But with Xobni, I can easily tell it to reindex, “finding” all those emails sent/received while I was traveling. Xobni works as an add-in to Outlook, adding a display pane to your main Outlook screen. I use a dual monitor arrangement on my desktop, leaving a whole wide-screen monitor dedicated to Outlook. There is enough real estate that I can have my folders on the left, my inbox along the top, a preview C O N T I N U E D

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pane below that (99% of my emails I read in the preview pane), a Xobni panel to the right of the inbox/preview and finally my to-do panel on the very right. When I have an email hightlighted, the Xobni panel shows a picture of the person (from one of the supported social media profiles), contact information, recent email conversations, files or links we might have exchanged, that person’s network (combined from all supported social media profiles) and a tabbed option to view that person’s various social media profiles (or twitter stream). In other words, a lot of information that

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I can use when communicating with them. In my business-to-business use of Xobni, one “social network profile” that is interesting is the Hoovers profile of the company, derived from the person’s email domain. Obviously if you are communicating with someone using AOL or Gmail, that isn’t useful (or even populated), but otherwise you have basic information about the company as well as the person. I like the way Xobni puts almost everything about a contact in one place whenever I am looking at an email to/from that person. I do miss Gist’s proactive notification, especially if it

were turned better. I guess that’s one feature of Plaxo I find so useful. It alerts me about birthdays in my network, letting me easily send eCards and giving me reasons to stay in touch with an extended network. There are great tools out there to bring social networking into every day business communications. What tool, or group of tools, is working best for you? If you answered none, it’s time to try out one of these tools. • Gregg Marshall, CPMR, CSP, is a speaker, author and consultant. He can be reached by email at gmarshall@repconnection.com, or visit his website at http://www.repconnection.com.


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promote, protect and defend the integrity of our members, the value of their profession and the success of their businesses.” You may never know when these people could help you, or more importantly, when you may be able to help them. To get started, simply click the Groups link at the top of the screen. 2) Companies—Let’s say you have been trying to get into Procter & Gamble to offer your insurance services (or maybe you would like to star in their next Old Spice video!). With a multinational corporation like that where do you even start? Click on the More link at the top of the screen, and then Companies. I did that, then entered the keywords “Procter & Gamble” and clicked the Search button. Under the company profile, I noticed that a 2nd degree contact was listed, along with the name of my direct contact who knows her. Using LinkedIn, I could then request an introduction through my direct contact. Also are listed 22,100 current P&G employees who I am related to through one or more of my Groups. (Now you see the benefit of taking action under Step 1, Groups, above.) To get started, click at the top of the screen on More and then Companies. 3) Answers—Here you might be able to assist a fellow LinkedIn member. For example, a current question is: “Who has experience in training insurance intermediaries?” Perhaps you are the one who could assist this LinkedIn member by clicking the “Answer” button. Even better, you might be able to click the “Suggest an Expert” button and recommend someone who you are actually seeking as a client. If you are stuck, you can ask your own Question on LinkedIn. Many professionals find that spending time on LinkedIn answering such Questions for those who actually have a need can be a more efficient way to look for new

business than to spend money advertising or time cold-calling others who may have no interest. To begin, click at the top of the screen on More and then Answers. 4) People—By clicking on the Advanced link at the top left of the screen, you can search for LinkedIn members by criteria such as: Name Company Location School attended Title You might be interested in approaching all CEOs in the area to offer your insurance services. You could then do a keyword search on the Title of “CEO” You could then look to see who was a direct or even a 2nd degree contact. (A 2nd degree contact is a direct contact of one of your connections on LinkedIn.) On a 2nd degree contact’s profile, you could click the “Get introduced through a connection” link. This will send an email both to your connection and the 2nd degree contact. On average, you will get a positive response from one or both of the contacts about 70% of the time. That percentage is a lot higher than if you tried to cold call the 2nd degree contact on your own. I currently have 235 connections. LinkedIn tells me that I have more than 55,600 contacts who are friends of friends (2nd degree contacts), each one connected to one of my connections. In addition, I have over 4,139,300 users (3rd degree contacts) that I could reach through a friend and one of their friends. That’s the power of LinkedIn! To begin to build your connections, simply click the green Add Connections link at the top right of your screen. 99% Information and 1% Promotion “The key to social networking tools is to have lots of connections,” says Guy Kawasaki, the original Macintosh evangelist. “It’s a numbers game. The more people who are connected to you,

the more opportunities you have. But people don’t connect with you because you are promoting yourself to them. People connect with you because you are informing them.” Kawasaki concludes by saying, “You need to be informing people 99% of the time and then 1% of the time you can promote” your agency. The New Free TV or Newspaper? In my conference presentations, attendees often ask me, “Just give me the bottom line, how can I use social networking sites to make money?” There is a danger for businesses to view the social networking sites as the new television or newspaper, but on which a business can advertise for free. “If you are going to go there, you had better go for the right reasons,” says Seth Godin, author of the best-selling book on marketing, Purple Cow. “And if your reason is to sell more stuff, please don’t bother. It’s not going to work. People don’t care about you. They just don’t. On the other hand, if you can use social networking sites as ways to connect to real people, just for that sake alone, not because you want to sell anything, then it’s a great way to spend a half hour a day.” Godin concludes, “And what we are finding, as a by-product of that . . . yes, in fact, you will do better, because you are a trusted member of the community. Not because you are trying to sell stuff.” Successful marketing using any of the Web 2.0 applications means an ad cannot look like an ad or else it will be rejected immediately by the social networking visitors. Your clients on average are subjected to 1,500 to 5,000 advertising impressions each day. (Just walk into your neighborhood superstore!) Since they have successfully learned how to block most of these interruptions, your clients are six times more likely to read an article from you than an advertisement. • Copyright @ 2011 Ted Janusz

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PIA Boosters PIA thanks our Agent and Booster advertisers! For advertising information, fax the Tennessee Agent at 615/771-3456.

v P.O. Box 270 Columbia, Tennessee 38402 800/346-6071 800/296-0419 fax Tom Wilson, Marketing

Parthenon Insurance Services, LLC Your Source for Health Insurance 3016 Vanderbilt Place Nashville, Tennessee 37212 615/327-4070 615/327-4071 fax Karen R. Tidwell, CPIA

Farmers Mutual of Tennessee P.O. Box 3428 Knoxville, Tennessee 37927 865/523-5153 Gordo Watson, CIC

THE TENNESSEE AGENT 23 February/March 2011


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Tennessee agent 504 Autumn Springs Court, A-2 Franklin, Tennessee 37067

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The Tennessee Agent  

Bi-monthly magazine published for the members of the Professional Insurance Agents of Tennessee.