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David Gorman Leads Texas PIA Group

Straus Orders House Committee Studies of Harvey, Other Issues


November 9, 2017 • Vol. 83 • No. 23

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Austin Action

Straus Orders House Committee Studies of Harvey, Other Issues By Bill Kidd, Austin Correspondent AUSTIN — Committees of the Texas House of Representatives will be studying numerous issues relating to Hurricane Harvey before the 86th Legislature convenes in 2019, Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, announced Oct. 23. Straus released a list of more than 230 interim charges to House committees, assigning almost every committee at least one charge related to the state’s recovery from the disastrous storm.

House Insurance Committee

The House Insurance Committee is instructed to “examine the effect of

“This is an opportunity for the Legislature to better understand the impact of the storm, to evaluate the response of state agencies and to prepare for future disasters.” --Speaker Joe Straus Hurricane Harvey on the insurance market in Texas.” The study is to include an evaluation of the status of the Texas Wind-

Patrick Releases Senate Interim Studies List

storm Insurance Association and Texas FAIR Plan Association, and “the impact of Harvey on the ability of these residual markets to achieve their statutory goals and meet the needs of their policyholders.” Straus directed the committee to “examine possible gaps and vulnerabilities in insurance coverage brought to light by Harvey and recommend ways to address these issues.” The panel also is to: • Study the coverage provided by the most common homeowners’ insurance policy forms in Texas, continued on page 18

Table of Contents

Insurers Increasingly Protect U.S. Businesses and Customers from Cyberattacks and Data Breaches


DWC Asks More Comments on Designated Doctor Rules


AUSTIN — Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) has announced various insurancerelated interim charges to various Senate committees to be carried out before the 2019 legislative session.

WC Research Group Seeks Data on Network Use 7

Business and Commerce

P&C Carriers Know Importance of Innovation, but Path Isn’t Clear

The Business and Commerce Committee’s studies include health insurance market stability. The panel is to study the factors affecting health insurance markets in Texas, “particularly the individual market,” including federal and state laws, and to make recommendations “that would result in increased stability in the markets and enhance value and affordability for individual consumers and businesses.” Committee members also are to examine steps the state needs to take to allow out-of-state health insurance sales. “In developing its recommendations, the committee should consider the flexibility afforded to states by (Section) 1332 ‘state innovation waivers’” in the Affordable Care Act, which allow states to modify or eliminate tax penalties associated with individual and employer coverage mandates; modify requirements for benefits and subsidies; and find alternative ways to provide benefit plan choices, determine eligibility for subsidies, and enroll consumers. Other work includes reviewing licensing requirements and fees imposed on entities within the committee’s jurisdiction, and making recommendations for state licenses and fees “that should be reduced, repealed or transitioned to private-sector enforcement.” continued on page 18 

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Selling Strategies: Sales Skill: Think About Your Selling 8 9

Work At Home Vintage Experts is a “Certified Age Friendly Employer” 10 Research Highlights Need to Align Marketing & Underwriting/ Product Management Depts.


ARA Issues Retirement Policy Principles for Tax Reform


Employer Premiums Rise Nearly 7%


CNA Releases Slip and Fall Study Report


PCI Board Member Testifies in Support of Duffy-Heck Bills


Cover Story: Gorman Leads Texas PIA Group


PCI Briefing on Navigating the Future of Autonomous Vehicles


November 9, 2017  3

Insurers Increasingly Protect U.S. Businesses and Customers from Cyberattacks and Data Breaches Study examines how insurers mitigate cyberrisk for small and medium-sized businesses NEW YORK — More than half of U.S. small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) experienced a cyberattack within the past year, yet only 14 percent of businesses felt prepared and protected, according to a recent white paper from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). The white paper, Protecting Against #Cyberfail: Small Business and Cyber Insurance, examines how insurers are

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addressing the threat cyberattacks and data breaches pose to SMBs through a combination of innovative insurance products, risk management techniques and employee training. “Insurers foresee substantial growth coming from the SMB segment, as these companies become aware of the possibilities of liability, especially a breach and resulting response costs arising out of the possession of private

The Insurance Record 

data,” said Sean Kevelighan, chief executive officer, I.I.I. The vast majority of cyber insurance claims involved the loss, exposure, or misuse of sensitive personal data. About half (48 percent) of the data breaches of U.S. small businesses in 2016 were caused by either a negligent employee or contractor, according to the Ponemon Institute. U.S. insurers reported collecting $1.35 billion in direct premiums written for cyber insurance in 2016, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. Standalone cyber insurance policies accounted for $921 million of that total (68 percent), while the balance came primarily from endorsements on either a small commercial or businessowners policy (BOP). Typical cyber-related policies cover the costs arising from either a cyberattack or a data breach, such as responding to lawsuits, repairing damaged infrastructure, and paying the ‘ransom’ demanded by cyber extortionists, among other potential exposures, such as business interruption expenses. “Creating an affordable product that SMBs will be willing to buy is a key component in the insurance offering. Since different industry sectors represent different levels of exposure, pricing will vary depending on the type of SMB,” the white paper, coauthored by James Lynch, the I.I.I.’s chief actuary, and the I.I.I.’s Claire Wilkinson, a consultant, states.

UTD’s Richardson to Join GIS Board of Trustees YARDLEY, Pa. — Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), the college professional fraternity for insurance and risk management students, has appointed Debra Richardson to the board of trustees for a three-year term beginning in September 2017. RichardDebra Richardson son serves as director of the Risk Management and Insurance undergraduate program in The University of Texas at Dallas Naveen Jindal School of Management, where she serves as the faculty advisor to the Beta Phi chapter. Richardson holds a bachelor’s degree from 

Dallas Baptist University and a master’s The University of North Texas.

David Turner Dies at 89 DALLAS — David Oakes Turner, past partner and president of MaxsonMahoney-Turner Inc., died on Oct. 9. He was a sixth generation Texan and lifelong Dallas resident. Turner graduated from Highland Park High School, the University David Turner of Texas at Austin, and the SMU Law School; though admitted to the Texas Bar, he chose not to practice law. In 1960 he entered Maxson Mahoney Turner, an insurance agency founded by his maternal

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grandfather in 1915. He was longtime president of the firm, until its purchase by Compass Bank in 2003. Funeral Services were held on Oct. 13 at Park Cities Presbyterian Church.

Meadowbrook Now AmeriTrust Group Inc. SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — Meadowbrook Insurance Group Inc. has changed its name to AmeriTrust Group Inc. AmeriTrust insurance subsidiary names will remain unchanged: Meadowbrook Ins. Agency, Mackinaw Administrators, Ameritrust Ins. Corp., Century Surety Co., ProCentury Ins. Co., Savers Property & Casualty Ins. Co., Star Ins. Co., and Williamsburg National Ins. Co. AmeriTrust Group Inc. will operate as the U.S.-based insurance holding company for Fosun International Limited.

November 9, 2017  5

DWC Seeks Comments on Designated Doctor Rules AUSTIN — The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is accepting comments for a second time on an informal working draft of amendments to rules regarding scheduling designated doctor appointments. The division will receive comments until Nov. 15 on changes to Chapter 28, Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Section 127.5, regarding scheduling

designated doctor appointments. DWC reports the section “is part of a larger rule project,” but the division is only requesting comments on Sec. 127.5 at this time. On Nov. 1, the division made a second informal posting for comments on the section. “In response to comments, DWC made significant changes to 28 TAC

BoatUS Issues Tips on Boat Insurance Claims AUSTIN — The Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) reports that August is the peak month for recreational boat insurance claims — barring any hurricane activity — and has issued three tips to boat owners on how to expedite their claims.

Don’t Wait

First, BoatUS says, “Don’t wait.” “If you get in an accident, notice a theft, or see other damage, always call your insurance company as soon as practically possible. “If you are on the fence about whether you may want to file a claim or not, it’s still a good idea to call your insurer immediately.” Letting the insurer know quickly “can help speed the claims process later as they will already have basic information on file.” The association also advises to make certain the insurer offers 24/7 claims reporting.

Be Photo Happy

Second, “Be photo happy.” If there is accident, take lots off pictures, which can “help support swift processing of your claim.” “Many insurers make it easy to electronically send in photos of damage and [also] offer free Apps. “It also pays to take photos of your boating equipment and personal effects. “In the event of a loss, they’ll prove ownership and help to establish value.”

Get Damage Estimate

Third, “The major task for the boat owner is to get an estimate of the damage.” “It’s always good to know which boatyards, marinas, or boating service providers are best in your area, so keep tabs. “Word of mouth is one good way. Another is to check for credentials.” Having an established relationship with a yard “will also help you get to the head of the line so you can get your estimate more quickly.” BoatUS recommends knowing “where you would want to take your boat now. It will cut down on the amount of time it takes to get an estimate and help speed your claim.”  By Bill Kidd, Austin Correspondent

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The Insurance Record 

Section 127.5 … and would like to give system participants another opportunity to submit comments on that specific section,” the notice explains. On Aug. 18, the division began accepting comments on an informal working draft of amendments to 28 TAC Sections 127.1, 127.5, 127.10, 127.100, 127.110, 127.130, 127.140, and 127.220. In response to comments, DWC “made significant changes to 28 TAC Sec. 127.5, regarding scheduling designated doctor appointments, and would like to give system participants another opportunity to submit comments on that specific section.” “The purpose of the proposed amendments to 28 TAC Chapter 127 is to simplify certain DD processes, retain and recruit doctors to continue to ensure the most optimally qualified doctor is selected for an examination, provide transparency, and allow for better monitoring of designated doctors.” The division notes that the informal working draft “is not a formal rule proposal and comments received will not be treated as formal public comments for the purposes of the Administrative Procedure Act.” “There will be an opportunity to formally comment once the rule is proposed and published in the Texas Register,” DWC notes. The comment period closes on Nov. 15 at 5 p.m. More information is available on the TDI website at wc/rules/documents/drdd1117m.pdf. The informal working draft may be found at drafts.html. Informal comments may be submitted by email to, or by mail or delivery to Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation, Maria Jimenez, Workers’ Compensation Counsel MS - 4D, 7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78744 -1645. By Bill Kidd, Austin Correspondent

WC Research Group Seeks Data on Network Use AUSTIN — The Workers’ Compensation Research and Evaluation Group (REG) has issued a data call in an effort to monitor the number of injured employees being treated by workers’ compensation health care networks and the use of such networks by insurance carriers. The call seeks information from each workers’ compensation health care network certified by the Texas Department of Insurance, and has three parts due on Jan. 31, 2018. Part A calls for a list of every injured worker treated in the network or with approved out-of-network services, and with injury dates from June 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017. The list also must include “any claims transferred into your network from another, and claims transferred out of your network since the 2016 data call, regardless of injury dates.” Transferred claims should be identified at the end of the list under the title “Claims Transferred In” or “Claims Transferred Out”. The list must accompany the data elements that each certified network is required to maintain under Title 28, Section 10.41(a)(7), Texas Administrative Code. Part B seeks a list of “all WC Insurance Carriers/Political Subdivisions (as defined under Section 401.011(27), Labor Code)” the reporting network has contracted with as of May 31, 2017. Part C is for a “letter of certification and attestation” to be signed by an authorized network representative. Full descriptions of each are contained in attachments, the call says. Information regarding the identity of an injured worker (Part A) is confidential under Sec. 402.083, Labor Code, and accessible to the REG under Sec. 405.004©, Labor Code. Information collected in Part B is confidential under Sec. 405.004(d), Labor Code, “and will be aggregated and not reported at an individual network level.” Parts A and B will not be accepted as a complete submission unless Part C is received signed by the proper author- 

ity, checked, “and/or reasons provided for incompletes and inaccuracies.” Part C should be emailed as an attachment in pdf format. Links to the attachments may be found at regulation/roc/index.html#datacall.

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Responses are to be submitted electronically by Jan. 31, 2018, to For questions contact D.C. Campbell at 512-676-6820 or by e-mail at By Bill Kidd, Austin Correspondent

November 9, 2017  7

Selling Str ategies by Maura Schreier-Fleming

Maura Schreier-Fleming is a professional salesperson, sales trainer, and motivational speaker. An engineer by training, she was Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. With over 20 years of sales experience, she teaches the art and science of selling with a unique, hands-on perspective and a great deal of real-life insight. She can be reached at or 972.380.0200.

Sales Skill: Think About Your Selling I often say that the lesser known sales skill is thinking. What you think about your selling is often a predictor of whether or not you will be successful at selling. Here are some thoughts that will help you sell or derail your success.

What Type of Buyer Am I Working With?

Your job in sales can be more or less difficult depending on your prospect’s perspective of how risky the purchase is. A purchase is risky if it’s well out of range of a buyer’s typical purchasing authority. Your job as a salesperson is easier when you learn the buyer’s purchasing authority range during the

sales process. Just knowing the authority isn’t enough. You also have to determine if the buyer is a risk taker. Just because someone can make a purchase doesn’t mean he will. You increase the probability of a sale when you are working with a risk taker. Changing suppliers is a risk. Your work to sell when the buyer isn’t a risk taker is to demonstrate proof of performance of what you say you can do. You reduce the perception of risk when you can prove what you say.

Does My Customer Really Know Why He Should Buy? One of the surest ways to know that

you are more likely to make a sale is when prospects tell you that they want or need what you have to sell. I find that this emotional connection to a product or service makes the sale highly probably. You have sales work to do unless you hear a prospect tell you that he wants what you have to sell. In most cases salespeople forget that customers often don’t see the urgency of their problem. If buyers did, they would have called you, and you wouldn’t have to call them for an appointment. I only had one sales miracle in my career where the sales call started off

. Policies are underwritten by Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Company and Bridgefield Employers Insurance Company, authorized insurers in AL, AR, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN and TX; Retailers Casualty Insurance Company, authorized in AR, LA, MS and TX. ©2017 Summit Consulting LLC | 2310 Commerce Point Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801

8 November 9, 2017 

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with the buyer saying that he wanted to buy from me right now. You have work to do unless you have your sales miracle. Your job to sell is to ask strategic questions so your customer answers with reasons of why he wants to buy.

P&C Carriers Know Importance of Innovation, but Path Isn’t Clear

What Proof Do I Have to Confirm What I Think?

NEW YORK — BOLT Solutions Inc., a digital distribution platform for the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry, recently conducted research on how different P&C insurers are addressing innovation. With respondents including top staff from leading P&C insurers nationwide, the survey uncovers that there is significant pressure from consumers to innovate, but there is no clear strategy on how to do so. “The P&C insurance industry certainly feels the pressure to innovate. Carriers know they must implement digital channels of engagement and are taking the initial steps to do so, but are hindered by legacy systems,” said Kathleen Garlasco, senior vice president, enterprise marketing, BOLT Solutions. “Insurers are struggling to find ways to seamlessly connect to back-office systems and offer the digital engagement customers desire.” Overwhelmingly, carriers believe mobile technology, social connectivity, and digital distribution capabilities are the most important factors to organizational growth. Insurers are increasingly feeling the pressure from consumers expecting a digital experience when purchasing insurance, however, outdated legacy systems are presenting a major obstacle in implementing digital technologies to take business to the next level. While the majority of respondents said they are building solutions inhouse to meet the digital demand, over 77 percent were only somewhat satisfied or not satisfied with their approach. With the demand for digital capabilities rising and a dissatisfaction among many insurers with an in-house solution, 93 percent of respondents said they are very likely or somewhat likely to adopt a digital distribution platform that leverages existing IT infrastructure.

Good salespeople know what signs to read that indicate emotions that impact a sale like prospect interest, doubt, or indecision. They watch for body position to see if the prospect is facing the salesperson or facing away. They know that facing the salesperson is good and facing away is not. Good salespeople watch for distance to judge interest. They determine if the distance between the prospect and the sales materials they give to the prospect is small or large. Greater distance means less interest. Closer distance is more interest. Not only are good salespeople able to read the signs, they take the next step to confirm what the signs mean. Those salespeople might say, “It seems to me that this issue is important for you to address. Am I correct?” It’s the salesperson who makes assumptions and then acts on those assumptions without confirmation who gets into trouble. I often tell my customers that the only information they can use to confirm their sales strategy is what the prospect says or does. What the salesperson thinks does not count. You may disagree that thinking is a necessary sales skill. You’re going to have to change your prospect’s thinking unless your prospect wants what you have to sell. Have you thought about how you’re going to change his mind? Now do you see that thinking is an essential selling skill?

Connect for More

Get more ideas from my selling and women in business column on and you can follow me at Best wishes for your continued sales success and contact me at 972380-0200 if you want to sell more or if you need an interactive sales program that produces results at your upcoming sales meeting! 

Key Takeaways

• 73 percent of respondents have seen demand from consumers for digital

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engagement capabilities. • 68 percent of respondents view digital distribution capabilities as most important to their organizations future growth. • 42 percent of those surveyed indicated they are building an inhouse solution to missing digital capabilities. • 93 percent of those surveyed responded “very likely/somewhat likely” when asked about the opportunity to adopt an existing digital distribution platform.


The survey found that the majority of carriers understand the importance of innovation to company growth and consumer satisfaction and have adopted strategies to implement digital channels of engagement but still have a long way to go before becoming digitally proficient.

Kidde Recalls Fire Extinguishers with Plastic Handles AUSTIN — The State Fire Marshals’ Office reports that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall notice for certain Kidde fire extinguishers with plastic handles. The fire extinguishers can become clogged or require excessive force to discharge and can fail to activate during a fire emergency. In addition, the nozzle can detach with enough force to pose an impact hazard. For complete details, visit the CPSC site. For information from Kidde, including information on replacement extinguishers, visit Kidde’s Product Safety Notice, inmarmarketaction. com/kidde/Kidde284US/.

November 9, 2017  9

Work At Home Vintage Experts Recognized as “Certified Age Friendly Employer” Earns Special Distinction from for Recruiting, Hiring Over-50 Workers NEW YORK — Work At Home Vintage Experts (WAHVE), a remote contract staffing talent solution for businesses, has been named a Certified Age Friendly Employer™ by As a Certified Age Friendly Em-

ployer, WAHVE is among the rising number of companies that make a special effort to improve age diversity by recruiting and retaining workers over the age of 50. The certification was granted after a rigorous evaluation that includes a

review of an employer’s human resource and management policies, publicly available information and a comparison with industry best practices. “We are committed to providing opportunities for older individuals to

TDI Sets Criteria for 2018 Review of WC Carriers AUSTIN — The Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) has announced its proposed methodology for the 2018 performance-based oversight assessment of insurance carriers. TDI reports that the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is required to monitor system participants’ compliance with the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act and rules “and to take appropriate action to ensure compliance.” “Compliance objectives are achieved through performance based oversight (PBO), data monitoring, complaint handling, audits, and when appropriate, enforcement actions,” TDI explains. Section 402.075 of the Texas Labor Code mandates the agency to “at least biennially” assess the performance of insurance carriers. Based on the performance assessment, insurance carriers will be placed into regulatory tiers: poor performers, average performers, and consistently high performers. “TDI-DWC must then focus its regulatory oversight on the poor performers,” the agency notes. For the 2018 PBO assessment, the agency will assess only the insurance carriers.

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The health care providers will be assessed in 2019 and 2021. The insurance carriers selected for the 2018 PBO assessment will be evaluated based on the following: • The volume of initial payment of temporary income benefits (TIBs) transactions between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2017 (40 percent weight). • Timely processing of initial medical bills (30 percent weight). • Timely processing of request for reconsideration medical bills (10 percent weight). • Timely submission via EDI (electronic data interchange) of initial payment data (10 percent weight). • Timely submission of medical bill processing data via EDI (10 percent weight). Data sources used to assess performance of the measures will come from the claim and medical data submitted electronically via EDI to TDI. TDI will have three regulatory tiers that distinguish among poor, average, and high performers in the system. “Those assessed are deemed to have an impact on the system due to their volume of filings or initiation of benefit payments,” but TDI “is not asserting that high volume has a negative impact on the system.”

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“Those insurance carriers who are not assessed due to low volume are not absolved from regulatory duties or regulatory oversight when necessary,” TDI adds. TDI will conduct several steps to place each insurance carrier into an overall tier. The first step is to calculate the performance score (percentage) for each measure. Next, the performance score for each measure will be multiplied by the assigned weight value (and the value is rounded up). “This calculation of two percentages will then be multiplied by 100 to obtain a weighted value — the value is rounded up. “The weighted value of each measure will then be added together to calculate the final score — no rounding. “The final score will identify the overall performance standard for the assessed entity.” The performance standards are: • High tier: 95 or greater. • Average tier: 80.00 through 94.99. • Poor tier: 79.99 or less. Additional information may be found at By Bill Kidd, Austin Correspondent

stay engaged in the workforce,” said WAHVE Founder & CEO Sharon Emek, Ph.D., CIC. “We’re proud of this certification, which affirms our vision of ensuring that pre-retiring professionals remain productive through alternative work arrangements. It’s another step towards our goal of changing attitudes about how long workers can be productive, when they should retire and how they should work.” In announcing the certification, Director of Research & Certification Camille Grabowski said, “Our certification indicates an employer’s recognition of the unique value of age 50-plus workers as well as their commitment to take affirmative action in providing meaningful employment, development opportunities and competitive pay and benefits.” WAHVE is among those employers “that maintain policies, practices and programs consistent with employment of people age 50 and older based solely on their proficiency, qualifications and contributions, and on terms comparable to younger individuals,” Grabowski added. first introduced the Certified Age Friendly Employer program in 2006. It has been recognized by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, AARP and the National Council on Aging. Other employers earning the certification include UnitedHealth Group, Metropolitan Life, New York Life, Principal Financial Group, Bank of America, and Fidelity Investments.’s evaluation process is based on 12 best practice areas that include workforce policies, organizational culture and employee relations, retention, recruiting, management style and practices, training and development, work schedules and time off, compensation, healthcare benefits and retirement benefits. Certified Age Friendly Employers are entitled to display the designation on the career/jobs section of their websites, indicating to job seekers that they meet the Certified Age Friendly Employer criteria. Employers that qualify for the designation are expected to complete recertification on an annual basis. 

Calendar of Events

Submit information for your organization’s upcoming events for publication in our calendar, available in The Insurance Record and at


Nov. 9, DAIP Dinner Meeting, Patty Linscombe, Mary Kay Consultant, 5:30, La Madeleine, 5290 Belt Line, Dallas 75254 (communications@ Nov. 9, Ins. Council of Texas WC Conf., Omni Southpark, Austin (www. Nov. 9-11, L&H Pre-Licensing Training ( Nov. 10-11, Designated Doctor and MMI/IR Required Certification Training, Hilton Austin Airport Hotel, Austin ( Nov. 12-13, TSLA Annual Meeting, Four Seasons Hotel, Austin ( Nov. 13-15, P&C Agents Test Prep ( Nov. 15, IIAD and IIATC Trivia Night benefitting Make-a-Wish, Legal Draft Beer Co., Arlington ( Nov. 15, Control of Well 101-The Sequel ( Nov. 15, IIASA Monthly Luncheon, Quarry Golf Club ( Nov. 15-17, 11th Annual South Texas Fire Investigators Assn.-RGV Conference, Isla Grand Beach Resort, South Padre Island ( Rn7PdJ) Nov. 17-19, P&C Agent/Adjuster/MGA Pre-License ( Nov. 27-30, P&C Agent/Adjuster/MGA Pre-License ( Dec. 4-7, P&C Agent/Adjuster/MGA Pre-License ( Dec. 5-7, TDI/SFMO Fire Investigation Forum and SAW meeting, Lamar Institute of Technology Multi-Purpose Center, Beaumont, TX ( fire/index.html) Dec. 6, IIAH Christmas Open House, Pavillion on Gessner ( Dec. 6, IIASA Farm & Ranch CE, Myron Steves Offices ( Dec. 7, IIAH Overview of Oil & Gas Ins., BCH Training Center ( Dec. 7-9, L&H Pre-Licensing Training ( Dec. 8, Texas PIA Christmas Party, Dave & Buster’s, 6010 Richmond, Houston 77057, $25 each in advance ( Dec. 11-13, P&C Agents Test Prep ( Dec. 13, IIASA Christmas luncheon, Quarry Golf Club ( Dec. 15-17, P&C Agent/Adjuster/MGA Pre-License ( Dec. 17, DAIP Christmas Party, 4 p.m., Greenlee Residence, 14191 Equestrian Tr., Lavon, TX 75166-1841 (


Jan. 16, I.I.I. Joint Industry Forum, Marriott Marquis in New York City ( Jan. 23-25, North Texas Fire Marshals’ Conference, Richardson Civic Center ( Feb. 9-10, Designated Doctor and MMI/IR Required Certification Training, Hilton Austin Airport Hotel, Austin ( March 6-7, IRMI Energy Risk & Insurance Conf., Royal Sonesta, Houston ( April 5, IIASA Trade Fair ( May 17-19, PIATx Annual Convention, Sheraton Arlington/Arlington Conv. Center ( May 25, IIAD Young Agents Social, TBA ( June 1, El Paso Regional Safety Summit, Education Service Center 5, Beaumont ( June 2-3, Designated Doctor & MI/IR Required Certification Training, Hilton Austin Airport, Austin ( June 7, IIASA Risk Management CE, Myron Steves Offices ( June 8, DAIP dinner meeting, 5:30, La Madeleine, 5290 Belt Line, Dallas 75254 ( June 8, IIAH YIP F.L.A.S.H., Kirby Ice House, 3333 Eastside, Houston ( June 19, IICF Women in Insurance Conf., Hyatt Regency, Dallas (

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November 9, 2017  11

Acquire With Retention in Mind:

Research Highlights Need to Align Marketing & Underwriting/Product Management Depts. ATLANTA — Insurance underwriting and marketing teams who work together on acquisition and retention strategies are better able to attract more long-term and profitable customers, insurance carriers believe. Yet this crossteam collaboration is a challenge across the industry, according to the latest research from LexisNexis Risk Solutions. LexisNexis Risk Solutions conducted a study of 155 senior decision-makers within the top 50 auto, home and life insurance carriers, highlighting the results in the new Collaborate Across Functions to Acquire With Retention in Mind whitepaper. The research found that the relationships between insurance marketers and the underwriting/ product management teams are often out of sync, exposing untapped opportunities to target prospects with the longest potential future relationships.

Collaboration is Key

While 94 percent of study respondents agreed that greater cross-functional collaboration is important, only four in 10 respondents said that they build their acquisition and retention strategies together. “Carriers are struggling to find and keep policyholders who not only match their risk appetite, but remain loyal long enough to recoup their acquisition costs, let alone reap a profit,” said Sandeep Kharidhi, V.P. Acquisition & Retention Solutions at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. “The research reveals that carriers need to get marketing and underwriting teams more closely aligned so they can collaboratively develop strategies to acquire customers with retention in mind. “At the same time, profitability was the number one metric for all responses because both teams are driven by the same metrics. This synergy creates a huge opportunity if they choose to focus on it.”

Understanding Common Goals

The research showed that insur-

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To download the whitepaper and access additional information from the study, visit Collaborate Across Function to Acquire with Retention in Mind, collaboratewp. “Carriers are struggling to find and keep policyholders who not only match their risk appetite, but remain loyal long enough to recoup their acquisition costs, let alone reap a profit.” –Sandeep Kharidhi at LexisNexis Risk Solutions ance marketers and underwriters have a good understanding of the core goals of their counterparts. However, one interesting disconnect emerged in relation to the core business goal of obtaining an optimal spread of loss exposures. For example, while obtaining an optimal spread of loss exposures is a top three business goal for underwriters, just 18 percent of marketers cited the need to “obtain optimum spread of loss exposures” as a key business goal; a significantly higher percentage of underwriters and product managers — 43 percent — listed this as a key business goal for marketers. “We interpret this as a suggestion from underwriting that they welcome the opportunity for marketing to be more aligned with them in terms of this goal,” said Kharidhi.

Pursuing High Priority and High Return

Another key finding from the research is the struggle carriers have in identifying the highest return opportunities, whether they be consumer segments or specific marketing pro-

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grams, so that they can better prioritize their marketing efforts. The majority of respondents — 57 percent — said that the ability to zero-in on these highest-return opportunities was an unmet need. The research suggests that identifying high-return opportunities is directly linked to good data and analytics. Not surprisingly, 43 percent of respondents said that their current data sources fall short in helping them identify prospects and programs that represent the greatest profit opportunities. Similarly, 54 percent of respondents believe they need to improve their understanding between marketing efforts and customer conversion. Kharidhi said, “Marketing attribution is a number one priority for marketers today. Where 49 percent of marketers told eMarketer in 2016 that better reporting, measurement, and attribution was their number one priority, the percentage had increased to 74 percent in 2017. This year on year increase is staggering and indicative of how top of mind marketing attribution has become.”

Shopping Impacts

“Acquisition with retention in mind is a critical business imperative,” according to Kharidhi. “The need to align marketing and underwriting/product management into a collaborative team, focused on getting and keeping the right customers is underscored by insurance shopping trends. Our analysis shows that in the last three years we have seen the number of policies that have not shopped their auto insurance decline by three percentage points — now only 1 in 4 policies have not shopped their auto insurance in the last five years. This means shopping continues to impact business and carriers can’t count on loyalty even for the most tenured customers, they need to be strategic in their marketing and underwriting programs.”

ARA Issues Retirement Policy Principles for Tax Reform ARLINGTON, Va. — In light of recent press reports in the Wall Street Journal (“How the GOP Tax Bill Could Squeeze Your 401(k)”) and New York Times (“Republicans Consider Sharp Cut in 401(k) Contribution Limits”) regarding proposals involving tax reform and retirement savings incentives, the American Retirement Association has issued a set of retirement policy principles for tax reform. “We support the tax reform goal of economic growth. However, the retirement security of American workers is just as important,” noted Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association. “We were very encouraged by the language in the “Unified Framework on Tax Reform” issued by the White House and Republican Congressional Leaders which outlined their intention to retain the tax benefits that promote 

retirement security, and that specifically stated that “[t]ax reform will aim to maintain or raise retirement plan participation of workers and the resources available for retirement.” While neither the White House nor Congress has yet proposed anything specific relating to retirement savings, and while acknowledging that numerous recent press reports reflecting rumored possible limitations on employees’ deductions for 401k savings are just that - rumors, Graff cautioned that, as the White House and Congress continue their important work on tax reform, “We strongly suggest they abide by the following principles, which are consistent with the language articulated in their own Framework,” specifically that: • Any changes to current retirement savings incentives must be primarily aimed at promoting retirement plan

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participation of workers and encouraging retirement savings, rather than solely for the purpose of raising revenue for other tax objectives. • Limiting employees’ tax deductions for 401k savings in the absence of other meaningful changes to promote retirement savings by middle class families would be inconsistent with the Framework and would in fact be a middle-class tax increase that directly and immediately threatens workers’ retirement security. “We certainly understand that positive changes can and should continue to be made to improve, enhance, and expand our nation’s retirement savings system,” Graff said. “The American Retirement Association has been and will always be supportive of changes designed to enhance the retirement security of American workers.”

November 9, 2017  13

Employer Premiums Rise Nearly 7 Percent Employees Absorb More of Health Insurance Cost INDIANAPOLIS — Premium renewal rates (the comparison of similar plan rates year over year) for employer sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.6 percent — a significant increase from the fiveyear average increase of 5.6 percent, according to the 2017 United Benefit Advisors (UBA) Health Plan Survey, released today. Two states saw record premium increases: Connecticut saw a 24 percent increase in premiums in 2017, up to $655 from

IRMI Offers 2017 College/University Directory of Risk & Insurance Majors DALLAS — The 2017 edition of the IRMI Directory of Risk Management and Insurance Programs at U.S. Colleges and Universities has been published and is now available on for free downloading. Including listings and summaries of the programs from 54 U.S. colleges and universities, this directory is a tool for recruiting young people into risk and insurance careers. The directory was compiled and published by International Risk Management Institute, Inc., and is available without cost. IRMI has also published a companion IRMI Insights article written by Brenda Wells, PhD, CPCU, AAI, “Solving the Insurance Industry Talent Crisis by Investing in Risk Management and Insurance Graduates,” which is available at no cost. It discusses the talent crisis, how college and university programs can help the insurance industry meet the challenges, how to successfully recruit the best students, and ways the industry can support these programs.

14 November 9, 2017 

$530; New York also saw a large increase of 14 percent, up to $712 in 2017 over $624 in 2016. On the other side, some states saw decreases in premiums, such as Arizona and Washington which saw 2 percent and 10 percent decreases, respectively. Average employee premiums for all employer-sponsored plans rose from $509 in 2016 for single coverage to $532 in 2017 and from $1,236 to $1,272 for family coverage (a 4.5 percent and 3 percent increase respectively). Average annual total costs per employee increased from $9,727 to $9,935. However, the employee share of total costs rose 5 percent from $3,378 to $3,550, while the employer’s share rose less than 1 percent, from $6,350 to $6,401. “Premiums have been holding relatively steady the last few years. And while this year’s increases are not astronomical, their departure from the trend does warrant attention. To mitigate these rising costs, employers are shifting more premium onto employees, offering more lower-cost consumer directed health plans (CDHPs) and health maintenance organization (HMO) plans, increasing out-of-network deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums, and leveraging continued extensions on the ability to “grandmother,” says Peter Weber, President of UBA. “We’ve also seen reductions in prescription drug coverage to defray increasing costs even further.” Prescription Drug Plans — For a second year, prescription drug plans with four or more tiers are exceeding the number of plans with one to three tiers. Almost three-quarters (72.6 percent) of prescription drug plans have four or more tiers, while 27.4 percent have three or fewer tiers. Even more surprising is that the number of sixtier plans has surged, accounting for 32 percent of all plans, when only 2 percent of plans were using this design only a year ago. “While employers chose to hold contributions, copays and in-net-

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work benefits steady, they dramatically shifted prescription drug costs to employees. By increasing tiering and adding coinsurance (vs. copays), employers were able to contain costs,” says Weber. Out-of-Pocket Costs — Median in-network deductibles for singles and families across all plans remain steady at $2,000 and $4,000, respectively. Single out-of-network median deductibles saw a 13 percent increase in 2016, and a 17.6 percent increase in 2017, from $3,400 to $4,000. Both singles and families are facing continued increases in median in-network out-of-pocket maximums (up by $560 and $1,000, respectively, to $5,000 and $10,000). Self-Funding — The number of employers using self-funding grew 48 percent for employers with 25 to 49 employees in 2017 (5.8 percent of plans), and 13.4 percent for employers with 50 to 99 employees (9.3 percent of plans). Overall, 12.8 percent of all plans are self-funded, up from 12.5 percent in 2016, while almost two-thirds (60.9 percent) of all large employer (1,000+ employees) plans are self-funded. “Self-funding has always been an attractive option for large groups, but we see self-funding becoming increasingly desirable to all employers as a way to avoid various cost and compliance aspects of health care reform,” says Weber. “For small employers with healthy populations, self-funding may be particularly attractive since fully insured community-rated plans under the ACA don’t give them any credit for a healthy group.” The 2017 UBA Health Plan Survey Executive Summary is available at The 2017 UBA Health Plan Survey contains the validated responses of 20,099 health plans and 11,221 employers, who cumulatively employ over two and a half million employees and insure more than five million total lives.

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CNA Releases Slip and Fall Study Report CHICAGO — The results released in a Slip and Fall Study Report by insurer CNA reveal that tested floors in 50 percent of the surveyed sites failed to produce a dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) level above the minimum threshold of 0.42 (American National Standards Institute). Ultimately, these findings suggest that many businesses’ fall prevention programs may overlook

the effects of flooring selection and ongoing maintenance on slip resistance. “Slip and falls can happen anywhere, any time and to anyone, and addressing the slip resistance and maintenance of interior floors to reduce exposures is critical to enhancing floor safety,” said Steve Hernandez, senior vice president, risk control, CNA Commercial. “The CNA data uncovered that slip and fall

PCI Board Member Testifies in Support of Duffy-Heck Bills WASHINGTON — Rick Means, president and CEO of Shelter Insurance Companies and member of the board of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) testified recently before the House Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance hearing entitled “The Federal Government’s Role in the Insurance Industry.” The hearing focused on two bipartisan bills sponsored by Subcommittee Chairman Sean Duffy (R-WI) and Rep. Denny Heck (D-WA). H.R. 3861 would refocus the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) on international matters and require FIO to coordinate more closely with the states. H.R. 3762 would place guardrails on federal negotiators in international insurance discussion to ensure they represent the interests of the U.S. marketplace and its regulators, the state insurance commissioners. PCI strongly supports these bills. “PCI applauds Chairman Duffy, Ranking Member Cleaver, and the members of the subcommittee for holding this hearing on two important bills,” said Nat Wienecke, PCI’s senior vice president, federal government relations. “These bills recognize and uphold the U.S. system of state-based regulation that has helped create the largest, most competitive, and financially strong insurance market in the world for the benefit of insurance consumers.” “Since enactment of the McCarran-Ferguson Act, Congress has repeatedly reviewed and reaffirmed the success of state-based regulation of insurance,” continued Wienecke. “FIO was created under the Dodd-Frank Act, however, it was not intended to intrude on state regulation.” In his testimony, Means said, “Instead of focusing on developing strong Team USA positions, FIO has spent considerable resources second guessing the states on their core activities and threatening state regulators with federal intrusion. FIO has imposed multiple data calls on insurers on subjects well within state authority, such as auto insurance and terrorism insurance.” Means continued, “We need FIO and the states working together, not in conflict. And we need FIO to focus on its international mission, with appropriate safeguards and close supervision by Congress.” “These bills, together, will assure that federal efforts will be focused not on duplicating effective domestic insurance regulation, but on improving the representation of U.S. interests in international insurance regulatory discussions,” said Wienecke. “PCI strongly supports H.R. 3861, the Federal Insurance Office Reform Act of 207, and H.R. 3762, the International Insurance Standards Act of 2017, and urges members of the committee to do the same,” concluded Wienecke.

16 November 9, 2017 

The Insurance Record 

claims overtime occur with more frequency than severity, and continue to pose challenges for businesses. These findings underscore the need for attention to floor safety and regular surface resistance testing to avoid fall accidents and related injuries.” CNA’s review of slip and fall liability claims occurring from Jan. 1, 2010, to Dec. 31, 2016, found high-frequency but low-severity trends, which is consistent with claim experiences in the greater risk control industry. According to frequency data, retail trade and real estate businesses present the greatest potential for slip and fall accidents, with harmful events occurring most often at these sites. • 40 percent on walking/working surfaces, mainly entry flooring. • 33 percent on parking lot surfaces. • 27 percent on sidewalks leading to business entrances. • Less than one percent on interior office floors. In an effort to help businesses apply safety measures, CNA identifies these four principles of floor safety. 1. Choose flooring that is slip resistant; consider its properties and the space and environment. 2. Test floor for their resistance under wet conditions; use a tribometer to measure DCOF levels. 3. Use cleaning agents and methods that are compatible with the floor type, and apply them as directed by the manufacturers. 4. Promote awareness of risk conditions in the physical environment, along with those that are specific to the flooring. “Given the focus on floor safety, it’s important for businesses to revisit prevention efforts, in order to guarantee that floors and walkways are safe through the application of safety standards,” said Shari Falkenburg, Assistant Vice President, Risk Control, CNA Commercial. “By conducting routine slip resistance testing, businesses can be better prepared to comply with flooring manufacturers’ specifications, and on how to address the level of contaminants on walkway surfaces.” Download the Slip and Fall Study Report at

Straus Orders Studies of Harvey, Other Issues continued from page 3

and methods to provide more clarity to Texas consumers about this coverage and the possible need for endorsements or other types of insurance.” Study the use of appraisal processes under property insurance policies in Texas, including the effects of court decisions on the use of these processes and the impact of their use on insurers and policyholders. Assess the status of the health insurance market in Texas and opportunities to improve the market through waivers of federal law or other mechanisms, and to monitor any changes in federal law that may affect these options. Evaluate recent efforts by the Legislature and the Texas Department of Insurance to minimize instances of “surprise medical billing” and to ensure the adequacy of health insurance networks. That work includes identifying instances in which surprise billing most often occurs and ways to decrease its frequency “through enhanced transparency or other methods.” Examine the impacts of changes in prescription drug coverage and drug formularies on patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, and evaluate “recent efforts in Texas and in other states to enhance transparency regarding the practices of pharmacy benefit managers.” Review Texas’ financial responsibility laws for automobile insurance, including the minimum liability limits required by state law. Monitor the agencies and programs under the committee’s jurisdiction and oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.

Business & Insurance

Instructions to the Business and Industry Committee include: • Evaluate the adequacy of the workforce currently available to the industries responsible for rebuilding the state’s key infrastructure as well as residential and commercial

18 November 9, 2017 

“Hurricane Harvey will impact just about every major issue in the next legislative session, and the House should be fully prepared for that moment.” --Speaker Joe Straus properties damaged by Hurricane Harvey. “Specifically, examine the labor needs within the construction industry and skilled trades and determine if local or state licensing requirements and regulations are an unnecessary barrier to the ongoing success of post-Harvey recovery.” That study is a joint charge with the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee. • The Business and Industry Committee also is to review “all existing law concerning consumer rights and protections, including … statutes that address deceptive practices, landlord/tenant agreements, and homeowner/contractor disputes.” That review includes determining whether the provisions “offer adequate guidance and protections in disaster and recovery situations.” • The committee also is to study the impact of data breaches or theft on Texas consumers and businesses. • Another charge is to “monitor the status of the Texas workers’ compensation system, including existing policies on compounded pharmaceuticals and designated doctor assessments,” and to review recent trends in employer participation in the system. • The committee also is to monitor the agencies and programs under its jurisdiction and to oversee the implementation of relevant legislation passed by the 85th Legislature.

Straus’s Vision

In September, Straus assigned Harvey-related charges to three House committees: Appropriations, Natural Resources, and Public Education. The new charges look at many aspects of the storm and the state’s response, including Harvey’s impact on public health, the juvenile justice sys-

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tem, agriculture, and the state’s tax structure. “This is an opportunity for the Legislature to better understand the impact of the storm, to evaluate the response of state agencies and to prepare for future disasters,” Straus said. “Hurricane Harvey will impact just about every major issue in the next legislative session, and the House should be fully prepared for that moment,” he commented.

Opioids & Substance Abuse

Straus also announced creation of the Select Committee on Opioids and Substance Abuse, which will study “the prevalence and impact of substance abuse and substance use disorders in the state.” Rep. Four Price, R-Amarillo, will serve as chairman and Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, will serve as vice Chairman. “Two years ago, we formed the Committee on Mental Health to look at behavioral health and substance abuse issues, and this new committee will continue some of that work,” Straus said. “Opioid addiction is a national epidemic that has had a devastating impact on many lives. “It’s important that we learn more about the prevalence and impact of opioid addiction and other substance abuse issues in Texas,” Straus added. The 86th Texas Legislature will convene Jan. 8, 2019.

Patrick Releases Senate Interim Studies List continued from page 3

The committee is also to monitor the implementation of legislation addressed by the committee during the 85th Legislature, including legislation to deregulate occupational licensing, and settlement of out-of-network health benefit claims involving balance billing and patient’s explanation of benefits statements. Other work includes recommending any additional legislation needed. Patrick’s earlier charges to the committee included examining state mortgage requirements regarding the

The Committee on Finance is instructed to review “revenue sources currently funding the state’s trauma system and the impact of declining revenues and balances in General Revenue-Dedicated accounts.” The committee is to evaluate the impact of statutory changes affecting trauma system funding, including efforts to eliminate the Driver Responsibility Program, and to examine ways “to ensure sustainability of the trauma system in Texas.” Critics have denounced the program as a version of debtors’ prison. The program requires drivers convicted of offenses such as driving while intoxicated or without a valid license or insurance, to pay additional annual surcharges on top of any court fines and costs. Drivers who don’t pay the surcharges can lose their licenses. The program was created in 2003 to help address a $10 billion budget shortfall and to encourage responsible driving. Revenues generated by the program have been used to fund care at trauma centers and hospitals. House Bill 2068 by Rep. Larry Phillips, R-Sherman, to repeal the program, passed the House of Representatives on a 133-4 vote in May but failed to come to a vote in the Senate.

Health and Human Services

The Committee on Health and Human Services is directed to review substance abuse and opioid use, including substance use prevention, intervention and recovery programs operated or funded by the state, and to make recommendations “to enhance services, outreach and agency coordination.” Patrick directed the panel to examine “the adequacy of substance use, services for pregnant and postpartum women enrolled in Medicaid or the Healthy Texas Women Program and recommend ways to improve substance use related health outcomes for these women and their newborns.” 

ommend ways to make provider and facility fees more accessible to consumers to improve health care cost transparency, increase quality of care, and create a more informed health care consumer base.”

Agriculture, Water, Rural Affairs

The charges to the Agriculture, Water and Rural Affairs Committee include reviewing legislation passed this year involving regional water planning, including flood control. The 86th Texas Legislature will convene Jan. 8, 2019. By Bill Kidd, Austin Correspondent


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Committee on Finance

The committee also is to examine “the impact of recent legislative efforts to curb overprescribing and doctor shopping via the prescription monitoring program and recommend ways to expand on current efforts.” Another topic for the committee is health care cost transparency. The panel is to study efforts by the Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Insurance “to increase health care cost transparency, including a review of the Texas Health Care Information Collection (THCIC) system, and the Consumer Guide to Healthcare.” Committee members are to “rec-

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notification of homebuyers on their need for flood insurance in flood plains and flood pool areas and make recommendations on how to better inform consumers.

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November 9, 2017  19

Cover Story:

Gorman Leads Texas PIA Group DALLAS — David “Red” Gorman, Arlington, is the current president of the Texas Professional Insurance Agents. He was elected in May during the association’s annual meeting to a two-year term that began Oct. 1, 2017. Gorman is owner of Red Gorman Insurance, a 2017 re-brand of Americo Direct Insurance, which Gorman founded in 2003 in South Dallas as a provider of personal lines insurance. In its 14 years, the agency has expanded to include commercial lines and tax preparation, as well a new transportation division headed by David Gorman Jr. The company has three South Dallas locations and a staff of 10. After attending the University of Central Oklahoma, Gorman started his insurance career selling life insurance for John Hancock Financial in 1993 and obtained his life & health insurance license. In 1995, he sold property and casualty insurance for AFamily Insurance which later became AAASAP. During that time, Gorman obtained a property & casualty solicitors’ license. In 2000, he served as a company representative at Dealers Insurance. Gorman is active in community service with the salvation army, several local animal rescue nonprofit organizations, and his church. He has lived in Arlington, Texas, for more than 20 years with wife Evelyn and seven rescue animals.

Executive Committee

Shirley Almany

Don Miller

David L. Michael

Jimmy Beathard

Other members of the Texas PIA executive committee include Immediate Past President Shirley Almany, owner of Almany’s Insurance in Waxahachie. Treasurer is Don Miller, CPIA, owner of Texian Insurance, Belton. Secretary is David L. Michael, owner, Eas-Tex Insurance, Nacogdoches. National Director is Jimmy Beathard, agency principal at Beathard Insurance. The national director represents Texas at the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents.

Board Members

Chris Heinemeyer

Doug Hill

Tony Harper

Victoria L. Reece

Other board members include directors Chris Heinemeyer, Apple Insurance Agency, Lake Jackson; Doug Hill, Hill Insurance Agency, Ingram; and Tony Harper, Porter Insurance, Porter, Texas. Victoria L. Reece, CAE, is executive director.

20 November 9, 2017 

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PCI Applauds Treasury Report on Insurance WASHINGTON — Robert Gordon, senior vice president of policy, research, and international issued the following statement in response to the Department of the Treasury’s report “A Financial System that Creates Economic Opportunities Asset Management and Insurance.” The report was written pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order 13722, which set out “core principles” to govern the regulation of the financial services sector. “PCI applauds Treasury’s report addressing many of our members’ concerns. Treasury’s report commends and endorses the state insurance regulatory system’s 150-year record of protecting policyholders. The report identifies reforms to the Federal Insurance Office, including that the office should be an advocate for the U.S. insurance industry in international forums and negotiations. PCI also is pleased that the report calls on FIO to coordinate with state insurance regulators and the NAIC to attempt to eliminate or reduce inconsistencies on data calls. “Importantly, the Treasury report also calls on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to reassess its disparate impact rule as applied to insurers. “PCI looks forward to continuing to work with Treasury and Congress on the issues that are important to insurance consumers and the marketplace.”

PCI Hosts Briefing on Navigating the Future of Autonomous Vehicles WASHINGTON — The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) recently hosted a policy briefing entitled, “Navigating the Future of Autonomous Vehicles” on Capitol Hill to discuss the rapidly emerging future of autonomous vehicles and how the private sector, safety community, and government are preparing America to move forward. The event was the second installment of PCI’s 2017 Capital Engagement Series. Kate Carey, PCI’s vice president, federal government relations moderated the panel of experts including Nat Beuse, associate administrator for vehicle safety research at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); Anne Marie Lewis, director of safety and technology policy at the Alliance of Auto Manufacturers; Patrick Lyden, senior public policy manager at Uber; Russ

DWC Sets Seasonal Worker Adjusted Gross Payroll for 2018 AUSTIN — The adjusted annual payroll requirement of an employer for the coverage of seasonal workers under the provisions of the Texas Labor Code, Section 406.162 is $55,922, according to the Division of Workers’ compensation. This gross payroll amount will be used in year 2018 to apply against an agricultural employer’s year 2017 gross payroll, and to determine whether a farm or ranch worker is covered by workers’ compensation. For more information visit the TDI website at psN7w1. 

Martin, director of government relations at the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA); Bob Passmore, assistant vice president, PCI; and David Zuby, executive vice president and chief research officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). “PCI is pleased to partner with our panelists to discuss the future of autonomous vehicles,” said Passmore. “The development of self-driving vehicles and assisted driving technology has the potential to make a quantum leap in road safety and access to transportation, but there are significant challenges ahead and important decisions to be made regarding the appropriate regulatory framework for the testing and deployment of such vehicles. It is also critical that insurers have access to data from automated vehicles so that they may promptly handle claims and compensate accident victims. Access to data is also necessary for insurers to support the rapidly emerging technology with new insurance products.” “The potential of self-driving is core to our mission of reliable transportation, everywhere for everyone,” added Lyden. “But the real promise of these new technologies come with the enhanced safety they will bring to our roads. 1.3 million people die a year globally as a result of car crashes and 94 percent of those crashes are due to human error. The responsible development and deployment of self-driving technologies can help reduce the number of those tragedies.” “GHSA looks forward to helping with the safe development and deployment of autonomous vehicle technology to help reduce traffic crashes,” said Martin. “As autonomous vehicles begin to mix with other road users, government, industry and the safety community should collaborate to help human drivers operate these new features and to share the road. States should

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also begin updating traffic safety laws and the rules of the road to anticipate autonomous operation.” “Automated driving technology has great potential to improve the safety of ground transportation, but its benefits are not guaranteed. It is imperative to have public policy that ensures the availability of the types of data needed to conduct studies of AV safety, so government and independent researchers can help direct the technology’s evolution to the safest possible end,” said Zuby.

PCI Comments on House Tax Reform Proposal WASHINGTON — Nat Wienecke, senior vice president of federal government relations at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) issued the following statement commending the release of the House tax reform proposal. “We applaud Chairman Brady and his staff for their hard work on this historic legislation. Fundamental tax reform, including the reduction in the corporate tax rate, is a high priority because it will help the property casualty industry be more competitive, which will ultimately benefit American consumers. The property casualty industry particularly appreciates that the legislation takes into account the industry’s unique regulatory and business model. Comprehensive tax reform is essential to improving economic growth and creating more jobs. The Committee has made several improvements to the draft legislation and we hope to work with them to further improve the legislation and provide our strong support for its final passage.”

November 9, 2017  21

Casual Comments by Glen E. Hargis Of Belts and Buses

Founded 1934 by John C. Leslie (1900-1975)

Heavily padded (fore and aft) school bus seats are intended to protect precious passengers from head-on and rear-end smash-ups. However, the prime site for wrecks is at intersections, and a very common result is “T-boning,” where one conveyance strikes another nose to broadside.

Publisher Emeritus Mrs. Ollie M. Leslie (1912-2004)

Glen E. Hargis Editor Carol J. Leslie Hargis Managing Editor/ Advertising Manager John H. Leslie Production Manager Kathy Leslie Circulation and Social Media Content Manager Office and Mailing Address 1221 Abrams Rd., Suite 210 Richardson, TX 75081-5578 Phone 214-343-9844 Fax 214-343-9847

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THE INSURANCE RECORD Vol. 83, No. 23, Nov. 9, 2017 (ISSN 0020-4803) is published bi-weekly on Thursday by Record Publishing Company 1221 Abrams Rd., Suite 210 Richardson, TX 75081-5578 Subscription price is $40 for one year, $75 for two years, or $25 for one year of digital edition only. Single copies may be purchased for $2 each. Periodicals postage paid at Richardson, TX 75080, and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all address changes to: The Insurance Record 1221 Abrams Rd., Suite 210 Richardson, TX 75081-5578

Inertia being what it is, child-sized, unbelted crash dummies in t-bone tests stayed relatively in place while the bus’s interior was knocked rapidly toward them. The simulated kids were smashed by the wall and window of their impacted bus and/or fellow travelers. Those forced through the glass encountered cruel topography and/ or the dump truck that was the villain of the demo. The test was re-staged with another bus outfitted with three-point seat-belted riders and a new dump truck assailant. Riders showed better survival chances for the kids. True, some were crushed inside the bus at the point of impact, but none left their seats, smashed into their fellows, impacted the street or ground, or wound up under the truck. At present, only six states in the Union require seatbelts in their school bus fleets. Surprisingly, Texas, despite our pinch-penny politicos, is among that shamefully small number.

An Old Joke

In a sight gag from the days of silent one-reelers, the steering wheel of a car comes off in the driver’s hands. A comedic trope in the old days but not so yocksome when it happens for true. Reportedly, the Ford Fusion is suffering just such a malady when the steering wheel unbolts itself from its steering column. Ford seems to perceive the problem of an occasional steering wheel separation as actuarially insignificant. We once joked that the most dangerous part of an automobile was the nut behind the wheel, but now the bolt within is making a strong showing.

Unkindest Cuts of All

The actuarial take on tax cuts Americans are likely to receive as proposed by the powers that be indicates that those with the greatest ability to pay will receive the lion’s share of the cuts. This follows the age old golden rule: those with the gold make the rules. The down and outers have not been forgotten amid all the passion for cut-o-mania. Those with naught but a few coppers to rub together will receive cuts in services through meat axe chops they cannot be expected to bear. But then, someone must pay the butcher bill for the drop in tax income elsewhere.

Walk of Death

According to a CNN article, the era of the U.S. “mass shooting” started in 1949 when, on Sept. 6, Howard Unruh walked the streets of Camden, N.J., and “killed 13 people with a German Luger pistol.” The so-called “walk of death” by this unemployed World War II veteran “was the first time in modern history the country was confronted with the typical mass shooter profile: An angry, anti-social loner shooting and killing indiscriminately.” True crime novelist Harold Schechter in Smithsonian Magazine in 2015, said, “Before Unruh’s time, “people didn’t have access to semi-automatic weaponry.” Such weapons and high-capacity magazines were actually available in the early 1900s, according to my research. So, as we were singing an anthem with our church choir on Sunday morning, some 300 miles to our south, another angry white man chose to settle his score with yet another semi-automatic weapon by killing unsuspecting Baptists gathered for worship in their small town church. God help us all.

— G.E.H.

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