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February 2018

In This Issue Cyber for SBOs Reach More Business Customers Why (and How to) Sell to Small Businesses Are Your Business Clients Prepared for Disaster? Small Business Auto Coverage

Texas PIA P.O. Box 700877 Dallas, TX 75370 (972) 862-3333


In This Issue Why (and How) You Should Sell to Small Businesses

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How to Reach More Business Customers

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Are Your Small Business Clients Prepared for Disaster?

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Cyber Insurance for Small and Midsize Business

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Small Business Auto Insurance Coverage

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Get More Referrals from Business Networking Groups

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Overlooked Sales Tips for More Success in 2018

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Why Businesses Need Umbrella Protection

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Texas News Round-Up

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David Gorman As an Independent insurance agent, you have the opportunity to support businesses in your community. Your knowledge as a business owner coupled with your training and expertise as a commercial agent will not only protect but give other small business owners peace of mind. Throughout this month’s issue we will share information that will help you on your path to being an expert in your industry. The Texas PIA exists to serve and offer training and development opportunities for you and your team. Our upcoming Convention & Expo on May 17th-19th will offer classes, including our first ever “Agency Owner Day”, a full agenda focused on you, the agency principal. All insurance professionals will benefit from CE credit options, networking, and fun, featuring the Blue Hat Band, live in concert. Please join me for the insurance event of the year, Texas PIA’s “Welcome to the Big League” Convention and Expo.


David (Red) Gorman


Office: 214-374-9997 Email:


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Join Texas PIA Now If you’re not yet a member, discover the benefits! Membership in Texas PIA is an investment that provides tangible benefits & services, saving you time and money so you can increase your agency’s bottom line. As a member of the Texas Professional Insurance Agents, you are also a member of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents and have access to a variety of valuable benefits and information that can support you in the growth and success of your business. Our focus is entirely on you, the professional Texas agent. Member Benefits Include: •

Insurance products to sell

Agency Marketing Guide

Agency Revenue Tools

DocIT for Agents and more

Together we’ve formed an alliance of experts to deal with any type of issue or question you may face. Visit for more information. TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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Why (and How) You Should Sell to Small Businesses by Barry Seigerman,, February 7, 2018 Should you consider selling to small businesses? If so, how do you sell to them? The first answer is yes. Suppose you decide on a marketing campaign to add $400,000 in new business premiums. Would you prefer to try to produce two or three large-premium new customers, or would it be easier to produce 25 new small-business customers? The potential retention rate on large accounts is probably one to three years, compared to seven-plus years for small businesses. Small-business selling should be a major part of your sales strategy, provided you establish some clear guidelines: — Establish a minimum commission threshold that the prospect can generate in the first year. Depending on location, that could be between $800 and $1,200. — Prospects must be willing to meet with you to conduct a "fact-finding" survey and premises inspection. — Prospects must allow you to review all current policies, audits, leases, etc., and loss experience.

— Explain your agency's unique process. The first appointment is strictly fact-finding (no sales pressure); the second appointment is a presentation of the results of your fact finding and policy review. The third is to deliver policies and introduce the assigned CSR. — Set the next meeting for three months to make sure everything is satisfactory. The customer should bring all personal insurance policies (P&C and Life) for review. — Cross-train a good personal CSR to small commercial businesses. The customers like it, the agency will love it (one paycheck), and the CSR will love it. The more policies a client has with the agency, the more your retention will increase. Develop long-term relationships and many of these small businesses will grow and take you along. Think of the referrals you can obtain with these relationships. Prospecting in the small-business market is easier than with large accounts, and comes from referrals and personal contacts. By consistently communicating your agency's value proposition, you can develop a solid reputation as the go-to insurance source that understands the insurance needs of small businesses. After all, as a small business you face many of the same issues they do. Consider these activities: — Select specific businesses to focus on and develop your expertise. Look to your present client base. For example, if you have three bakeries, prospect in that market. Mix in professional firms and blue-collar trades and services. Go out of your way to patronize these businesses as a customer and send others to them as referrals. — Join one or more local Chambers of Commerce. — Sponsor sports teams and other community events.


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— Volunteer and support other businesses’ charity drives.

— By invitation to clients and prospects, conduct workshops to discuss mutual issues faced by small business and have one of your clients as a guest speaker. — Reach out to others, such as community banks, museums, and historical societies to jointly sponsor after-hours events for local businesses to network while providing opportunities for the host/sponsors to talk a few minutes about their own organizations. Wine and cheese after hours always works, as does bringing in a few local food vendors to display their products. — Hook up with a business or high-tech incubator at a nearby university or other facility. Incubators are desperate for business speakers who can volunteer some time to help prepare these start-ups for what they will need in the future. — Look in your own checkbook. Where do you spend money? Approach everyone with an opportunity to get a second opinion on their business insurance program. — While producing large commercial accounts will generally account for the major revenue of a successful agency, I still believe it is shortsighted to avoid selling to small businesses. The revenue from small businesses, including their personal business, can provide a very solid foundation and substantial percentage of an agency's revenue. It still provides the best way for an agency to grow organically and for new staff and producers to gain the experience and expertise the agency will need in the future.


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How to Reach More Business Customers Agencies that lead with education rather than sales are likely to be more successful with their business clients. There’s a real demand for more information among commercial clients than is currently being met.

Thought Leadership & Education As legend Jay Abraham put it, “People are silently begging to be led.” Are you leading clients to more security, more profits and more peace of mind? With multiple channels to distribute educational materials, there’s no excuse not to step up and fill the role of market leader. These types of activities position your agency ahead of the competition, and grant you direct access to the decision makers in your community. Once you master some successful techniques you’ll be able to establish an easy-to-manage on-going campaign.

Reports and White Papers One proven avenue is to develop special reports or white papers. Either term is acceptable, but “white paper” tends to indicate a more in-depth and professional analysis, so may be appropriate for your business prospects. So how do you develop these reports? Brainstorm topics: Start with a simple list of products and questions that you encounter most frequently with your commercial clients and/or topics that you know will become important in the near future, even if they’re not yet top-of-mind. Let Google lead the way: Then add some keywords that relate to the topic you’ve selected, and see what pops up the highest in local searches. For example, here’s a quick search of “Austin cybersecurity risks”. The point isn’t to plagiarize the articles that come up, but it gives you an idea of some of the issues that are top priority currently. Then do your own write-up based on the research, or hire a professional. PIA members have additional resources, such as “Cyber 101”, which was created by the PIA Partnership to help educate agents and their clients about the most common cyber risks faced by small and mid-sized businesses as well as the business practices and insurance coverages that can reduce those risks.


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Distribute your content: • • • • •

Get your white paper in front of as many potentially interested people as possible. Use: Your email list Social media networks Your website/blog Convert to a webinar, and distribute via YouTube, and the distribution networks above

Spotlight Your Expertise Make yourself available to speak on the topics you’re writing about, to reinforce your status as an industry thought leader. Platforms include: • • •

Civic groups Chambers or other business associations Local media-write a press release about the topic covered in your white paper, and distribute to local media sources

Thought Leadership Equals Market Credibility Although writing thought pieces can be a challenge, looking for already popular topics can speed up the process. Inviting non-competing partners to collaborate can also reduce the work load, while significantly increasing the potential exposure. Investing the time to build your library of white papers will pay big dividends in market recognition, credibility and recognition in your business community. See source information for this article on page 28


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Are Your Small Business Clients Prepared for Disaster? Since experiencing Hurricane Harvey last year, most Texans, particularly those of us in the insurance industry, are well aware of the major impact disaster can wreak. Small business owners are at particular risk, as their operations are often concentrated in one location that is damaged or destroyed. Without a continuity plan, one in four businesses forced to shut down because of disaster never reopens. However, according to a 2015 study, 75% don’t have a disaster plan in place and 66% don’t have Business Interruption Insurance. This represents another opportunity for you, the independent agent, to provide leadership to help your business clients address this important area, and to develop their own disaster continuity plan. It can also be part of your content strategy, providing educational material via your website, blog and/or social media posts. Fortunately, resources are available to help you and your clients.

For All Agents:

It was just six months ago that Texas was beginning the difficult postHurricane Harvey recovery. Although we always hope disaster doesn’t happen, businesses with a plan are more likely to survive whatever comes there way.

FEMA Resources •

• • “Business Ready” planning tools and toolkits for earthquake, hurricane, inland flooding, power outage, severe wind/tornado, video library and more are free for you and your business clients. Emergency Response Plan: A 10-page downloadable form for businesses to complete in order to have an appropriate response plan in place. Every Business Should Have a Plan: A printable poster, with tips on preparing and planning a business emergency plan. Posters promotes family and individual preparedness. Business Disaster Preparedness Library: Links to many valuable resources relevant to business disaster preparedness.

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) Resources • • •

Business Continuity Planning: Overview of OFB-EZ® (Open for Business-EZ) resources offered by IBHS. Why It’s Important: The ABCs of why continuity planning is critical for small businesses. OFB-EZ® Mobile App: A free mobile app that users can download. Includes planning tools and checklists, and guides users through an easy process to create a recovery plan that will help even the smallest businesses quickly re-open and recover. OFB-EZ® Business Continuity Toolkit: a free business continuity tool designed to help even the smallest businesses focus on planning for any type of business interruption, so they can quickly re-open and resume operations following a disaster.


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For PIA Members (requires member log-in): •

Agency Disaster Planning Guide: The first step is to prepare your own business for disaster. Working through this agency-specific guide will first give you the guidance to be able to survive a disaster that may affect your agency. And chances are high that if your agency is impacted, many of your commercial clients will be as well. If your shut down, you can’t be of any assistance. The process will also help you understand the general steps that all businesses should take in order to prepare their own continuity plan. Hartford Flood Insurance: Since 2004, PIA and The Hartford have joined together to provide PIA member agents the opportunity to offer your customers flood insurance through The Hartford, a WYO company. PIA members earn great commissions on flood insurance sales with The Hartford and, if they want, a flood insurance processing center that does most of the heavy lifting for them. has automated the process of obtaining a flood insurance quote through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and makes this technology available to participating PIA member agents through their very own agency-branded, flood insurance microsites. Agents direct their clients and prospective insureds to their microsite where they can learn what flood zone they are in and request a flood insurance quote. Flood Insurance Marketing Support Center: Available to all PIA members, whether writing flood insurance with The Hartford or generating flood quotes with, the resources will help you improve your agency’s flood sales. Includes agent information, marketing support, monthly newsletters from The Hartford and and downloadable brochures to share with your clients. See source information for this article on page 28


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Cyber 101 is a new educational resource created by PIA and The PIA Partnership to help educate PIA members and their clients about the seven most common cyber.risks faced by small and mid-sized businesses, as well as the business practices and insurance coverages that can reduce those risks. Register for this month’s webinar: This month, PIA and ABA Insurance Services, Inc. (ABAIS) will focus on social engineering. Register today for a complimentary PIA member webinar about social engineering on February 27, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. ET.

What is Social Engineering?

Social engineering is essentially the art of gaining access to buildings, systems or data by exploiting human psychology, rather than by breaking in or using technical hacking techniques. Commonly, social engineering involves email or other communication that invokes urgency, fear, or similar emotions in the victim, leading the victim to promptly reveal sensitive information, click a malicious link, or open a malicious file. Because social engineering involves a human element, preventing these attacks can be tricky for enterprises. Firewalls don’t mean much if your users are tricked into clicking on a malicious link that they think came from a Facebook friend or LinkedIn connection. This month’s webinar will give you the guidance to avoid these cyber traps.

The following months will cover business interruption, data breach/privacy, network security, and website media liability. Missed the previous webinar? Watch the recording of PIA’s extortion/ransomware webinar on the Cyber 101 website.

Need a cyber policy for your agency? Contact Malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016, according to a new report by the White House Council of Economic Advisors (CEA). The report details the range of threats that U.S. entities face from actors, including corporations and countries such as Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The CEA’s estimate represents between 0.31% and 0.58% of the 2016 U.S. GDP.


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Cyber Insurance for Small and Midsize Business Small business equals small cyber-risk? That couldn’t be more incorrect. Certainly the high profile cyberattacks in the news tend to be about the large, wellrecognized organizations, so that might lead to a false sense of security for your small and midsize business (SMB) clients. Many incorrectly assume that they’re not large enough to provide a tempting target to hackers. SMB clients beware! The statistics tell an ever increasingly alarming story. Recent numbers show: cyber attacks target small business. of SMBs have no official written internet policy in place. rate their ability to mitigate cyber risks, vulnerabilities and attacks as highly effective. have no cyber risk insurance. go out of business within six months of a cyber attack. It’s a dangerous trend. 87 percent of SMBs don’t feel they’re at risk, yet recent statistics show that hackers have breached half of all small businesses in the United States. And SMB cyber attacks will only increase in frequency and severity if these trends don’t change. Why? Hackers find the easiest way to go. As small businesses spend far less on network security and have fewer resources to combat attack, they provide an easy target to experienced hackers The Independent Agent’s Role: You can be a critical player in the fight to protect SMBs from cyber risks. How? •


Step one is to educate yourself, so you can in turn educate your business clients. For PIA members, Cyber 101, created by The PIA Partnership is an outstanding resource for cyber education, with information for you and your clients, and monthly webinars on what they have identified as the seven primary cyber exposures. PIA members and those appointed by Partnership companies may access Cyber 101 here. Not yet a member? Join PIA of Texas today.


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Help your clients (and your agency) implement steps to reduce risks and increase security.  Protect customer information, including email addresses, phone numbers and billing

addresses. Small businesses “feel” that they don’t store any valuable data, when in fact these items are of significant value to cyber criminals. Databases should be encrypted.  Regularly upgrade software solutions.  Monitor business credit reports.  Establish and enforce a password policy.  Develop, and regularly review, a written cybersecurity policy. •

Obtain Cyber Risk Insurance

Why opt for cybersecurity insurance? What's the direct benefit for your SMB clients (and your agency)? Like other business insurance, cyber policies offer a buffer against potential damages. Just the act of implementing cyber coverage often improves cyber security, as businesses will review their current cyber policies, and make necessary improvements in the process. And taking their customers security seriously improves loyalty, as people have little patience for businesses that don’t protect their data. Continued on page 28


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Small Business Auto Insurance Coverage by Rosalie L. Donlon,, February 28, 2017 Most small businesses use or own at least one vehicle, sometimes more. But often small business owners blur the lines between the personal autos that they use for business purposes and vehicles that are purchased by the business itself. The standard personal auto insurance policy generally has limitations or exclusions relating to business use that could have an impact on the recovery for damage to the vehicle or personal injury. Consider for example, a self-employed computer technician who drives a pick-up truck to visit clients. In addition to his own computer equipment, he carries property that belongs to his clients. What happens if he is in an accident and the client’s equipment is damaged? What happens if the truck is parked in a parking lot and all the contents are stolen? A small, local dry cleaner may have two or three vehicles that are used for pick-ups and deliveries to clients. That business owner is more likely to have some business auto coverage, but is it the right coverage for the vehicles themselves or the drivers? As author David D. Thamann explains in the Small Business Auto Coverage Guide, coverages available under the commercial auto policies are similar to those found in the personal auto policy, such as liability, medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist and physical damage. The personal auto policy also excludes coverage for any insured’s liability arising out of the ownership or operation of a vehicle while it’s being used as a public or livery conveyance, as many Uber and Lyft drivers have found to their dismay. Here is an overview of five key facts to discuss with your small business owner clients to ensure that they have the right coverage for their needs. 1. Know your symbols The standard business auto coverage form, CA 00 01 uses 10 symbols to describe covered autos. These coverage symbols are used in item two of the declarations to signal which autos are covered by each type of coverage being purchased by the insured.

Unless there’s a coverage symbol shown beside the coverage name, the coverage won’t apply. And unless the correct coverage symbol is shown, the small business owners may be without the coverage they intended to have. The covered auto designation symbols in the business auto policy are numerals ranging from 1 through 9 and 19. Here are a few examples: •

Symbol 1 — Any Auto. When the policy has a Symbol 1, the small business owner will have coverage for any auto owned, hired, borrowed or used by the insured. Symbol 1 encompasses all the other coverage symbols.


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Symbol 5 — Owned autos subject to no-fault. This covers autos owned by the named insured that are required by law to have no-fault coverage in the state in which the autos are licenses or principally garaged. Autos that the named insured acquires ownership of during the policy period are automatically covered if they’re also required to have no-fault benefits.

Symbol 8 — Hired autos only. These are autos that the named insured leases, hires, rents or borrows. Not included are autos leased hired, rented or borrowed from any of the names insured’s employees, partners, members of a limited liability company or members of their households. 2. Liability coverage Covered auto liability provisions can be found in Section II, CA 00 01. This section consists of the liability insuring agreement, coverage extensions, exclusions and a provision concerning the limit of insurance.

The insuring agreement contains several clauses defining who is an insured, which is an important section for agents to review with small business owners. Anyone who fits the definition of an insured can qualify to receive the benefits of the insuring agreement — even if that’s not the person who paid the premiums. It’s also important for agents to remind clients that coverage under CA 00 01 applies separately to each insured seeking coverage or against whom a claim is made. 3. Physical damage coverage Section III of the business auto coverage form consists of the coverage agreements and coverage extensions, exclusions, limits of insurance information and a deductible provision. The coverage agreements list the various ways in which a covered auto can suffer physical damage and lists the kinds of losses the carrier will pay for. To activate coverage, however, a covered auto designation symbol must be placed in item two of the declarations form. The policy will pay for a loss, which is defined as a direct and accidental loss or damage to a covered auto. If there’s no direct physical damage, there’s no “loss.” The policy generally doesn’t provide coverage for consequential damage or loss of use of the vehicle. 4. Business auto conditions The business auto policies consists of five loss conditions and eight general conditions. The loss conditions are: • • • • •

Appraisal for physical damage loss, Duties in the event of loss, Legal action against the insurer, Loss payment, and Transfer of the rights of recovery.

The general conditions are: • •

Bankruptcy, Concealment, misrepresentation or fraud,


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• • • • • •

Liberalization, No benefit to bailee — physical damage coverages Other insurance, Premium audit, Policy period/coverage territory, and Two or more coverage forms. 5. Business auto policy definitions The business auto coverage form has 16 definitions that are important for the small business owner to understand. Here are a few of the most significant ones. Accident. The definition doesn’t really explain what an “accident” is; it says only that it includes continues or repeated exposure to the same conditions resulting in bodily injury or property damage. •

Auto. An auto is first described as a land motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer designed for travel on public roads. This would extend the scope of the definition to include things like mopeds, motorcycles, three-wheelers, motor homes and trucks. •

Employee. The policy states that an employee is a leased worker, but not a temporary worker. Thus, leased employees are considered the same as regular employees when it comes to coverages, exclusions and conditions under the policy; temporary workers are not. Continued on page 28


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Get More Referrals from Business Networking Groups by Michael Goldberg,, December 22, 2017 To develop more B2B leads, business networking groups can be rewarding IF you can answer the following questions. 1. What is your definition of a referral? The meaning of a referral is in the eye of the beholder. We use the word “referral” in a number of different contexts. I need a referral from my primary care physician. I need a referral to a good plumber — do you have his phone number? 2. Are you attending every meeting? You can’t just show up to networking meetings when you feel like it. (I’m tempted to use the term willy-nilly.) You must be an active and frequent attendee in an effort to put your time in. And it’s way more than just being there — you have to participate. Contribute. Give of yourself. Get involved. Be a presence. A connector. Remember, it’s all about the relationship. If you focus on giving and developing relationships, the business will be there. And how can you focus on developing relationships if you’re not attending (and participating in) enough meetings? 3. Are you paying attention to other members of the group when they’re speaking? If the meeting is structured and attendees get an opportunity to deliver a presentation (some groups offer 30 seconds or a minute to deliver a “commercial”), it’s time for you to take note (yes, literally take notes!) so you can potentially help. If you (and other members) are more focused on the bagels, coffee, and Facebook, there are missed opportunities — for everyone! 4. Are fellow members paying attention to you? You can only expect this privilege if you pay attention to them. (See above.) That said, you must deliver a meaningful presentation (elevator speech or “commercial”) that is articulate, a bit entertaining, planned, focused, and with a call to action. A good model I discuss often is the PEEC Statement — your Profession, Expertise, Environments (target market), and Call to Action (who you want to meet or be connected to). If you can do this and change it up slightly for every meeting, you’re on your way. HINT: Costumes, props, and the occasional poem work well!

5. Are you meeting with other members’ one-on-one or in small groups? Why? So you can learn more about them and their businesses. So you can learn how to refer them business. So you can get to know what they do when they’re not talking business. So you can build solid relationships. So they can get to know you too and refer you lots of business. Focus on the relationships and the business will be there. (Are you seeing a theme?) By the way, you don’t need to meet with everyone you connect with at an event for a “coffee meeting” or even a phone meeting. Pick your battles carefully — only meet if there is a good reason. Be choosy! 6. Are you generating referral business to other members? One of the best ways to establish trust and build relationships is to refer business to other TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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group members. But first, you must make sure they are absolutely awesome at what they do. Speak to their clients and get their feedback. Truth be told, I’ve been burned in the past, recently in fact, by establishing a referral (“Call my client — he’s expecting your call so he can hire you!”) for someone that wasn’t ready or capable of handling the business. Lesson: Do your homework. Also, when you generate referrals, insure they are sound — as in they have a great chance of turning into closed business. Otherwise, they may not technically be referrals. 7. Are you likeable (loaded question I know)? This is tough. Do you like talking to other people? And do they like talking to you? Typically these dynamics go hand-in-hand. If you like hanging out with others and you find yourself laughing a lot, getting introduced to others, and being invited to outside events (like golf), this is a good sign. If this is not the case, you want to be honest with yourself.

Ask for direct feedback from those you trust to determine how you might come across to other people. Although it may not be the thing you want to hear, it might be what you need to hear. And then — work on that! 8. Do you like the other members? Again, kind of relatable to the above but it’s important that you have chemistry with most of the members of any given group otherwise they won’t refer you business. It’s just that simple. It might be a good approach to focus on venues that attract those with common interests — becoming active at a fundraiser because you’re passionate about helping those with Parkinson’s. Typically, true networkers like true networkers so try to go where they go. 9. Are you clearly communicating about the type of business you want? Again, this might come back to your elevator speech or how you typically talk about you and your business or practice. You must be specific about what you do and with whom. Give examples of the perfect client, project, or problem you solve. This way, your network can help connect you with all the right people. The more specific you are about communicating your message, the easier it will be to get connected. 10. Do some of the other members of the group represent potential referral partners? Are there successful centers of influence or referral sources (CPA’s, attorneys, property and casualty brokers, mortgage bankers, etc.) in the group that you’re building positive relationships with? If not, why? Should there be? Can you invite them and get them to become members? Who do you know that can benefit from the group and from getting to know you better? Invite them to the next event!

If you’re attending networking meetings, chamber mixers, association functions, speed networking events, and other venues, ask yourself these questions and be honest with your answers. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and say you’re taking all of these approaches? Networking requires work — as in net-work. Is it time to get to work?


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Overlooked Sales Tips for More Success in 2018 Four Sales Tips to Make You More Successful in 2018 by John Chapin

Tip #1: Stop working smart and get back to working hard. Most salespeople use “working smart” as an excuse to avoid hard work, especially the traditional methods of prospecting such as cold calling. They think work smart means work easy. As a result, they look for shortcuts and safe alternatives to prospecting on the phone and inperson. They try to prospect via social media and e-mail and kill so much time looking up information on prospects, that they don’t have time to make the number of calls necessary for success. While there are times you want to look up information on a prospect, use e-mail, and be on social media, the average salesperson takes it way too far because all of these are easier than talking to a live human being and facing possible rejection. In one case a new insurance agent was spending two hours looking up information before he made his initial call on a prospect. Instead of making the necessary 25 calls a day, he was making 2. Ouch! Stop looking for the easy button: the half-the-work, ten-times-the-leads scheme, or the next break-through prospecting method, and stick to the tried-and-true: lots of calls in-person and on the phone. Hard work. The most successful salespeople work the hardest and spend the business day talking to people who can buy from them, not working on a sales letter, their phone script, social media, cleaning their desk, or doing research. Again, there are times for social media and technology. Just don’t get in the habit of using them at the expense of talking to the number of people you need to talk to in order to make the number of sales you need to make. Also, don’t do it during prime calling hours.

Tip #2: Get your daily dosage of fear, pain, and discomfort. Every single day you need to be stepping out of your comfort zone, doing things that scare you, and growing personally and professionally. The good news is that many of these things overlap so usually one or two activities will fit the bill when it comes to this tip. Again, for salespeople it is typically cold calling, or making that particular call that for some reason they’re afraid to make, that is the most fearful and uncomfortable. The better you get at handling fear, discomfort, and mental pain, the better and stronger you and your business will be. Tip #2a: Cold call every day. Okay, you saw this one coming, right? This is tip 2a because again, for most people following this tip will give you your daily dose of tip #2. As a salesperson cold calling is more than likely the thing you dread most and the most difficult thing you do. If you get great at cold calling, most other things in you sales career will be a breeze. Also, while you may be great at getting referrals, using LinkedIn for leads, and have more business than you can handle, you should never stop cold calling. Why? Nothing keeps you as sharp as cold calling, nothing builds your intestinal fortitude like cold calling,


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and nothing will give you more confidence and success than being able to cold call and get the interest and attention of a complete stranger. Also, no matter how many people you know, there may be a time in life in which you can’t rely on your LinkedIn Network, Facebook friends, a center of influence, or your uncle. Like my friend who had to talk his way into a secure area reserved for executives during a mass shooting, there will be a time in life when you have to sell a stranger. Or as my first manager Don Roche Jr. used to say, a true salesperson can sell the stranger on the street first and foremost.

Tip #3: Stop wishing it was easier. The person you become over the span of your life will pretty much be determined by the obstacles you’ve had to overcome and whether or not you overcame them. Believe me, if you want to do anything significant with your life, you don’t want the easy road. There are no challenges or growth on the easy road. The easy road does not build persistence and resilience, which you need when life gets tough, and which you need if you’re going to be successful in business and life over the long haul. This doesn’t mean you hope for tragedy to befall you, it means that when you run into plane delays, personal issues, professional obstacles, and anything else that life throws at you, that you accept them as part of life on planet Earth. No amount of wishing will make them go away. Rise above any negative feelings, move on, and realize that you’ll probably grow and learn something in the process. What stops most people from reaching their dreams is their inability to mentally overcome everyday roadblocks and problems they encounter along the way. They simply get beaten down until they give up.

Tip #4: Get back to the basics. •

Put people first and always do what’s best for them.

Have annual, monthly, and weekly goals, break that down to daily activity, and get those daily activities done no matter what.

Spend 80% of prime-calling time prospecting, presenting, and closing.

Get great at selling, knowing your product, and your solutions.

Build relationships and your network.

Work hard… okay, and smart, but make sure it’s intelligent work that builds your business, not easy work that has you looking for the sales version of a unicorn or Bigfoot.

John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker and trainer. For his free newsletter, or to have him speak at your next event, go John has over 29 years of sales experience as a number one sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia. You can reprint provided you keep contact information in place. E-mail:


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New Consumer Info-Paper Just ahead of spring downpours, PIA has developed a new consumer-friendly issue paper Rain Safety Tips. Exclusively for PIA members, these, and other consumer materials have been developed to be distributed to clients, or for use on your website or social media posts. Rain Safety Tips comes in the following formats, available for download (requires member log-in): •

PIA branded low-resolution and hi-resolution (PDF)

Customizable low-resolution and hi-resolution (PDF)

Infographic (JPG)

Article in copy/paste format (Word)

Social media post

To browse the entire library of PIA’s Consumer-friendly Issue Papers visit their webpage. Not yet a member? Now’s the time! Join PIA of Texas today. TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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E&O Insights: Why Businesses Need Umbrella Protection by Curt Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA, President – Pearsall Associates, Inc. and Special Consultant to the Utica National E&O Program Umbrellas are apparently not as simple as many would like to believe because various issues involving umbrellas cause more than their fair share of errors and omissions claims. Due to the nature of umbrella coverage, the exposure can be significant when a problem develops. What are those issues? Coverage Not Placed Potentially because of the economy, umbrella coverage has become an expense some businesses choose to go without. These businesses either don’t believe they could have a claim that would penetrate the umbrella layer, or it is possibly an expense that is just not in the budget. Agents must be careful not to make any judgments on whether a client can afford an umbrella. The proposal should include umbrella coverage so the insured can make the decision. Umbrella coverage has become an expense some businesses choose to go without. While the client will obviously secure general liability, workers’ compensation and property coverages, he or she might want to hold off securing the umbrella, choosing instead to “think about it.” That can be dangerous. Make sure the conversation/ decision is documented not only in your systems, but also with a letter/email back to the client advising that umbrella coverage has not been bound. Here is an actual claim where such documentation would have made a huge difference. The agency client, a tow truck operator, was involved in a claim where the tow truck apparently hit a car in the rear end, causing an occupant of the car to become a wheelchair-bound paraplegic. The underlying case was worth $5 million to $10 million. The client was a new customer, had provided a copy of his previous policy to the agent and asked for coverage. The agent stated that he saw the previous policy had $1 million primary and $4 million umbrella. The agent stated he told the client he was only going to obtain a primary policy for $1 million and that the client was going to think about whether he wanted umbrella coverage. According to the agent, the client never got back to him on the umbrella. The client testified in the underlying action that he told the agent to duplicate his prior policy, and assumed he had umbrella coverage. Unfortunately, none of alleged conversations between the agent and the client were documented in writing. The claim was settled for the limit of the agency’s policy, $1 million. Coverage Gaps This may sound fairly basic, but errors and omissions (E&O) claims do arise from gaps between the underlying and the umbrella. Ensure the necessary underlying limits are secured to satisfy the requirement of the umbrella carriers. It seems this is caused when the umbrella and some of the underlying coverages don’t have the same expiration date. If the underlying coverages were to get moved during the year, it is possible different underlying limits were secured, potentially causing a gap. For this reason, it is best that the umbrella and various underlying coverages have the same expiration date. TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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From “Cyber Insurance for Small and Midsize Business”, page 16

PIA has partnered with ABA Insurance Services and selected Great American Insurance Company (rated A+ by A.M. Best) as the premier carrier for the PIA cyber insurance program. This robust program addresses the specific cyber insurance needs of small to medium businesses, at significantly discounted rates. Contact your Texas PIA to learn more. Taking the time to understand cyber risk, to properly protect your agency, and to assist your business clients in properly protecting themselves is one important way you can establish yourself as a valued partner rather than simply a salesperson. See source information for this article below From “Small Business Auto Insurance Coverage”, page 20

Suit. A “suit” is a civil proceeding in which damages because of bodily injury or property damage to which the policy applies are alleged. The term also includes an arbitration proceeding or any other alternative dispute resolution proceeding.

These are just a few of the key points that insurance agents should discuss with clients to ensure that the vehicles used in the client’s small business are insured correctly. Source Materials:

Cyber Insurance for Small and Midsize Business, page 15

How to Reach More Business Customers, page 9

“5 Ways to Talk to Midsize Businesses About Cyber Liability”, by Kurt Meister, January 11, 2018,

“How Insurance Agents Can Reach More Business Customers”, by Jeremiah Desmarais, July 26,207,

“Playing it Safe: Cybersecurity for Small- to Medium-Sized Businesses”, by Bob Dietzel, January 25, 2018,


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it is best that the umbrella and various underlying coverages have the same expiration date. A great way to address this issue is to make sure the underlying and the umbrella are written with the same agency. Limits When you provide a proposal that includes umbrella coverage for a client, the proposal must include various limit options with a statement that “higher limits are available.” What if an agent were to “recommend” that the client secure a $1 million umbrella and then the client suffers a loss where the limit was not sufficient? Chances are the agent would be faced with some type of litigation alleging “improper advice” for “recommending” a limit. If you were to ask any of your carriers, they could undoubtedly advise you of some very significant umbrella losses. If the client currently has a $1 million limit, don’t just duplicate it. Provide options for higher limits and then get the client’s sign-off on the limits not taken.

Claims E&O claims arising out of alleged errors or omissions by agency claims staff are occurring at an alarming rate. One of the issues involves umbrella carriers not being put on notice when an underlying claim occurs. Why would an agency not put a carrier on notice? Probably because the agency (and client, too) does not believe the claim has even the remotest chance of penetrating the underlying coverage limit. If the umbrella carrier was not put on notice and the claim adversely develops, the umbrella carrier may look to “deny for late reporting” when it is finally put on notice. When an underlying claim occurs, putting the umbrella carrier on notice is highly recommended — even if it’s for record purposes only. This will give the carrier the opportunity to practice due diligence in investigating/monitoring the matter. Placing the umbrella with the same carrier as the underlying would seem to alleviate this issue. Claims-Made Basis Are any of the underlying policies written on a claims-made basis? How well does the umbrella address that exposure (underlying policies written on both a claims-made and occurrence basis)? If one of the coverages is on a claims-made basis, is full prior-acts being afforded or is there a retro date? There is a critical distinction you, as the agent, must bring to the client’s attention. Review Forms Not all umbrella forms are the same. When getting proposals from multiple carriers, review the forms to identify any distinctions. This can be a daunting task, but there are resources available such as FC&S Umbrella. This service not only provides a summary of the coverages afforded by an umbrella policy and how an umbrella policy functions, but also offers an analysis of various umbrella forms with policy comparison worksheets. Check, too, if there are any exclusions in the excess policy, not in the primary. Both you and your client need to know. Additional Sales, Solid Protection With the current economy, many customers are looking to reduce expenses. While an umbrella may be “optional” in your client’s mind, offer a variety of umbrella limits on all proposals — whether the customer is new to your agency or is a long-time client. This will no doubt lead to additional sales and will serve as solid protection against an E&O claim. The material contained in this article is for informational purposes only and is not for purposes of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.


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Texas News Round-Up Governor Abbott Declares Disaster Proclamation Extension Texas Governor Greg Abbott has renewed the disaster proclamation for 60 counties impacted by Hurricane Harvey....more Texas Ranks as Best State to Drive In A recent study by Wallethub examined the best and worst states to drive in this year based on cost of ownership and maintenance; traffic and infrastructure; safety; and access to vehicles and maintenance. ...more Texas Sees Increase in Auto Fatalities in 2017 In spite of the above, the Insurance Council of Texas reports that more than 3,700 people were killed on Texas roadways last year marking a 10 percent increase in traffic deaths from 2016, according to data from the Texas Department of Transportation....more Texas Ranks as State 3rd Most at Risk from Cybercrime A recent study conducted by Website Builder Expert (WBE), used data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Report and the Insurance Information Institute, to determine which states will lose the most money to cybercrime in 2018, as well as which locations will lose the most in regards to individual complaints….more IICF Raises Over $900K for Nonprofits in Texas and the Region The Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation (IICF), a nonprofit organization working with the insurance industry to help communities and enrich lives, announced that more than $900,000 was raised to support grants that benefit nonprofits located through the Southeastern U.S….more

TWIA Policy Center for Commercial and Manufactured Home Policies Now Available The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) announced that its Policy Center for commercial and manufactured home policies is live and available for agents to use....more Texas Appeals Court Says Federal Law Preempts State on Air Ambulance Fees An appellate court in Texas has ruled that federal law, as opposed to state regulation, prevails when it comes to the amount an air ambulance service may charge insurance companies for its services....more More than 3K Broken Pipe Insurance Claims Expected in Texas After Deep Freeze Several days of subfreezing temperatures in January resulted in frozen water pipes. The Insurance Council of Texas says that more than 3,000 insurance claims are expected from policyholders with broken water pipes....more Texas Appeals Court Upholds $351M Award Against Credit Suisse Credit Suisse said it would fight on after a Texas appeals court upheld a $351 million award against the Swiss bank over its role in a Las Vegas resort project whose finances collapsed a decade ago.…more Texas Regulators Reveal 2017’s Top Insurance Fraud Cases Texas Department of Insurance fraud investigations in 2017 resulted in 135 suspects referred for prosecution, 113 indictments, and $2.3 million in court-ordered restitution for victims. Read the full article regarding what TDI describes as some of the most significant cases resolved last year.…more Do you have news to share? Email with your story.


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Texas connection february 2018  
Texas connection february 2018