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TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNALMARCH

2017

TEXAS

CONNECTION July, 2017

In This Issue Protecting the Summer Fun: Auto, Travel, Drones and More Leadership: The Key to Improving Insurance Ethics Multiply Your Agency’s Results Texas Insurance News Round-Up


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

In This Issue Protecting the Summer Fun: Auto

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Watercraft

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Drones

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RVs

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Travel

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Theft

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Leadership is Key to Improving Insurance Ethics

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Multiply Your Agency’s Results

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Texas News Round-Up

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2017 Continuing Education Classes 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Dave & Buster’s ~ Buffet Dinner Included

Shirley Almany While this issue’s focus is on summer safety as it relates to your insurance clients, we encourage you personally to have a happy and safe summer season. Many of us spend a lot of time on the road over the summer months, for both personal and business travel. Please take these precautions when you get behind the wheel:  

 

Houston Wednesday, July 26, 2017

  

Dallas Wednesday, August 9, 2017 San Antonio Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Give your car a checkup Check your tires: heat is the enemy of tires due to underinflated tires Use safe following distance Focus fully on the road ahead Carry an emergency kit Take breaks during long trips Be aware of road construction on Texas highways

Make sure that you and your employees wear clothing appropriate to the weather, stay wellhydrated and avoid prolonged heat exposure.

Houston Wednesday, September 6, 2917 Dallas Wednesday, October 25, 2017 San Antonio Wednesday, November 8, 2017 See our full calendar for detailed information. Texas PIA P.O. Box 700877 Dallas, TX 75370 (972) 862-3333 www.piatx.org

Wishing you a summer full of great times with family and friends.

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Shirley Page 2


Welcome New Members Texas PIA is happy to welcome our newest members. Tina Rastegar

Director, GoldStar Retirement & Insurance Solutions, Houston

Tamer Roddy

Owner, Insurance Source of Dallas, Dallas

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 professional Texas agent.

on

you,

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Member Benefits Include: 

Insurance products to sell

Agency Marketing Guide

Agency Revenue Tools

DocIT for Agents

Floodbroker.com and more

Together we’ve formed an alliance of experts to deal with any type of issue or question you may face. Visit piatx.org for more information.

Member Benefit Consumer-Friendly Issue Papers PIA members have access to a complete library of one-age issue papers, available to distribute to your clients or to utilize the text in your website, email or blog. Available in PDF or word format, so they can be customized with your agency logo and contact information. Browse the library here (log-in required)

Just in time for summer: download PIA’s consumer guide, “Summertime Pool and Water Safety”

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Protecting the Summer Fun We’re at the mid-point of the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day knows as the “101 Critical Days of Summer.” The summer months are a time to relax, enjoy outdoor activities on land and on the water, and recharge with some vacation time. As agents, we are well aware that these enjoyable and highly anticipated activities carry increased risks. Helping your clients prepare with both appropriate coverage for their property and their plans, as well as safety strategies, is one of the many things that makes independent agents an invaluable resource to their clients and communities. This month’s guide takes you through many of the critical items on the checklist for summer safety and the latest industry updates within each category.

Auto Because of better road conditions and nicer weather two in three drivers report feeling safer driving during the summertime. Despite this confidence, the reality is that summertime is the most dangerous season of the year on the road, with more auto accidents occurring during these months than any other time of year. Motorists, almost seventy-five percent, falsely believe that summer has fewer accidents than other times of the year. This misconception is the likely cause of drivers being three times less likely to be vigilant, alert and focused on their immediate surroundings while driving in the summer months. Year Round: Accidents on the Rise While summer has the highest accident levels, the news is even worse when you look at the overall trends. The reasons aren’t much of a mystery; more cars on the road driving more miles, higher medical costs, higher repair costs for newer vehicles and — while difficult to estimate its precise effect — distracted driving. The degree of impact these factors have had on frequency and severity trends, has perhaps caught many insurers off guard. The increase in frequency stems mostly from people returning to work in the (albeit slow) economic recovery. Tyler Asher, president of Safeco Insurance, says severity for the industry is up by about 5 percent annually over the past two years. He cites a jump in fatalities (estimated as an 8 percent rise), higher medical costs and pricier vehicle repairs as reasons. Why haven’t rate increases gotten the industry out in front of the loss trends? Tracy DolinBenguigui, director at S&P Global Ratings, questions whether enough insurers are pushing for the rate increases they need, perhaps fearing that they will lose customers in what remains a highly competitive environment. She points to the popular strategy of bundling auto and homeowners coverages, noting that if an insurer loses a personal auto customer because of higher rates, they may also lose that customer's more profitable homeowners business. The reluctance by these insurers to push for needed increases prolongs the time it takes to get on top of the loss trends. “It could take as long as the next three years,” she adds. Continued on Page 6 TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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The Road to Zero According to a recent Bloomberg View editorial, Cass Sunstein believes that in the near future, the U.S. should be able to prevent thousands, and perhaps tens of thousands, of deaths on the roads and highways. The Department of Transportation has proposed a Road to Zero — the elimination of motor-vehicle fatalities by 2030. In fact, we already know how to move toward that goal.

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We know, for example, that many states do far too little to get people to buckle up. They don’t allow police officers to pull people over and issue tickets when the drivers — or their passengers — aren’t wearing seat belts. Estimates suggest that stronger laws, and stronger enforcement activity, could significantly increase seat-belt usage and save thousands of lives each year. More broadly, the Department of Transportation has issued an elaborate, evidence-based report that identifies, with considerable specificity, which life-saving interventions actually succeed. The report catalogs best practices, including aggressive enforcement of laws against alcohol and drug-impaired driving; automated, highvisibility enforcement of speed-limit laws; and cellphone and text messaging laws. If state and local officials took the catalog seriously, they would prevent a lot of accidents and fatalities. Of course, new technologies would help a lot. Drawing directly on cognitive psychology and behavioral economics, vehicle manufacturers, insurance companies and officials are increasingly aware that human mistakes are inevitable; that smart nudges can help reduce them, and that both vehicles and roads can produce much safer “architectures” for drivers. Warnings for blind spots, lane departures and forward collisions can be found on many new vehicles, and backup cameras, designed to increase rear visibility, will be standard in 2018. On rural highways, rumble strips appear to be saving lives. One example is “electronic stability control,” a technology now required by regulation, which is estimated to save between 5,300 and 9,600 lives every year, while preventing up to 238,000 injuries. In general, the recent rules have had benefits far in excess of costs — and thus easily survive the test that both Republican and Democrat presidents have rightly imposed on new regulations. If we are really going to travel the Department of Transportation’s proposed Road to Zero, selfdriving cars will likely be one reason. Last September, the department issued an extensive guidance document for automated vehicles, emphasizing their life-saving potential and observing that “automated driving innovations could dramatically decrease the number of crashes tied to human choices and behavior.” Sources: “Memorial Day kicks off the most dangerous season of the year on the road” by Jayleen R. Heft, May 24, 2017, propertycasualty360.com “Road rash: Why personal auto is a bit of a wreck” by Staff Editor, May 11, 2017, propertycasualty360.com “Staying Alive: Cutting U.S. Highway Death Rate to Zero” by Cass R. Sunstein, February 27, 2017, Bloomberg View, published by insurance journal.com

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Watercraft With more boating water than any other state, nearly 5 percent of all the recreational boats registered in America are in Texas, totaling around 600,000. And according to the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA), boats continue their uptick in sales. Some trends to watch in 2017: Big boats are back—One of the more standout areas of growth in 2016 was among yachts and large cruising boats—a category that has been slower to rebound as high net worth individuals looked to remain more liquid post-recession. New yachts and cruisers are expected to have seen gains between one and three percent in 2016, and that trend is likely to continue into 2017 as consumer confidence and spending remain strong. Affordable, versatile boats helping a new generation become boaters—Manufacturers are making smaller boats (watersports boats, pontoons, day boats, etc.) that are more affordable as they aim to attract new, younger boaters and even more sales. What’s more, boats are also becoming more versatile, providing an all-in-one experience from fishing to cruising to watersports, making them more appealing to a wider audience. Intuitive marine technology—The boating industry has embraced new technology from docking a boat with a joystick reminiscent of video games to creating wake surf waves from a wristwatch. As consumers turn to their smartphones to manage numerous aspects of their lives, manufacturers are responding and will unveil boats at 2017 boat shows that provide a more intuitive experience—one that makes certain aspects of operating a boat as simple as pushing a button. Shared experiences—The ‘sharing economy’ isn’t lost on the boating industry, which is welcoming the opportunity to expose a new demographic to life on the water with everything from boat rental apps to shared boat ownership. Companies like Boatsetter, Boatbound, Sailo and GetMyBoat are some of the options listed on the industry’s DiscoverBoating.com that helps beginners find ways to get on the water. As irresistible as the lure of a day on the water might be, as agents we’re well aware that things can go wrong, from physical accidents to theft. Our job is to make sure that our insurance clients are covered for all their boating adventures. Are your clients covered? A typical boat owner’s policy can provide protection for boats, motors, and equipment against damages incurred by weather, sinking, capsizing, stranding, explosion, fire, and theft. A policy can also safeguard boat equipment that may include anchors, oars, fuel tanks, life jackets, dinghies, tools, and canopies. Liability coverage may also be offered as legal protection against damages inflicted by the use of a boat, and can also cover medical treatment needed by your clients or their occupants as a result of an accident.

Texas Boating Risks Dangerous Statistics Texas ranks as the state with the 5th highest number of watercraft accidents and thefts. Number of accidents: 154 Property damage: $792,000 People injured: 105 Deaths: 44 (From U.S Department of Transportation, 2015)

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Drones Longer days and warmer temperatures have many drone owners heading outside to take their unmanned aerial vehicles to the sky. In fact the summer months are among the most popular time for drone pilots to head outdoors. Originally a tool developed exclusively for military operations, drones now hover at the horizon of widespread commercial application. Drones delivering online purchases and monitoring traffic are yesterday's news; small and large businesses are now exploring the feasibility of using drones for such varied tasks as providing emergent medical services, waiting tables, providing wireless internet access, and inspecting industrial sites. According to Michael Huerta, administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, speaking at the second annual Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Symposium on March 27, the online drone registry has received 770,000 registrations in a little over 15 months. This explosion of drone use brings with it a plethora of new liability exposures and insurance coverage issues. Insurance can protect both operators and the public from the risk of mid-air collision as well as physical or property damage or injury to others. Manufacturers, owners and operators of drones as well as businesses that sell and service drones are also exposed and need to understand their insurance options.

Game of Drones Risk Factors As drone use explodes, the following risk factors are of most concern: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Mid-air collisions Loss of control Malicious acts Spoofing or cyberattacks Privacy, trespass and nuisance Lack of regulations Operator skills Rapid growth in numbers “Drone for service” vendors Liability

Drones can be challenging to insure. An underwriter must look at unmanned aviation risks differently compared with manned aviation, as there are significant differences that affect the insured valuation and loss adjustment. The most expensive parts of any drones are the electronic components and sensor payloads. At the higher end of the equipment spectrum are advanced cameras and sensors costing up to $500,000. A variety of drone insurance products are available: 

Physical damage (hull) for the vehicle, cameras, sensors, control stations, etc.

Liability

Aviation commercial general liability

Aviation products liability

Non-owned aviation liability

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Texas' drone laws are generally stricter than elsewhere in the US. While many states limit how much law enforcement can use drones to monitor the public, a Texas Privacy Act aims itself more at citizens that fly drones over private property. The inclusion of factory farms causes particular debate, as it is difficult to clarify how they can be classified "critical infrastructure". The ebb and flow of legal rules when it comes to flying a drone, whether it's a cheap mainstream model or something a little more intense, is confusing. It also differs depending on country, and even state. When it comes to Texas, both the House and the Senate are pushing a bill that could attach jail sentences to any pilot found guilty of flying something over oil and gas drilling facilities as well as telecom infrastructure and concentrated animal feeding operations -- factory farms. Politicians want these structures added to a "critical infrastructure" list where flying a drone lower than 400 feet above it would be a Class B misdemeanor and could even mean up to 180 days in jail. Sources “Game of drones: Liability and insurance coverage issues coming” by Sean P. Mahoney and Geoffrey F. Sasso, January 20, 2017, propertycasualty360.com “10 risks and misuses for drones” by Jayleen R. Heft, September 22, 2016, propertycasualty360.com “U.S. drone registrations reach 770,000 with no end in sight, says FAA administrator” by Rosalie L. Donlon, March 28, 2017 propertycasualty360.com “Texas bill could mean jail time for flying a drone over oil facilities” by Mat Smith, May 29, 2017, engadget.com

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According to NMMA sales trends include customized, use-specific manufacturer packages, the evolution of marinas as destinations, the rising popularity of personal watercraft and the use of social media to engage boaters and buyers. Staying in tune with these trends allow you to offer the customized coverages your watercraft loving clients will need. Sources “Top 10 states for boat and other watercraft accidents & thefts” by Jayleen R. Heft, June 22, 2017, propertycasualty360.com “U.S. Boat Sales Float Back to the Top, Expected to Surge through 2018”, January 3,2017, nmna.org “Boat, personal watercraft sales are on the rise” by SportsDayDFW.com, sportsdaydallasnews.com

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RVs Over the last 50 years, the RV industry has grown into a multi-billion dollar business, with annual retail value of recreational and conversion vehicle shipments topping $15.4 billion. Likewise, the specialty insurance market covering these motor homes, vans and towable camper trailers has grown despite today’s soft auto market. In Texas that growth is especially significant, as it is one of the states where the majority of RVs are sold and used. In combination with California, Florida and Michigan, these four states account for 25 percent of national RV sales. This means that Texas agencies might be wise to bring a niche focus to writing RV coverage. Keep in mind that there’s a recreational vehicle for every taste and budget, and each of those tastes and budgets come with a different usage, meaning that writing an RV as an addition to a standard auto policy may not be what’s best for the customer or for the independent agent’s book of business. A hybrid of coverages The challenge in writing RV coverage is in providing customers with policies that are suited to their needs. And knowing what coverages are available can make a big difference.

The New RV Park Upscale Amenities Gone are the days when having a phone connection is a camper’s top request. Highspeed internet access is often offered free of charge. Campers will also find 24-hour security, online reservations, interactive websites, landscaping and appearance enhancements, and recreational facilities like game rooms, gyms and spas. In Texas, one of the states with the most RV parks, the new trend in design is the construction of spaces that will accommodate the “big rig” vehicles, fast growing in popularity. These trends make RV campgrounds another niche for independent agencies to consider.

“I know of no auto insurers who would write an RV without vehicle liability and collision, but I do it every day through our stationary travel trailer program,” said Randy Sellhorn, Foremost group market manager for recreational vehicle insurance. The program is just one of the coverages available through Foremost based on consumers’ different uses of RVs. Three national specialty RV insurers, Foremost, Progressive and National Interstate, all write similar programs for RVs. While their coverages may be more comprehensive, standard auto companies like Allstate and State Farm continue to maintain a large market share. Unlike State Farm, Allstate and other large auto insurers, Progressive has been writing profitable RV-specific coverage for over 25 years. “Our product is designed for RVers by RVers,” said Michael Bissler, RV product manager for Progressive. “In our eyes there really is no comparison,” between writing an RV as an RV or as an auto”.

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“We don’t offer [customers] a jazzed-up auto policy,” he said. Bissler “guesstimates” that Progressive is the largest specialized RV writer in the country, though he could not release any figures verifying that claim. He did say that RVs tend to be a more profitable line than personal autos, however.

Who’s Driving? Not Your Grandparents Contrary to myth, the average RV owner is 48 years old, married, owns a home and has a household income of $47,000. 45 percent are between 35 and 54, compared to only 40 percent who are over 55.

Safer Drivers? Apparently very much so. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this group of drivers was involved in fewer fatal accidents than the 16-34-year-old age group or the over 55 age group. Put them in RVs and they become even safer. NHTSA figures show that only one-tenth of once percent of fatal accidents in the U.S. involved RVs. And profit margins reflect that safety.

“Our experience would reveal that it’s probably a little bit better,” he said. “The drivers are absolutely a preferred risk. Do we want more of them? You bet. Do we encourage agents to actively go get more RV business? Of course.” With roughly 5,000 RV policies written out of her office alone, Melisa Knudsen, vice president of Hi-Sage Insurance in San Diego, said the RV business is booming. She and a group of other agents across the country brought the program to National Interstate about four years ago as a backup carrier in case larger companies like Progressive or Foremost were to pull out. The National Interstate program is, by design, very similar to the Progressive program, Knudsen said, offering a fulltimers policy, vacation liability and personal effects coverage with virtually any limit available.

Sources: “Insuring RVs” by Constance Parten, April 24, 2000, InsuranceJournal.com “RVing Guide: Who Owns RVs? Some Facts & Figures About RV Sales And The People Who Own Motorhomes”, thefuntimeguide.com “The RV industry, thriving, is getting younger” by Rebecca Ungarino, March 28, 2015, CNBC.com “RV Park” by Sarah Barrette, Small Business Research Reports, sbcdnet.org Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, rvia.org

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Travel As Texans head off on their summer vacations, more and more are looking at travel insurance to protect their summer fun. Throughout the past year major events, from restored diplomatic relations with Cuba to terrorist attacks in Paris, left a lasting impact on the way people travel. These events include: Illness: The U.S. Travel Insurance Association (UStiA) issued a press release explaining the relationship between the Zika outbreak and travel insurance. As the press release indicates, travelers must do their homework to determine if their travel insurance would provide coverage for a trip cancelled due to the Zika outbreak. Extreme Weather: Although weather events can range from a winter storm to flooding, Hurricane Matthew was an extreme weather phenomenon that affected travelers in 2016. Weather.com recapped Hurricane Matthew's destruction toll. Travelers who bought travel insurance well in advance of Hurricane Matthew could have been covered, but those who purchased policies after the storm had been named probably were not. Current Events and Acts of Terrorism: From Brexit to the New York City bombing, there were numerous world events, bombings, shootings, attacks, and acts of terrorism both domestic and abroad in 2016. Frommers.com reported that Brexit meant temporary lower costs for American travelers that may have encouraged travel to Britain. Travel insurance policies vary in coverages for these types of events. If deemed an "Act of Terrorism," then an event could be covered. Fear of traveling to an area affected by an event may not ensure travel insurance coverage. Texas ranks fourth in the purchase of travel insurance, accounting for 4.46% of sales in the U.S. with an average policy premium of $174.39. And with 70 percent of survey respondents in Texas saying that they had recently relied on a smart phone app for travel assistance, it’s not surprising that the trend continues when it comes to the research and purchase of travel insurance. Sources: “More Texans Turning to Apps, Websites For Routine Travel, Survey Suggests”, November 4, 2016, tamu.edu “Who Buys Travel Insurance” by Chris Harvey, September 21, 2007, squaremouth.com “Travel Insurance Trends: A Year in Review and 2017 Predictions” November 29, 2016, General Global Assistance

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Travel Coverage Who’s Buying? They are: Single Baby Boomer International Traveler

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Theft Those summer travel plans leave behind the empty homes that provide thieves the perfect opportunity – even if they don’t step foot inside the home. Most homeowners are good about securing their indoor valuables – jewelry and electronics for example – but are not so attentive to the items left outside. And that’s where some of the most sought after items for burglars are actually located. Help your clients protect their property by sharing these “soft” targets that thieves and vandals look for most often. Air-conditioning units: Thieves looking for scrap metal often target AC units because many have copper coils and other metal piping that’s worth a lot of money. Install bright, motionactivated security lighting near the outdoor AC unit. Pool pumps: Your pool area should be fenced off and locked to protect against thieves, vandals, uninvited “guests” and liability. If you can’t remove your pool pump and store it inside, make sure it’s in an area covered by bright, motion-activated security lighting ― even if you have the pump behind locked doors. Vacant properties and vacation homes: Vandals and thieves who are interested in scrap metal and vandals love empty houses and vacation homes that are only used on weekends or at certain times of the year. Keep vacant home doors and windows securely locked, put interior lights on staggered timers and install motion-activated exterior lights and consider video cameras that you can monitor remotely. Unlocked sheds and garages: Reselling stolen tools and lawn equipment is a lucrative trade. Make sure your shed and garage doors are locked at all times and don’t leave valuable equipment or tools outside. Sports equipment: Often, bikers, kayakers, surfers and water skiers leave their equipment outside to dry off after a session on the water, making the equipment attractive to thieves. Keep them inside or in heavy-duty locked bins if you can’t get them inside the house. Vehicles and the items left in them: Experienced car thieves can steal your car in 10 second or less, while breaking in to steal valuables might take as long as 20 seconds. Never leave loose items on the seats or dashboard, and if you have a garage, use it for as many cars as you can. And it’s never a good idea to broadcast your whereabouts. Remind clients (and their children) not to reveal their plans or itineraries on social media or provide running commentary of their travel activities. Criminals lurk online and are all too eager to burgle a home when they know the residents are away. And don’t leave voice messages that say when you’ll be away. Sources: “7 ‘soft’ targets for summer thieves” by Rosalie L. Donlon, June 28, 2017, propertycasualty360.com “Help clients protect their homes during the summer travel season” by Fran O’Brien, May 31, 2017, propertycasualty360.com

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Minimize the Chance of Employment Issues Toll-Free Advice Line Available for Employment Practices Questions. Utica National has partnered with Jackson Lewis P.C., a law firm specializing in employment law, to provide risk management services that can help you prevent employment issues, out-of-pocket expenses and damage to your reputation. Take advantage of employment practices advice to get the help you need when you need it - provided at no additional cost to Texas PIA's E&O policyholders! Legal Context and Advice on workplace law issues including: 

What you should generally do when faced with a sexual harassment, discrimination or retaliation issue

Points to consider when adding a section to the employee handbook about references

What employment training you are required by law to offer and which topics will best help you prevent adverse employment situation

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Leadership is Key to Improving Insurance Ethics Insurance professionals believe that having organization leadership demonstrate support for ethics is the most effective way to improve ethical behavior in their industry, according to a new survey by The Institutes and CPCU Society. The organizations polled members of The Institutes Community, an online social platform for risk and insurance professionals, to mark the 25th anniversary of Ethics Awareness Month. The Institutes and other industry stakeholders held the first Ethics Awareness Month in 1991 to begin an annual tradition of reaffirming and improving their commitment to ethics. When the 3,000 survey respondents were asked which factor would be most important in ensuring ethical behavior, 40 percent of respondents answered that demonstrating leadership support would have the greatest impact, while 38 percent said integrating ethics into company goals would be best. Only 8 percent said punishment for unethical behavior would have the greatest impact. “Our members are sending a clear message that risk management and insurance executives need to lead by example on ethics,” said Peter L. Miller, CPCU, president and chief executive officer of The Institutes. “Leaders should not only tell associates that ethics is a priority, but they also need to exhibit that ideal every day.” At the same time, while more than 90 percent of respondents said that they believe insurance professionals are already largely ethical, 55 percent said they believe the public views their industry as largely unethical. More than 80 percent of respondents said the key to improving public perceptions of ethics within the insurance industry is enhancing the public’s understanding of how insurance works. “This is striking evidence that many professionals believe their profession has an undeservedly negative reputation. All of us in the industry have a role in changing that perception, and we need to work together to accomplish that,” said Jane Wahl, CPCU, CLU, FLMI, president and chair of the CPCU Society Leadership Council. From theinstitutes.org Read full article

Additional Survey Results 

84 percent said they strongly agree that ethics play a major role in their day-to-day jobs.

41 percent, a plurality, said pressure to meet business objectives is the factor that makes it most difficult to uphold their ethical standards.

62 percent said the primary reason the industry needs to act ethically is that it is the right thing to do; 14 percent said the primary reason is that customers will not trust professionals without it.

48 percent of respondents said the industry is acting more ethically than it did a decade ago, 11 percent said it is not, and 41 percent said there is no difference.

More than 50 percent said they think the industry will become more ethical in the next decade, 36 percent said it will stay the same, and 12 percent said it would become less ethical.

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Multiply Your Insurance Agency’s Results By Brent Kelly One of my favorite and most challenging concepts I enjoy teaching insurance agency leaders is “The Law of the Lid.” “The Law of the Lid” comes directly from the number one leadership expert in the world, from his number one leadership book, and just happens to be the first law in this book. The book is the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and the author is John C. Maxwell. Leadership ability & personal effectiveness The law of lid is simply this: Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness. I love teaching the law of the lid with insurance agency leaders because it illustrates that by raising their leadership ability they can multiply their agency’s results. At the same time, it creates a challenge because understanding this law means that you must also acknowledge that you as the leader are often your own problem and your own solution. When most organizations are stuck they focus only on ways to work harder and dedicate themselves to success. While this is a noble pursuit, at some point, you will run out of time and energy for only a small level of return. Multiplying effect However, if you focus on increasing your leadership ability (people skills, planning and strategic thinking, vision) you will begin to increase your results rapidly. That’s because when you understand and apply leadership skills to your insurance agency, you will realize that it has a multiplying effect. All of us have the ability to raise our leadership lid Does this mean that if your agency is stuck you must fire the leader? Of course not. All of us have the ability to raise our leadership lid. While I do believe that we have differing levels of natural leadership ability, I also believe leadership is a learnable skill and like all skills, you can improve. As John Maxwell states, “The higher you climb, the more you need leadership. The greater the impact you want to make, the greater your influence needs to be.” Be open & willing to make changes Understanding the law of the lid is what separates average insurance agencies from high achieving insurance agencies. It also requires you to be open and willing to make changes that will challenge you. The good news is that these changes will also grow you and your organization. Think of some of your major goals that you want to accomplish in the next year. How many of these goals will require the participation or cooperation of other people? How would raising your leadership lid impact your effectiveness? Read full article TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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Texas News Round-Up Perry to Chair State Bar of Texas’ Insurance Law Meloney Perry, founder of the Dallas-based insurance defense law firm Perry Law P.C., has been elected as the 2017-18 chair of the Insurance Law Section of the State Bar of Texas. The state bar’s Insurance Law Section enables attorneys to address areas of Texas insurance law in a bipartisan manner through both policyholder and insurance company attorneys. This section focuses on both substantive, procedural insurance law and litigation with a goal of educating and serving the legal profession and public...more Texas Agencies, Higginbotham, Jeannette Blanton Insurance Merge Fort Worth, Texas -based Higginbotham has partnered with the Jeannette Blanton Insurance Agency Inc., a branch office of Dallas-based Independent Insurance Group Inc. Jeannette Blanton Insurance is located in Ennis, Texas. The seven-person office is operated by Jeannette Blanton-Monnat and endorsed by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals and the San Antonio Pipeliners Association...more Surplus Lines Cyber Growth Keeps Up with Demand In Texas and across the nation, the surplus lines insurance market is keeping up with the increase in demand for cyber liability protection, according to the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas (SLTX)...more Texas Workers’ Comp Informal Rule Addresses Compounded Drugs A major cost component of all employer health plans is the price of prescription drugs. Most health plans include formularies with tiers for generic and name-brand drugs, and the plans also include options for compounded drugs, defined by the Professional Compounding Centers of America as medications made based on a practitioner’s prescription in which individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient. The cost of compounded medications is also driving up workers’ compensation costs across the country...more 2016 Texas Hail Losses Exceed $5B Wind and hail loss information for 2016 released recently by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) show that homeowner losses from hail in Texas were the highest annual losses ever recorded, as they exceeded $5 billion, the Insurance Council of Texas reports...more Ratings of San Antonio’s Wright National Flood Insurance Affirmed A.M. Best has affirmed the financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) and the long-term issuer credit rating of “a-” of Wright National Flood Insurance Co. (WNFIC) in San Antonio, Texas...more Texas Peach Crops Affected by Mild Winter Experts say the mild Texas winter hampered this year’s peach crop in parts of the state. Peach trees require a certain number of chill hours to “grow, flower, and develop properly,” according to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension. While there were enough chill hours in North Texas, orchards farther south and east had issues, officials said. ...more Do you have news to share? Email vicki@piatx.org with your story. TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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AdvertiseINinTHE the Texas ADVERTISE TEXASConnection CONNECTION View our rates for the most cost effective method of keeping View our ratesin for the most cost effective method of keeping your message front of your customers…professional insurance your message in front of your customers…professional insurance agents. agents. Questions? Contact Victoria Reece at vicki@piatx.org or (972) 862-3333. Questions? Contact Victoria Reece at vicki@piatx.org or (972) 862-3333.

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