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In This Issue Your Complete Texas PIA Membership Benefit Guide Texas PIA 2018 Award Winners Convention & Expo Highlights Four Keys to Massive Sales Success

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


In This Issue Member Discounts

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PIA Marketing Services

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Insurance for Members & Their Agencies

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Insurance Products to Sell

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Agent/Agency Assistance

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Four Keys to Massive Sales Success

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Texas News Round-Up

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David Gorman PIA membership has benefits, and we hope that this month’s issue inspires our members to take full advantage of the many resources, discounts, products and opportunities that your national and Texas PIA have to offer. We urge you to save this publication summarizing your benefits as a valuable resource. We’re excited to announce the PIA Market Access Program, which will be rolling out over the next 30 days. In partnership with InsureZone of Fort Worth, the program will allow members to access personal and commercial lines from a number of companies, and get quotes through an advanced rate and leads management system. Stay tuned for details!

Texas PIA Board of Directors

And if you are not yet a member, there has never been a better time to join. I personally invite you to join the organization that is devoted to the strength of our independent agency system.

David Gorman


Shirley Almany

Past President

Don Miller


David Mikeal


Doug Hill



Chris Heinemeyer


Tony Harper


Jimmy Beathard

National Director

David David (Red) Gorman David

Victoria Reece

Executive Director

Office: 214-374-9997

Robert (Dale) Moon*



Shane Harper*


*Newly elected board member; term to begin October 1, 2018.


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Texas PIA 2018 Award Winners Awards were presented on Saturday, May 19, 2018 during our Awards Program at the 2018 Texas PIA Annual Convention & Expo in Arlington, TX. Agent of the Year

Julio Rosado (Rosado Insurance Agency)

Presented by David Gorman, Texas PIA President (l)

Company Represenative of the Year

Customer Service Representative of the Year

Theresa Friesenhahn

Cindy Paul

(Salem Insurance)

(Connect Insurance)

Presented by Jimmy Beathard (l)

Presented by David Gorman (l)

Lifetime Achievement Award

Company of the Year GAINSCO

Tony Harper (Porter Insurance Agency)

Presented by Jimmy Beathard, PIA National Director (l)

Excerpt from Shane Harper, Tony Harper’s son's Award Presentation speech. So the question that needs to be asked and answered is, “what has Tony Harper brought to the Texas Professional Insurance Agents?” I think the answer is his heart. Tony has always been glad and willing to share his knowledge and experience of the Insurance business with anyone who wanted to listen. 39 years of successful experience in this business is a very valuable source of knowledge, especially to someone new to this industry. I have experienced this first hand with the help he has given me over the years. Therefore, I am honored to present the Achievement award to my Dad, Tony Harper”.



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2018 Annual Convention & Expo Highlights OUTSTANDING SPEAKERS

Jimmy Beathard, Texas PIA National Director and Tim Russell, President, PIA National


Blue Hat Band


Best Costume: Keith Moon

Best Booth: Aspen Insurance

AGENCY OWNERS DAY GAME ON! Visit out photo album to view more from the Texas PIA 2018 Annual Convention & Expo.


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Discounts Texas PIA Member Discounts Kaplan Financial Education Texas PIA has partnered with Kaplan Financial Education to bring our members exclusive 30% discount pricing on all Insurance Licensing and Continuing Education products. Learn more. Texas PIA Career Center We are pleased to announce the introduction of our new Career Center. Whether you’re looking for your next career move or looking for that next great hire, we believe Texas Professional Insurance Agents’ Career Center is your best source. Learn more. One Source Payroll One Source Payroll provides a 15% discount for customized solutions for Payroll, Human Resource, Benefits and Time & Attendance software fees for administration outsourcing for businesses of all sizes, and a one-time 50% discount for core payroll set up fees. Learn more. Corporate+Card Your Texas Professional Insurance Agents Corporate+Club card gives you access to a program of tremendous value. This card is not a gift card, a credit card, nor a loaded card. It is a membership card that allows you to save an unlimited amount of money for as long as your membership lasts. Learn more. The Insurance Record Texas PIA Members receive a $10 discount off of a new subscription. Stay informed on a wide range of Texas insurance industry topics that are important to your business. Learn more.

Texas PIA Member Discounts Agency Web Sites from PIA and Emerald

Through PIA's exclusive partnership with Emerald, all insurance agents can now get cutting edge web sites at special prices that PIA has negotiated on your behalf. These are cutting edge websites that put you in control. Learn more. Alamo Rent a Car PIA members get unlimited mileage and year-round discounts of up to 20% off Alamo’s already great rates. Book with your travel agent or Alamo®. Be sure to request I.D. Number 93140 at the time of reservation. Call 1-800 GO ALAMO or click here to book online and see current specials available to PIA members. Learn more. TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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Central Licensing Bureau

Save time by using CLB for all your agency licensing needs; save money because you're a member of PIA and Central Licensing Bureau takes the hassle out of licensing so you can focus on selling insurance. Whether you operate in multiple states, maintain different types of licenses or have many agents in your firm, the Central Licensing Bureau can handle your agent licensing needs. Learn more. CVS Prescription Discount Card PIA, in conjunction with CVS-CareMark, is pleased to announce our PIA RxSavingsPlus Discount Card. Through this program, PIA members, their employees and their clients save money when filling prescriptions not covered by insurance. Learn more.

Free Subscriptions Free subscriptions for members to: •

Rough Notes Magazine

Steve Anderson’s Tech Tips

Learn more. Mines Press Promotional Calendars For years PIA members across the country have relied on The Mines Press for high-quality promotional calendars for their agencies. Through the PIA/Mines Press program, agents can order personalized wall calendars, diaries, planners, desk calendars, greeting cards, wallet cards, stick-on calendars and other calendar items at 10% off their regular price. Learn more. The Omnia Profile In just 10 minutes or less, our behavioral assessment tool gives you insight to take the guesswork out of personnel decisions. Whether you are hiring a new employee, deciding on future roles for current employees, team building or creating a succession plan for your agency, Omnia can help. Try a complimentary assessment to get started. Learn more. Rough Notes Producer Online PIA has negotiated a special agreement with The Rough Notes Company (publisher of Rough Notes magazine) to make new subscriptions for The Rough Notes Producer Online suite of products available to PIA members at an exceptionally discounted cost of $500 annually. This special arrangement pricing for PIA members is a dramatic reduction from the regular list price of $1,695 with an annual renewal rate of $795 for The Producer Online package. Learn more. United Parcels Services Savings Program Take advantage of special savings on UPS shipping offered to you as a member of PIA. You can save up to 34% on air, international, and ground shipping services. Learn more.


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PIA Marketing Services Agency Marketing Guide The 8th edition of the PIA Agency Marketing Guide features marketing tips from real agents as well as industry professionals who work with thousands of agents across the country each year. PIA members reading the publication will learn how fellow members use text messaging to service policies and generate new business, how public speaking can be used to generate leads, how to make use of technology in their agency's marketing and much more. Available to members online.

PIA Branding Program Through the PIA Branding Program, you'll find a large and growing collection of advertising and marketing support materials from the state and national level. These member-exclusive resources allow you and/or your vendors to customize a marketing campaign, with free and discounted information and resources, that allow you to stand out from the competition.

Consumer-friendly Issue Papers PIA now has a series of one-page, consumer-friendly issue papers just for PIA members. New papers will be added periodically. PIA members are encouraged to distribute these papers to their clients or utilize the text on their agency websites, emails, or blogs. Each paper is available in multiple formats:

1. ready-to-send with PIA logo and branding 2. customizable so that it can be personalized by PIA members with their photo/logo and contact information 3. new papers include an infographic for social media and copy in Word to use as you wish 4.

social media copy is also provided with each paper.

Newest additions include Flood Insurance, Rain Safety Tips, Summertime Insurance and Identity Theft

Consumer Brochures for Your Clients PIA has created a series of nine consumer information brochures designed to help you answer your clients' questions about insurance - what it is, what it does, and how you can help them make informed choices. Brochures are two-colors, printed on glossy, 8.5"x11" paper and folded twice so that they fit in standard tri-fold brochure stands and #10 envelopes. (Protecting Your Property is the same size folded but with 3 folds.) Each brochure has space on the back cover for you to add your agency name, address and telephone number.


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Print Advertisements PIA has a collection of print ads that PIA members can run in local publications, customized with their agency contact information and (optionally) a company logo. Most of these ads are available in both English and Spanish. Ads can also be printed for use as flyers or as inserts in publications. Ads are available in a variety of sizes, in color as well as black and white. To use the ads, simply download our highresolution PDF files and send them to your publication or printer who can add your logo and contact information (all links require PIA log-in). FAQs for print ads Preview English print ads Preview Spanish print ads Download high-resolution PDF files Healthcare Print Ads PIA has also created a series of specific print healthcare advertisements that PIA members can run in their local communities. Like the other ads that PIA makes available through the PIA Branding Program, these ads contain space for PIA members to add their agency contact information. Preview healthcare ad files Download healthcare print ads


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Radio Advertisements PIA has recorded a series of English and Spanish radio ads for PIA member agencies to tag with their contact information. When you're ready, simply download the broadcast-quality MP3 files and send them to your local radio station where their voice-over professional can add your agency information. FAQs for radio ads Radio Advertising Primer Download broadcast-quality MP3 files

Preview radio ads

Social Media Support PIA as kicked off a series of social media support efforts for PIA members. This will ultimately include: • • • •

a series of webinars to help agents maximize their social media efforts strategic and tactical guidance for independent insurance agencies consumer-oriented articles and public service announcements for use in agency blogs, social media, newsletters, etc. guidance for agencies that want to create unique content for their social media sites

Archived Social Media Webinars 1. HOW to Master Social Media and the Smartphone and Sell. Aired live 7/16/15, featuring social media/insurance marketing guru Tom Wetzel.

2. Accelerate Your Agency's Digital Marketing with YouTube and Visual Content Marketing. Aired live 5/12/15, featuring independent agent and social media expert Chris Paradiso. 3. Using LinkedIn and Twitter to Promote Your Agency. Aired live 2/18/15, featuring social media expert Ted Janusz. 4. Developing Social Media Strategies for Your Agency for Bottom-Line Business Results - Not for Geeks! Aired live on 12/8/14, featuring social media expert Ted Janusz. 5. Taking control of Social Media and the Smartphone. Aired live on 10/27/14, featuring social media/insurance marketing guru Tom Wetzel. Other Social Media Resources •

• • •

The Digital Tipping Point – It’s Time For Independent Agents To Get Serious About Social Media and the Smartphone (e-book by Tom Wetzel) How Can I Use LinkedIn to Grow My Agency (hands-on guide to using LinkedIn by Ted Janusz) Developing Social Media Policies for Your Agency (Word version of article by Alexi Papandon) PIA Connection Social Media Special Edition (social media coverage begins on page 8)


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Page 14 Here's how it works: Floodbroker creates agency branded microsites for participating agents. These microsites contain Floodbroker’s proprietary National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) quoting engine and have a unique URL such as Agents direct their insureds and prospects to their Floodbroker microsite where they input information about their property and generate an NFIP quote. This quote is emailed to their agent who completes the sale using the agency’s regular appointed flood carrier(s).

Floodbroker is a quoting engine only: they do not retain the data that is input into their system nor will they attempt to sell flood insurance to your insureds and prospects. Floodbroker costs only $50/month and is available to PIA members only.

Using • •

Your clients and prospects quickly and easily get a quote for flood insurance online. You complete the sale offline using your agency's regular flood insurance carrier.

Attend a free webinar: Register for a free informational webinar.

Ready to get started? Learn how you can get your own agency branded Floodbroker website. • • •

Contact Evan Spindelman at 855-422-4130 or Click here to have a Floodbroker representative contact you. Test it out for yourself. Go to and put in your address to see how easy it is for customers to generate their own flood quote.

Can Floodbroker provide quotes for all properties?

View video

Floodbroker’s flood zone database tracks with FEMA’s digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs). There are communities around the country that are not yet digitally mapped so there are cases where the Floodbroker system may not be able to generate a quote. In some other situations the person completing the online form may not be able to provide all of the information necessary to obtain a quote. In both of these cases the individual completing the online form can still submit the information that they have input into the form. That information is emailed to their agent so that he or she can follow up and continue the flood insurance sale.

Currently can only provide quotes to homeowners, not owners of commercial properties. Floodbroker is a unique marketing tool that help you increase sales of flood insurance in your agency while potentially reducing your errors and omissions exposure when it comes to offering flood insurance.


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Flood Insurance Marketing For all PIA Agency Members: Whether you are writing flood insurance with The Hartford or generating flood quotes with, use the marketing resources below to help you improve your agency’s flood sales.

Resources for Your Clients As a PIA member benefit, The Hartford has provided the following customer-oriented flyers to all PIA members, whether you currently work with The Hartford or not. Additional support materials are available to The Hartford's flood agents directly through your local, dedicated Hartford Flood representative.

Safety Tips for Business Owners Preparing for Floods Steps to help minimize loss before, during and after a flood — and to help with the clean-up and flood claim. • After the Flood Steps business owners should take after their property has been hit by a flood. Safety Tips for Homeowners •

• •

Preparing for Floods Steps to help minimize loss before, during and after a flood — and to help with the clean-up and flood claim. After the Flood Steps homeowners should take after their property has been hit by a flood.


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Helpful Tips for Clients • •

Investing in Flood Protection Facts to help your clients make an informed decision in flood protection. Understanding Flood Zone Remapping Information on how your clients may be affected by nationwide flood zone remapping. Flood Checklist Information on making an evacuation plan, maintaining an active flood and surveying damage. Preparing for the Insurance Adjuster Important steps to prepare your clients for a visit from the insurance adjuster.

More Flood Tools and Resources from The Hartford

Member Webinars PIA hosted a webinar for members to learn all about the easy enrollment, competitive commissions and exceptional service that make The Hartford Flood Program second to none. Joseph M. Surowiecki, Jr. CPCU, flood sales manager and business development director of The Hartford, discussed the program and answered audience questions. If you missed it, click below to watch the archived recording. The Hartford Flood Program Webinar PIA hosts monthly webinars for members to learn about the program. The webinar demonstrates how can help you increase flood insurance sales in your agency. Evan Spindelman, president, thoroughly explains the program, showcases the website's interface, and answers audience questions. If you missed it or have yet to attend a webinar, click below to watch the archived recording. Program webinar

Brochure PIA members selling Hartford flood insurance can use the Flood Insurance Brochure (PDF file) provided by The Hartford. This brochure explains to your clients and prospects why they can't afford to be without flood insurance. It is designed to fit in a standard #10 envelope.

Agent Information • • • •

Agent Guide to Flood Zone Remapping Remapping at a Glance How to Retain Customers When Remapping Occurs The Hartford Flood Team Contact Information

Agent E-Newsletters As part of PIA's ongoing partnership with The Hartford's flood insurance program and, PIA members may access The Hartford's Flood Agent e-Newsletter and's monthly e-newsletter as well as additional documents produced by both for their flood insurance agents. Browse newsletters


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FEMA/NFIP "FloodSmart" Campaign In 2004, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) identified the critical need to educate communities nationwide about the risk of flooding and the importance of flood insurance coverage. In response to this need, the NFIP developed FloodSmart, a comprehensive, integrated marketing campaign designed to educate and inform insurance agents, stakeholders, home owners, business owners and renters about financially protecting their homes and businesses from flood damage. FloodSmart also created a website for agents that provides access to free and convenient tools and services including: • • • •

discounts on advertising customer referrals a personalized desktop direct mail program, and useful flood insurance information and communication tools to help you build your flood business.

Links • • • •

FEMA's NFIP Website FloodSmart Home Page BureauNet NFIP Page NFIP Flood Insurance Manual

Articles • •

Are Your Clients Prepared for Flooding This Winter After a Flood, The Hartford is Here to Help


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Insurance for You & Your Agency PIA Trust Insurance Help Build Your Family's Financial Future with PIA's Group Insurance Plans. As a PIA member you can choose from several high-quality, competitively priced insurance plans to help protect you, your employees and families. You can customize your protection to best suit your needs. Plans Currently Include: • • • • • • •

Basic Term Life Insurance Voluntary and Dependent Term Life Insurance Short Term Disability Long Term Disability Accidental Death and Dismemberment Hospital Indemnity Business Overhead Expense

This program is offered through the PIA Services Group Insurance Fund and is administered by Lockton Risk Services, Inc. To learn more about any of the products offered by the PIA Services Group Insurance Fund, visit or contact Lockton Risk Services, Inc. at 1-800-336-4759. All plans are subject to certain limitations and exclusions. See the actual policy or the Plan Administrator for specific provisions and details of availability.

Errors & Omissions Texas PIA offers members E&O coverage through access to admitted markets with exclusivity to Utica National. Other carriers include Liberty Insurance Underwriters, Scottsdale Indemnity, Endurance and American Alternative Insurance. Specialists with Texas Insurance Professional Services will help you find the coverage you need at a competitive price. Our agents can draw from our unique and large selection of E&O program options including enhanced endorsements like Third-Party Cyber, Employee Related Liability and Catastrophe coverage.

Umbrella Program PIA and Penn National Insurance are proud to offer the most comprehensive and affordable excess insurance protection available, packaged into one easy-to-manage policy. Written by agents for agents, this policy offers competitive rates and comprehensive coverage, including E&O exposures. Our simplified rate schedule is based upon your agency’s staff size and provides a quick determination of your base policy premium. We also provide versatile pricing options which recognize your agency’s particular qualities and special exposures. And, we offer payment options for policies of any premium size. Contact: SOUTH TEXAS Bob Dixon 866-577-7428 (toll free)

NORTH TEXAS Ray Reyes 833-214-4412 (toll free)


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Cyber Insurance If you answer yes to any of these questions, your agency needs a cyber insurance policy: •

Does your agency accept credit card payments?

Does your agency bank online?

Does your agency use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn?

Does your agency store sensitive customer or employee data?

Texas PIA currently offers two options for Cyber & Privacy Insurance programs:  PIA and U.S. Risk Brokers, Inc. are pleased to announce an exclusive Cyber & Privacy

Insurance program for PIA Members. This new product is being offered by Capitol Specialty Insurance Corp. (Rated "A" by A.M. Best) on their newly created CPR "Premier" Policy.  PIA National has partnered with ABA Insurance Services to develop a cyber liability

insurance program that addresses and covers the specific needs of small and mediumsized businesses. We will be rolling out Phase II, which will be available to PIA members for your small business clients. Premium discounts and policy enhancements will also be offered. Contact:

Bob Dixon 866-577-7428 (toll free)

Ray Reyes 833-214-4412 (toll free)


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Insurance Products to Sell Flood Insurance Sales

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.

The Hartford Difference

Ready to Enroll? Contact Joe Surowiecki, Jr. of the Hartford at 860-547--5006 or Already Enrolled? Visit PIA National's Flood Insurance Marketing Support Center.

Have a Question? The Hartford is dedicated to providing agents with Contact extraordinary customer service and value. The Hartford Flood program offers an easy enrollment process, competitive commissions and allows you to broaden your offerings to customers who are in areas susceptible to flooding. Through our national flood insurance service center, we offer the most advanced Internet services available including:

• • • • • • • • •

flood zone determinations, claims reporting, policy database download and maintenance, electronic application submission, electronic movement of premium and commission funds, rating software download, production reports, assistance in obtaining elevation certificates, and repetitive loss review

Our flood processing and claims management services are the most timely and accurate in the industry. We also have a specialized department to handle book of business transfers. Commission and cancellation refund checks are processed and mailed in a consistent and timely manner. Commissions are payable on the 15th of each month from The Hartford, an "A" Rated company. TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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The PIA Advantage As a participant in PIA National's official flood insurance program, you have the power of PIA behind you. Our dedicated staff is here to help should you need assistance. Furthermore, participating PIA members have access to the Flood Insurance Marketing Support Center -- a PIA member-only benefit.

Available Programs Several programs are available to PIA members: Standard Program The Standard program includes a web-based application process with your agency doing the customer service administration with Internet and live customer service support. With this web-based program, you can keep policy quotes on a local PC and print policies and endorsements, right in your office. In addition to complete training materials, you will also receive agency production reports. With The Hartford, PIA members will receive service levels that significantly exceed federal standards including same day turnaround for Internet transactions and experienced and friendly customer service representatives. Flood Solutions The Flood Solutions program includes a streamlined application process with The Hartford's Flood Insurance Processing Center doing most of the work. Flood Solutions simplifies the writing of flood insurance for your agency. CSR's will do most of the work-ordering Flood Zone Determinations, working with you to get elevation certificates, quoting, issuing policies and providing service on new and renewal policies after the sale. These CSR's can work with your staff or directly with your customer as requested. The Flood Solutions program is ideal


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for agents who don't write a large amount of flood insurance and those agents who are just starting to write flood policies. Surplus Lines Flood For PIA members enrolled in The Hartford Flood Program, the following Surplus Lines flood insurance coverages are available through WNC First Insurance Services: 1.

Excess Flood Insurance with policy limits in excess of the maximum NFIP limits are property coverage up to $15,000,000 in all states and contents coverage up to $1,000,000. There is no commercial contents coverage excess.


CBRA & OPA Areas with eligible properties including residential properties and condominium units and townhouses.

Agency Revenue Tools

In cooperation with Agency Revenue Tools, LLC, PIA has initiated its “Take Back Personal Lines” campaign to enable agents to effectively and efficiently counteract the mass marketing/mass advertising approach to Personal Lines being taken by the direct writing carriers. Agency Revenue Tools (ART) is a proven method for agencies to profitably engage in employee worksite marketing using their appointed markets at regular commission rates. Agencies across America are using the ART method and its accompanying software to sell personal lines P&C coverage to insureds utilizing payroll deduction billing. Available only to PIA members, the "PIA Quickstart Program" makes the Agency Revenue Tools offering much more affordable to agencies – cutting the initial cost in half when the system is used by PIA members who fall under a certain category in size. The PIA Quickstart Program is a fully supported approach to enable agencies to quickly and easily enter the employee marketing arena and meet new customers where they work – making their personal insurance experience easier for everyone through payroll deduction billing.

Agency Revenue Tools enables independent insurance agencies to increase their profits through the lucrative world of Worksite Marketing of consumer insurance. Learn more on the Agency Revenue Tools website. To take part in the PIA Quickstart Program, please send an email with your contact information to Alexi Papandon, PIA National Vice President of Marketing and Affiliate Relations, at Your email will be forwarded to Agency Revenue Tools and a representative will contact you. Learn More Getting Personal by Phil Zinkewicz (Rough Notes) Take Back Personal Lines with Agency Revenue Tools by Bill Jenkins (PIA Connection) TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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Cyber Insurance Sales In partnership with ABA Insurance Services, PIA has developed a cyber liability program to address the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Phase I offers a discounted policy premium to our members, with enhancements not typically offered by competitors. Phase II will be available for PIA members to offer to your small and medium business clients. Premium discounts and policy enhancements will also be offered.

PIA Market Access Program PIA has partnered with InsureZone, Inc., based in Fort Worth Texas, to create a PIA-branded version of their AgentSecure platform. Through the PIA Market Access Program, PIA members will be able to access personal and commercial lines markets from a number of companies, and will be able to get quotes from most of these companies through a technologically advanced rater and lead management system. Agents needing markets to augment their existing agency appointments will have the opportunity to rate business from both their agency contracts and the InsureZone contracts in one platform (“Best of Both Worlds� option). PIA members using the PIA Market Access Program will receive higher commissions and have lower monthly access fees than agents using the existing AgentSecure platform. There may also be an opportunity for agents to receive contingency payments. Members: watch for more information in the near future on both of these exciting new programs!


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Agency/Agent Assistance Agency Agreement Review Before you sign the contract: PIA offers a review service for both members and carriers. To use PIA's agency agreement review services, first read the material here so you understand PIA's process. Then please contact Roxanne Johnson, Director of Administration & Meetings at (703) 518-1343 or Why Is an Agency Agreement Review Necessary? Agency agreements define the relationship between a particular carrier and the independent agents that take the carrier's product to the public. As is the case with many legal documents, agency agreements can often contain ambiguous, confusing, and outdated provisions. Coupled with unforeseen market changes and new statutory, regulatory and case law, the provisions of an agency agreement may unwittingly misstate the legal obligations of both the carrier and the agent in the contract. In today's compliance crazed industry, misunderstanding one's obligations can spell the difference between a thriving agency and one that struggles to stay afloat. To help combat this problem, PIA continues to offer its agency agreement review service to both carriers and member agents. By working together with these parties, PIA strives to improve not only the legal document, but also the business relationship between carrier and agent. The Goal of the Agency Agreement Review Service PIA's goal for agency agreements can be simply stated with three terms: flexibility, clarity, and fairness. Flexibility is needed so that an agency agreement can withstand drastic changes in the insurance market due to unforeseen occurrences like acts of terrorism and the shifting climate of federal and state laws and litigation that require changes in the way carriers and agents perform their duties. Flexibility can be achieved, but only through careful planning and the proper drafting of an agreement. Clarity is also necessary to have an effective agreement. All too often, people are intimidated by the "legalese" that permeates legal documents. They do not understand what they read and sign legally binding documents without knowing exactly to what they are obligating themselves. PIA recognizes this phenomenon and works diligently to clarify the language of an agency agreement. Language that clearly and simply defines both parties' obligations under a contract is necessary to ensure that each party can live up to those obligations. This clarity can be achieved by replacing confusing verbiage with straightforward language.

Finally, fairness is necessary in an effective agency agreement. Contracts are often viewed with skepticism and suspicion. Each party wonders if the other is attempting to take advantage of the other with misleading or ambiguous language. By simplifying the language and obligations in an agreement and educating agents about their construction and implementation, PIA's review service alleviates this problem and helps to create a flexible, clear and fair agreement. The Service The response from member agents and carriers in the years that PIA has offered the agency agreement review service has been overwhelming. This reinforces the belief of PIA that the service is not only an important benefit, but one that has reached its intended recipients and provided great value to their respective businesses. In order to continue to meet the needs of PIA members in a timely fashion, please be sure to review the process prior to contacting PIA. TEXAS CONNECTION - TEXAS PROFESSIONAL INSURANCE AGENTS DIGITAL JOURNAL

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Omnia Behavioral Insight Profile In just 10 minutes or less, our behavioral assessment tool gives you insight to take the guesswork out of personnel decisions. Whether you are hiring a new employee, deciding on future roles for current employees, team building or creating a succession plan for your agency, Omnia can help. PIA Member Benefit Complimentary behavioral assessment. How can a behavioral assessment help your agency? • • • • •

Learn if a CSR will fit with your team Compare job candidates with top staff Uncover management challenges Maximize your employees' potential Answer the question "Can your producers really sell?"

Free Webinars Produced by The Omnia Group exclusively for PIA, webinars include subjects for those agents who are in a managerial, sales, leadership and human resources roles. Be sure to join us in these upcoming webinars as we discuss problems and solutions on topics like sales culture, communication, conflict resolution, team development, and much more.

Learn How Omnia Can Help You

Register Now

Contact Carletta Clyatt at 800-525-7117 or Be sure to mention that you’re a PIA Member. Or visit for more information on how to get started on your free assessment. Bonus: PIA members also receive an additional free assessment with initial package purchase!


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Cyber 101 Essential Information You and Your Clients Need to Know About Cyber

Fact: 62% of cyber-attacks target small and mid-size businesses.

The PIA Partnership brings PIA members and agents appointed by Partnership companies an educational resource to gain practical knowledge about the cyber risks faced by businesses and the insurance coverages that have evolved to help protect those businesses. This knowledge will in turn help these agents determine what cyber coverages to recommend to their clients and prospects.

Risk are on the rise, yet many small businesses still believe that hackers and cyber-criminals tend to target large businesses, leaving themselves unprepared. Cyber 101 gives you the education to give your clients advice on appropriate coverages for their small business.

The PIA Partnership has created this cyber education resource to help independent agents understand cyber risks so that they can better protect their agencies and their clients' businesses. We believe that small businesses have seven primary cyber exposures: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Fraudulent Funds Transfers Extortion / Ransomware Social Engineering Business Interruption Data Breach/Privacy Network Security Website Media Liability

To view live and recorded webinars and to access materials on these topics, as well as to download general information for your clients, and resources for agents to master cyber, PIA members and agencies appointed by Partnership companies: Click here to access Cyber 101.

Next Webinar: Website Media Liability Tuesday, 7/10/18 at 1:00 PM CT Sign Up Now Website media liability provides coverage for infringement of copyright or trademark, invasion of privacy, libel, slander, plagiarism or negligence arising out of the content on the organization's website. Most businesses, including independent insurance agencies, understand that content-rich websites are important to marketing results. Learn how to provide the necessary coverage options, while maintaining quality content for yourself and your clients.


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DocIT for Agents Traffic Violation Reporting Tool PIA members across America are discovering the many advantages of using DocIT for Agents. Using DocIT for Agents’ driver violation information, PIA members can help applicants for auto insurance policies recall their motor vehicle violations early in the quoting process, find undisclosed drivers in a household, and better place drivers with the right auto insurance carrier earlier in the quoting process. As a result, agents are saving time quoting auto insurance, reducing MVR chargeback fees from carriers and other MVR costs, and making auto insurance sales more profitable for their agency. What Is DocIT for Agents? DocIT for Agents is an online service that contains violation information on drivers sourced directly from court records (not the MVR). When referenced early in the applicant conversation, this information leads to a more accurate initial quote which greatly improves the customer experience. In addition, MVR expenses are reduced for those applicants who might otherwise drop after the policy is bound due to a subsequent premium increase when additional violations are discovered later in the process. These traffic violation reports are available to PIA members for as little as 75¢ per transaction.

Questions? Ready to get started? Contact: Erin Reilly at Drivers History at 609.472.8721 or


DocIT for Agents 60-day Trial To help PIA members try this new service, we worked with our friends at Drivers History to create a no-risk 60-day trial. Sign up for a 60 day trial period before locking into a 1 year subscription.


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Four Keys to Massive Sales Success by John Chapin I was recently speaking with an extremely successful executive (he asked to remain anonymous) who is known for being able to walk into an organization, clear away all the clutter and b.s., and make them extremely successful. He boiled his process down to four keys which can also be applied to successful selling. Key #1: Simplicity The formula for success in sales really is simple. It comes down to talking to enough of the right people the right way. That means talking to plenty of qualified prospects and having the skills necessary to find a problem, solve the problem, and getting them to take action on the solution. Where people complicate the issue is when they start looking for the shortcuts, the simpler, easier way. There isn’t one. Hiding behind social media, e-mail, and reactive marketing will never take the place of in-person calls and phone calls. Set your annual, monthly, and weekly goals, and then calculate your daily activity (how many people you need to talk to). From there, practice and prepare for all sales situations and scenarios. Finally, get out there and make the contacts necessary. As a salesperson, producer, agent, or whatever you call yourself, your first job is to sell. Everything else is just a distraction. Simple. Key #2: Innovation Innovation is all about value and standing out from the rest of the pack. How do you deliver more, how are you better, and how are you different in a good way? Just as important, how can you deliver more, how can you be better, and how can you be different in a good way? Where are you, your company, and your product truly unique and how can you further adapt, change, improve, and stand out (deliver more value)? Of course this begins with you. You are the one thing the competition does not have. If you are willing to out-service, out-work, and out-relationship the competition, you will stand out. How can you personally deliver more value? It can start with handwritten thank-you notes and gifts to let people know they are appreciated. It can include adding products and services, or augmenting them. You can also add hours of operation, be more responsive, or add features such as home delivery. You’re looking for anything that enhances and improves the client experience. Anything that better meets the needs, wants, and desires of the client. Innovation also means not resting on your laurels and realizing that what has made you successful thus far, may not be what makes you successful in the future. This is challenging the old rule of “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it”, by improving further on what already works. It’s refusing to say, “This is the way we’ve always done it” and “That’s good enough.” It’s asking questions like, “How can we bring something completely new to the industry?” “How can we turn the standard way of doing business on its ear?” “How can we reinvent the wheel and make it better?” Bottom line: what can you do to further standout and deliver more value? Key #3: Passion Successful people at the highest levels are the most passionate about what they are doing. For many, their work is not work, it’s love, they’d do it for free. Passion is all about the personal


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WHY. It is the deep-rooted reason you work crazy hours, persist through failure after failure, and keep getting up no matter how many times you get knocked down. Ideally that passion comes from helping clients, a strong belief that people want and need your product, and enthusiasm about the personal life that sales allows you to live. For most people, the personal why is the strongest. This usually includes either proving something to yourself and others, acquiring money and possessions that give you feelings of fulfillment and help you reach your highest life values such as freedom, helping and contributing to the important people in your life such as your kids, parents, and friends, or a combination of all three. In many older clients I’ve also seen a passion to get out and help new customers knowing that their years of experience put them in a unique position to “save” others. Still other people may have a passion for meeting new people and making new friends. Others have such a belief in their product they seem to have a save-the-world mentality. Whatever your passion is, it is the fuel that will drive you and keep you going. If strong enough, it will get you up early, keep you up late, and give you tons of energy. In order to find it you have to ask yourself what’s important to you in life. What will you fight for or die for? What are your most important values? What do you care most about? Once you know what those deep, emotional drivers are, the next step is to tie those to going out and selling your product or service. Key #4: Execution This is all about taking action. Getting out there and doing what needs to be done. Nike. “Just do it.” Once you know what you want to do and why you’re doing it, put a quick plan together and take action on it. Don’t make it a big complicated plan, again, think simple. Then execute on the plan as soon as possible. Don’t worry about it being perfect either. Just take action and then course correct as you go. Generally speaking, the more action you take, the faster you’ll get to success.

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.

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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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Texas News Round-Up TxDMV Warns Buyers to Beware of FloodDamaged Vehicles More than eight months after Hurricane Harvey damaged an estimated 500,000 cars and trucks, Texans are still at risk of unknowingly purchasing flood-damaged vehicles....more Texas Governor Unveils School Safety Plan, Proposed Gun Law Changes Less than two weeks after 10 people were killed in a southeast Texas school shooting, Gov. Greg Abbott laid out a 40-page, 40-strategy plan for preventing future school shootings, and left the door open to calling lawmakers back to Austin to pass some of those priorities...more Backers of Easing Texas Medical Marijuana Laws Target Rural Areas Proponents of loosening marijuana prohibitions in the state are mounting a concerted effort to take their message to West Texas and other predominantly rural regions of the state. That’s because they concluded in the wake of last year’s legislative session that support among lawmakers had less to do with political affiliation than with the proximity of their districts to major urban centers...more Texas Workers’ Comp Study: 40% of Claimants Have Previous Work Injuries There are about 200,000 new claims in each year in the Texas workers’ compensation system, representing about 2 percent of covered Texas employees. About 40 percent of those new claims involve claimants who have had at least one previous work injury…more Arthur J. Gallagher Closes Acquisition of Texas MGA, Pronto Insurance Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. has completed the acquisition of Brownsville, Texas-based managing general agency (MGA), broker and claims administrator Pronto Insurance…more Texas Insurance Commissioner Launches ‘Keep it Simple’ Campaign Texas Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan is aiming to ensure that plain language prevails at the Texas Department of Insurance website with a “keep it simple” campaign...more Texas Mutual Distributing $1M in Safety Education Grants to 10 Colleges Austin-based workers’ compensation insurer, Texas Mutual Insurance Co., is awarding $1 million in grants to 10 colleges across Texas to fund workplace safety courses for employers, workers and the general public...more 12 Indicted on Property Insurance Fraud Charges in Southeast Texas A federal grand jury in Beaumont, Texas, has returned a 40-count indictment charging 12 individuals with federal violations related to a $1.7 million insurance fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown announced...more

Texas Calls for 2017 Commercial Property, Businessowners Premium Data The Texas Department of Insurance has issued a special data call to companies writing direct commercial property or businessowners insurance in Texas catastrophe areas during calendar year 2017...more More Texans Exposed to Tornadoes Amid Urban Sprawl Mark Fox cringes every time he relives the day his worst weather nightmare came true. ...more Do you have news to share? Email with your story. Download Latest Issue


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Profile for Texas Professional Insurance Agents

Texas Connection July 2018  

Texas Connection July 2018  

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