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Published by Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado

Colorado Insurance News

Volume 26, Issue 4 • April 2018



On leadership

Management is not about power. Here are 11 requirements for your success.



In common Generations are more partners than they are competitors.




Don’t trip ...

Slips, trips and falls are the leading cause of workplace accidents. Here’s how to minimize them.


Nearing the end, quietly “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.” — Benjamin Franklin

Not so fast

Artificial Intelligence continues to gain, but customers say they still crave personal touch By CARl MAERZ Rocket Referrals Last year, I attended a conference that hosted several hundred of the industry’s most forwardthinking insurance professionals. Our company was co-sponsoring the event, which aimed to help agents prepare for the next generation of insurance consumers. Everything was going well; agents were learning new things, sharing ideas, and even enjoying a craft beer or two. Then it was as if someone at the party suddenly yanked the cord from the jukebox. A company was showcasing new technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help sell more policies. Following their presentation, you’d think that many of the agents saw Keanu Reeves bust through

the door and tell them the matrix was going to take their jobs. They were spooked. There was no way they could enlist robots in their office to do what these guys were doing. They didn’t have millions of dollars to invest in cutting-edge technology. They were suddenly insurance dinosaurs, and they were in trouble. Or so they thought. After witnessing their reaction to that presentation, I became aware of a deeper myth held among some independent agents: that they are at odds with technology and an increasingly digital culture. And that clients would soon prefer interacting with a computer or nameless rep than a local agent. Customer behavior is moving toward genuine

See PERSONAL, page 8

The 2018 session of the Colorado General Assembly is moving along without too much excitement, at least with regard to insurance matters. While nothing too ugly has been introduced so far, going into the last few weeks of the session can Gary Frisch bring some TCCO Government difficult late bills. Affairs Chair The session ends May 19. Here are some of the bills we have been following: House Bills 1261 and 1262. These are the arbitration bills that would make it more difficult to use arbitration in matters such as construction defect litigation. The bills are agenda items for the trial lawyers. The bills passed the House, as expected, but will have a short life in the Senate. Hearings on both bills are scheduled for April 18 in Senate State Affairs. TCCO has a monitor position on both bills.

UPDATE, page 10

inside Get Smart

In-person and online, pre-licensing to professional development, here’s your education slate....................... Page 2

Always right?

We’re all familiar with the common adage, but should customers be accountable, too? ............. Page 4


IT risks are increasing in both frequency and variety. Here’s what to do, and not to do .......... Page 6

2 April 2018 |

TCCO Education Calendar

Colorado Insurance News


May 2-4: CIC commercial Property – Denver May 8: CISR Insuring Commercial Property – Denver


June 6-7: Graduate Ruble Seminar - Denver June 19: William T. Hold Seminar - Denver June 27 CPIA 1 – Position for Success - Denver June 28 CPIA 2 – Implement for Success - Denver June 29 CPIA 3 – Sustain Success - Denver

(ISSN 10891854) Volume 26, Issue 4, April 2018 Copyright 2018 by Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado, Inc. All rights reserved.

Colorado Insurance News is published electronically each month by the Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado, 8354 Northfield Boulevard, Suite 2710, Denver, Colorado 80238.

To join our distribution list, click here.

The mission of the Trusted Choice


Insurance Agents of Colorado, working in the public’s best interest, is to advance, foster and protect professional insurance agents, satisfy their educational, political and business needs, and provide professional products and services that will create a mutually beneficial environment for our members while maintaining the highest ethical business standards.

July 10: CISR Commercial Casualty II – Fort Collins July 11-13: CIC Agency Management – Denver July 24: CISR Personal Residential - Denver


August 7 CISR Agency Operations - Denver August 8-10 CIC Life and Health - Denver August 28 CISR Life and Health Essentials - Denver

To advertise in Colorado Insurance News, contact TCCO at 303.512.0627. Ad rates per issue: Full-page, $500; halfpage island, veritcal or horizontal, $350; quarter-page, $250; eighth-page, $200. Deadline for ads is the 1st of the month prior to publication. __________________________

On Demand CE Webcasts

Business Income – Beyond the Basics COPE – Property Underwriting and Effective Loss Control Cyber Insurance – Training for Agents and Brokers Directors and Officers Liability Insurance Double Trouble – COI and Business Auto Endorsements E&O Risk Management – Meeting the Challenge of Change Ethics and Business Ethical Issues – Personal & Organizational Homeowners Insurance Reform Act Liability Issues to Worry About – Indemnity Agreements and Add’l Insureds NFIP Basic Course Personal Lines Claims that Cause Problems Top 5 Life Insurance Uses Top 10 WC Risks Employers Unknowingly Assume

Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado, Inc. 8354 Northfield Boulevard, Suite 2710, Denver, Colorado 80238 office 303.512.0627 fax 303.512.0575 __________________________

TCCO Officers

Gail Salazar Chairman of the Board Jenny Broomhall Chair-Elect of the Board Charles Hix Past Chairman of the Board Susy Freeman Fischer Vice Chairman of the Board Gary Frisch National Director Steve Pierce Exec Comm Member At-Large _____________________

Property and Casualty Pre-Licensing Changes to the Licensing Exam April 12-13, 2018 June 11-12, 2018 September 24-25, 2018 November 29-30, 2018

On Demand Professional Development and CE NFIP Changes Video Series New Hire Training Associate in Insurance Account Management (AIAM) CSR Essentials Series Ultimate Account Manager Series Powerhouse Learning Professional Development Business Body Language Series Guides to Training and Perpetuation Self-Study CE

TCCO Directors

Doug Grande Mike Adams Chris Eldredge Uwe “Trout” Kirch J.B. Woods _____________________

Your TCCO Team 303.512.0627

What’s New?

What’s Not?

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Average annual growth in premium in excess of 25% per year for the past five.

Ongoing product and service enhancements to win renewals and keep a high retention ratio.

Broader appetite for select risks (including Total Insured Property Values as high as $50 million for certain industries and risks).

Our focus on being data-driven and using business intelligence to gain a competitive edge.

A superior combined ratio that (according to A.M. Best) outperforms our peers.

Our commitment to distribution through independent agents!

Higher A.M. Best financial size (i.e., “X”).

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Insurance Companies

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Bryan Bernier Chief Executive Officer Cybil Lovas Operations Nicole Hanna Vice President, ASC Jessa Osborne Account Manager Jasmyne Lucero Account Manager Christina Mertens Account Manager Tracy Romond Account Manager Sue Ketchum Accounting Director Erin Joiner Administrative Assistant

April 2018 |


Leadership, not power

Here are 11 requirements for management success By CHRIS BOGGS Big I Virtual University Employees are your greatest expense, but they are also your most valuable asset. The loss of great or even just a “good” employee has a tremendous effect on the agency. A lot of “experts” postulate that good employees don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. I don’t fully or always agree with that philosophy. Your employees may love you, but they may not like some of the inconsistencies they feel exist in the agency, or the lack of structure in their work. In essence, you may not manage them the way they need to be managed. Two truisms of management are: 1. You can’t necessarily manage people the way you like to be managed. Personally, I like to be left alone. Tell me what you want done and when you need it done and then let me do my job. It would be a mistake for me to treat another employee that way if he or she needs and wants constant contact, feedback and confirmation); and 2. You can’t manage everyone the same way. If you manage a person that doesn’t require much oversight and a person who craves (and even needs) constant attention the same way, you’re going to drive one of them nuts – and they will leave. So, the employee may like you personally, they just don’t like how they are managed. As a manager, you have to lead on an individualized basis. Don’t misunderstand, there must be “corporate” rules, but each person must be guided differently towards compliance with those group or “corporate” rules. Following are 11 “rules” or guidelines around the goal of successful management. Each rule contains nuances not detailed here, but that doesn’t diminish their usefulness: 1. Hire smart, ethical, positive, and customer-centric people. All four characteristics are required, three out of four isn’t good enough. If any one of these four is lacking, you are hiring a future problem. 2. Teach your employees the history of the agency. This gives them a

sense of place and pride that they are now part of the story. To misquote Walt Whitman and Dead Poets Society, everyone wants to contribute a verse. When your employees know the history, they are excited because they are contributing a verse to the agency’s story. 3. Create a picture of what you want the agency to accomplish. If you have a vision, the employees need to see the vision, and maybe it will become their vision. When your vision becomes your employee’s vision, the agency is guaranteed to reach its goals. 4. Create a clear vision of what you want that person to accomplish. Everyone wants to know their place and how they contribute. Remember, “I need to feel needed.” Again, the right employees (back to Rule 1.) want to contribute a verse to your company; help them do that by

explaining their place in the agency and your goal for that position (and even them personally). 5. Give them the tools, or access to the tools, necessary to accomplish the vision you have cast for the agency and them personally. 6. Be available. Always be there if needed; but balance accessibility with the need for them to learn and do their job. It’s too easy and sometimes expedient to just do it for them. If you do that, they don’t learn anything; and you won’t get your own job done. But the worst part about not letting the employee do his or her own work, there is no sense of accomplishment or contribution. 7. GET OUT OF THE WAY! – While remembering rule 6 (Be available), let them work. 8. STAY out of the way! Yes, you must manage each employee according to their style, but in doing

that, don’t get in the way of their personal accomplishments. 9. If you think about getting in the way and imposing your will, think, “Is it worth losing this employee just to get my own way?” Of course, don’t let them do anything that will get the agency in regulatory, contractual or financial trouble, that’s not what I mean. There are still standards that must be followed; I’m talking about style. They may interact and work differently than you, but unless their style disrupts operations – let them work. 10. Praise great results! Notice I said GREAT results. Don’t praise someone for just doing their job – praise when they do a great job. When I sold my first policy I was very happy, the agency manager said, “Congratulations on doing your job.”

See LEADERSHIP, page 9

4 April 2018 | ‘Generations are not competitors for life’s satisfactions. They are partners in the search for well-being.’

Always right? We know the adage, but are you holding your customers accountable? By CURT PEARSALL Pearsall Associates, Inc.

Common bonds

When managing employees of multiple generations, focus on their similaries rather than their differences By JENNIE HOLLMANN and GENEVIEVE CARLTON Caliper Are you Gen X? Gen Y? Baby boomer? Generation Next? Does it matter at work? When do our differences enhance communication and productivity and when can those differences get in the way? Communication dynamics can be either a source of conflict or can lead to cooperation, collaboration and a more balanced team. For leaders, the differences that intergenerational teams bring to the workplace can be an asset in creating a varied idea exchange as well as a source of innovation. The power of five: Never before have five generations been represented in the labor force. From traditionalists born before 1945 to linkers born after 1995 and just beginning to enter the workforce, we are at a unique period of time in the workforce. For those who

touch talent management, the opportunities and challenges are many. There are a lot of comments about and stereotypes of each generation. Stereotypes may be generationspecific; “Those baby boomers are self-absorbed,” “Gen Yers act entitled,” and so on. Some people understand differences exist but question why it matters: Doesn’t everyone want the same thing anyway? While there are generational differences in both attitudes and experiences, the Center for Creative Leadership has found that most of us have similar core values, want to be challenged at work and want a leader we can trust. However, we may express ourselves differently and have preferences on how we want to communicate and be managed. Conflict is common: According to a recent Lee Hecht Harrison survey, 60 percent of employers report experiencing intergenerational conflict of some kind.


Is a lack of customer accountability an issue in your agency? Do you ask yourself, “Why is it always our fault when a customer has a loss that is not covered? They knew that they didn’t have that coverage.” This is one of the bigger frustrations among insurance agencies, making it an appropriate errors-andomissions (E&O) objective on which to focus. An agency would be hardpressed to hold customers accountable without a well-documented file. When an E&O claim happens, the E&O carrier will look to secure the actual file in question, whether it’s paper or electronic, to review what is in it. This file will also be available to the plaintiff’s attorney. Solid documentation will make the E&O carrier’s job much easier. This assumes that the documentation is prompt, accurate, and professional. A file with sketchy documentation could prove to be a challenge in an E&O matter. Document and memorialize in writing Twenty-five years ago, when a client would call with a question or a decision on a coverage, the agency standard was to document that discussion in the agency file. Nothing more, nothing less. Today, that is not enough. While these discussions should be documented in the system, they should also be memorialized back to the client in a written format – by email, letter, etc. Without some form of documentation that confirms or memorializes the discussion to the customer, it will be the agency’s word versus the client’s word if an uninsured loss has occurred. You might be surprised about what a client will say in such instances. The goal is to address any potential misunderstandings between what the customer told you or thought they told you and what you heard. Simply documenting the conversation in the agency management system does not help to identify a misunderstanding. Documentation to the customer should occur in a variety of circumstances. Here are some examples: • The client was given a proposal, but does not say “yes” to all the coverages proposed. There should be clear documentation on which coverages were purchased and which were not. Wording can be as simple as, “At this time, the following coverages have not been bound …” followed by the list. • The client asks about how coverage would apply, such as, “Mom and Dad are now in a nursing home and the house is vacant. What do I need to know?” The answers to such



April 2018 |

Preventing slips, trips and falls at the workplace Did you knowPreventing slips, tripsSlips, andTrips falls and (STFs) are the leading cause of general Falls at Your Workplace workplace accidents and injuries? Employee injuries range from minor bruises Did you know slips, trips and falls (STFs) are the leading cause of general workplace accidents to severe traumas such as head injuries, broken bones, sprains and laceraandIninjuries? Employee from minor bruises to severe traumas causes such as head tions. fact, STFs are injuries oftenrange reported as the most common of workers’ injuries, broken claims. bones, sprains and lacerations. In fact, STFs are often reported as the most compensation causes of workers' compensation claims. STFs Acommon comprehensive checklist to prevent • Use slip-resistant footwear. A comprehensive checklist to prevent STFs • Clean up floors and working surfaces promptly when they become wet. •• Provide warning signs for wet floor areas. Use slip-resistant footwear. •• Practice safe housekeeping such as cleaning only one side Clean up floors and working surfaces procedures, promptly when they become wet. of a passageway at a time. • Provide warning signs for wet floor areas. • Where there are wet or oily processes, maintain drainage, platforms, • Practice safe housekeeping procedures, such as cleaning only one side of a passageway at nonslip mats or floor surfaces, or other dry standing areas. Use no-skid waxes a time. coated with grit to create nonslip surfaces in slippery areas such and surfaces • Where are wetareas. or oily processes, maintain drainage, platforms, nonslip mats or floor as toilet andthere shower • Make sure thatdry floor drains, other opening are or surfaces, or other standing areas.pits Useand no-skid waxesfloor and surfaces coated withcovered grit to secured by guardrails. create nonslip surfaces in slippery areas such as toilet and shower areas. •• Provide floor plugs forpits equipment, power cords or don’t obstruct pathMake sure that floor drains, and other floorso opening are covered secured by ways. guardrails. Temporary electrical cords that must cross aisles should be taped or anchored to the floor. • Provide floor plugs for equipment, so power cords don’t obstruct pathways. Temporary • Aisles and passageways should be sufficiently wide for easy movement electrical cords cross aisles should be taped or anchored to the floor. and kept clear at that all must times. Aisles and passageways shouldthat be sufficiently for easy movement and kept clear at all •• Re-lay or stretch carpets bulge wide or bunch. • Eliminate cluttered or obstructed work areas and keep file cabinet drawtimes. ers closed. • Re-lay or stretch carpets that bulge or bunch. •• Provide forwork all halls and stairwells, during night Eliminate good clutteredlighting or obstructed areas and keep file cabinet especially drawers closed. hours. Providestairs good lighting all halls handrails, and stairwells,that especially during night hours. •• Ensure havefor proper treads and risers are maintained and• that treads have a slip-resistant surface. Ensure stairs have proper handrails, that treads and risers are maintained and that treads • Instruct workers tosurface. use stair handrails, avoid undue speed and maintain a have a slip-resistant clear view ahead; encourage employees to request help moving bulky loads. • Instruct workers to use stair handrails, avoid undue speed and maintain a clear view ahead; • Eliminate uneven floor surfaces. encourage employees to request help moving bulky loads. • Make sure elevated storage and work surfaces have guardrails, toe • Eliminate uneven floor surfaces. boards and a safe means of access. • Use only properly maintained ladders with uniformly spaced rungs and nonslip safety feet to reach items. Do not use stools, chairs or boxes as substitutes for ladders. • Train employees to safely use ladders. Pinnacol and other resources For information, standards and training that can help prevent STFs, visit the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and National Safety Council websites. Also, check out the two-minute video, posters, checklists and other support available at Or call Pinnacol’s Safety On Call hotline at 303-361-4700 or 888-501-4752.

NOMINATE: Nominations are now being accepted for the 2018 Outstanding Customer Service Representative of the Year® award. Nominate yourself or a deserving colleague.

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2017 National Outstanding CSR of the Year Winner Brianne Head, CIC, CRIS

ENTER: Write a 1,000-word essay on the 2018 customer service topic specified on the Nomination Form. Entries are due no later than May 1, 2018. WIN: The national winner receives a $ 2,000 cash award; national finalists win $ 500; nominate the national winner, and receive $1,000! For more information about the award and to access the nomination and entry forms, visit: © 2018. The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research.

Questions? Email Cybil -


6 April 2018 |

Cybersecurity dos and don’ts By THOMAS CASELLA, Esq. Utica National Insurance Group Every minute, we are seeing about half a million attack attempts that are happening in cyber space, according to Derek Manky, Fortinet Global Security Strategist. Cybersecurity risks are increasing exponentially in both frequency and variety. Protecting customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) is becoming a greater concern for small- to mid-sized companies, including insurance agencies.

See SECURITY, page 10

“We guard our clients. But who is looking out for us?”

“Your fellow agents are.

Running the largest locally-owned risk services and insurance firm in Central Texas keeps me busy, but I also make time for a volunteer job that truly matters to me.

[Photo of Mr. Harrison]

As chair of the Big ”I”

Professional Liability Committee, I work with a group

William E. Harrison, Jr. comprised of your fellow agents and President, Texas Associates, S.A. association staff that meets with one common goal: to oversee and advise the Big “I” Professional Liability Program, ensuring that our voice is heard and that agent interests are represented in the ongoing

Not many Big “I” members are aware of this committee working on your behalf, and indeed it is unique in the industy. No other professional liability product in the marketplace is bene tting from formal, direct agent input. But our program surely has. From specific coverages that have been added to enhance the exclusive Big “I” policy form to maintaining long-term program stability and availablity, our voice has and will continue to be heard through this partnership, and the result has been the continued success of the Big “I” Professional Liability program, the strongest and most stable program in the nation.

As agents, we do everything in our power to ensure our clients are protected. We thought you might like to know that when it comes to protecting your agency, your livelihood, in many cases your very family’s future–that your fellow agents have got your back.

To receive a proposal, please contact Nicole at or (303) 512-0627.

GENERATIONS, from page 4 Let’s keep in mind that the impact of intergenerational communication and conflict spans beyond the human resources department. Organizations that successfully manage conflict embrace and accommodate differences and tend to respect what people from different generations bring to the workforce. Success stems from understanding the strengths and differences each generation offers and in turn, leveraging those strengths and creating a work environment that values them. The economy and growth of technology mediate the impact of generations moving in and out of the workforce. As baby boomers retire, Gen X and Yers will be poised for career opportunities. However, one impact of the current economy is that workers are delaying retirement age. The growth and speed of technology change continues to impact how we communicate and learn in the workforce. The younger generations have been referred to as “technology natives.” Obviously, the differences between generations impacts recruiting: one size does not fit all when it comes to attracting talent! An awareness of generational differences can help companies target their recruiting strategies, especially in identifying the most effective media for communicating with appropriate candidates. Where they live: For example, Baby Boomers are the most diverse media users, but they are not likely to create blogs and download videos. Also, although they are very internet savvy, Boomers still often read the newspaper in print form. In contrast, Generation X reads newspapers online and is also the generation most likely to use the Internet to research job opportunities. They tend to focus on the quality of a company’s website and are more likely to listen to the radio than other generations. When recruiting Generation Y, the best way to reach them is through technology and their peers, who are best suited to answer their questions and understand their viewpoint. They tend to be comfortable with all forms of online media, including podcasts, blogs and instant messaging, and are the only generation who prefers to communicate through cell phone texts rather than via e-mail. By using an awareness of generational communication styles and targeting outreach to candidates through their preferred media, companies can make the best use of their recruiting dollars. The HR executive can use this information to resolve conflicts, support team development, head off the influence of stereotypes and support, develop and retain a diverse workforce. In the words of Harold L. Sheppard, University of South Florida: “Generations are not competitors for life’s satisfactions; they are partners in the search for well-being.” Jennie Hollmann, Ph.D., is director of organizational research for Caliper, STAFDA’s employee assessment consultant. Genevieve Carlton is account consultant. Reprinted with permission of Caliper and IIABA.

April 2018 |


ACCOUNTABLE, from page 4 questions must be accurate and documented. • The client has signed the completed application. The best type of documentation involves something with the insured’s signature on it. Holding a customer accountable is enhanced when an agency can get their signature on a document. In virtually all legal jurisdictions, a customer will be held responsible for the accuracy of the information in an application if they signed it. Be sure to have the client review the application before asking them to sign it. • The agency provides a quality proposal to

the client. This should include: 1) a variety of limit options; 2) definitions of key insurance terms; 3) specimen policies to allow your client to read the actual forms that will be part of their insurance coverage; and 4) a list of other coverages for the client to consider. Since it is not possible to list all coverages, the disclaimer should state, “Coverages include, but are not limited to, the following…” • Interaction with customers involving key information. An added benefit Make “enhancing customer accountability”

one of your agency’s goals. In addition to better protecting your agency from E&O claims, you may find your agency writing more business as well. Curt Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA, is President of Pearsall Associates, Inc. and Special Consultant to the Utica National E&O Program. 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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“Our agency was approached by our Selective territory manager, Gregg Porter, to roll a portion of our ood business from another carrier to Selective. We were pleasantly surprised at how easy and seamless the whole process was. Gregg came into our office and basically did all the work for us. We had a high success rate and couldn’t be happier with Selective. Their customer service representatives and underwriters are very knowledgeable, friendly and always helpful. We are very satised with the whole experience and with Selective!” – IIABL Member Selective makes the transfer process easy and profitable for IIABA members. Selective does not use any third party administrators for our processing, which allows us to tailor a transfer plan that works for both you and your customers. Our team will work directly with your agency to collect the required underwriting documents. Then our rollover underwriting team will handle the processing, including sending out a letter to your customers letting them know of the change. We also provide you with a real-time rollover tracking report to help monitor the status of the transfer. Selective offers competitive commissions and transfer incentives for rollover business.

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8 April 2018 | PERSONAL, from page 1 relationships, and away from faceless automation. The agent of the future will embrace technology, and implement tools that improve their capacity to establish and maintain meaningful relationships. This concern is reasonable, when you consider the recent talk of world-dominating insurance companies and their armies of algorithms and robots. But rather than waiting for a hypothetical tipping point when innovation may render them obsolete, today’s insurance agents should embrace technology. They should be excited about the new tech available to them and their position in today’s market. Automation should enhance the agents’ ability to connect with their clients, not make it obsolete. Positioning: Zig when they zag The insurance industry is engaged in a rat race to attract the modern consumer. The trend is to create tools and processes that make buying and managing insurance more convenient. Ultimately, it seems, the goal is to make everything as simple

as pushing a couple of buttons on a smartphone. Leading the charge are the direct carriers with their phone apps, do-it-all websites, and cute mascots that hope to reassure you that they’re a friendly (and totally not faceless) corporation. This often prompts independent agencies to feel like they need to play catch-up, so they focus their energy on obtaining the same technology as the big guys. After all, this is what consumers want, right? Not exactly. Although convenience is important, consumers today are craving personalization and meaningful interactions with businesses more than anything else. In 2015, the Huffington Post reported that, above all, Millennials — and their $200 billion in annual buying power — are seeking “authentic messages, authentic brands, and authentic interactions.” We are seeing a move toward people making use of local businesses, as they desire interaction with real human beings, not faceless corporations.

This is good news for insurance agencies, as they are positioned to benefit from this shift in culture. An agent is an actual person—as opposed to a random representative—who knows the customer, puts customers’ interests first, and has their back, when needed. Tech tools to help, not hinder I’m not suggesting that insurance agents ditch technology all together. Quite the opposite, in facI encourage agents to adopt innovation that aligns with their strengths. Good agents are known for having personal and lasting relationships with their clients. They are known for providing excellent communication and service. They are known for offering choice and insurance that meets individual needs. The technology they implement should improve their capacity to deliver on these characteristics, rather than work against them. Embrace and enhance efficiency In any business, technology that helps improve the efficiency of day-to-day operations is a must.

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Insurance agencies can easily get bogged down if they don’t have the right systems in place to keep them organized and automate common tasks. This means investing in software that makes the agent’s job easier and gives them more time to focus on things that improve their bottom line. At the top of the list here is an agency management system (AMS). It should be tailored to the insurance industry, easy to use, and, above all, it must manage data effectively. The best systems are able to integrate with other technologies that bring their own advantages and core functionality. Make your customers feel heard An agent’s client base is their most important asset. Not only do clients provide recurring revenue, but they also shape an agency’s reputation and its ability to attract more customers moving forward. Technology now exists that can automatically measure client loyalty and put agents in control of overall retention and word-of-mouth. At Rocket Referrals, we believe in the Net Promoter Score (NPS), because it provides an accurate picture of how agencies are performing in the eyes of their customers. Agents can collect client feedback, gather testimonials, pinpoint clients at risk of leaving, and identify trends within the agency. These metrics are invaluable for agencies that seek to better connect with customers in ways that are important to them. Engaging clients for feedback not only signals a customer-centric business, it provides the agency with information needed to spot trends and provide a more tailored and authentic experience to their clients. This may be technology, but it is designed to help you connect with your clients and for them to feel heard. Communicate on a human level Research has proven that clients rank regular and meaningful communication above all else, when evaluating their insurance agency. Yet, although most agencies understand the importance of reaching out to clients, regular communication falls to the wayside when the agency grows. This often results in clients shopping for new insurance because they feel as if their agent doesn’t care about their relationship. And after all, what’s the point of having a nimble, independent agency if you just ignore your clients like the big guys do? The challenge for agents is finding a way to communicate with clients on an individual basis, rather than sending impersonal mass emails or newsletters. The solution is using systems that combine loyalty data collected from the NPS with other client details to deliver very personalized and targeted communication. The objective is to automate emails and direct mail that meet very specific goals of the agency. This includes improving retention, increasing online reviews, and inspiring referrals, to name a few. This way, you automate your communication, but the customer feels cared for individually. Win win.

See TOUCH, following page

April 2018 | TOUCH, from preceding page Other technology helps agents improve efficiency when answering and returning phone calls and email. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems can now plug directly into a management system and provide agents with important client details within seconds of a call coming in. I cannot overstate the importance of effective communication. Any system that helps agents communicate more effectively with their clients, while remaining authentic, is worth considering. Embrace the tech, but keep it meaningful Insurance agents’ competitors will try to convince them that they are on the wrong side of technology. But customer behavior is moving toward genuine relationships and away from faceless automation. The agent of the future will embrace technology, and implement tools that improve their capacity to establish and maintain meaningful relationships. Carl Maerz is the co-founder of Rocket Referrals, an automated communication strategy that helps agencies improve their referrals, retention, reviews and relationships. He aims to help local agencies leverage their advantages over direct carriers by replacing common industrial myths with relevant and practical advice. Contact Carl at This article was originally published in Rough Notes and is reprinted with permission of Rough Notes.


LEADERSHIP, from page 3 He saw no reason to praise me just because I did what I was hired to do. When you overly praise people for simply doing their job, your praise become worthless. It’s the “everybody gets a trophy” syndrome. Save praise for extraordinary work. When you do praise, praise in public. 11. Know how and when to discipline. If you are afraid to have the

“tough” conversations, your staff will run all over you. It’s your agency, you can’t be afraid to lead; and sometimes that means disciplining people and even cutting people loose, as harsh as that sounds. But if you did a good job with rule #1, it’s less likely you will ever have to do this. But remember, even though you praise in public, you discipline in private.

Management is about leadership, not power. Leaders cast the vision, lead by example, and make tough decisions when necessary. You set the course for your agency’s success, and your employees are a key to that success – this requires you to manage them well. Reprinted with permission of Chris Boggs and Big I Virtual University.

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10 April 2018 | SECURITY, from page 6

UPDATE, from page 1 House Bill 1128. This is the Attorney General’s bill regarding cyber security. The has been sitting in the House Appropriations Committee. TCCO has a monitor position. Senate Bill 136. Health Insurance Producer Fee. This bill is moving along. It passed the Senate and the House Committee of reference. TCCO supports this bill. House Bill 1308. Workers compensation reciprocity. The insurance industry has no issues with this bill. A Pinnacol amendment was added on the House floor to make a slight modification to the language. The bill passed the House on April 3, was introduced in the Senate, and assigned to Business, Labor and Technology. TCCO has not taken a position on this bill. House Bill 1298. Colorado Secure Savings Plan. This is a bill that would

set up a state sponsored retirement plan for employees of businesses that do not provide a plan. This bill has been introduced in previous years and is usually opposed by the business community. A Hearing was scheduled for April 5 in House Business Affairs. TCCO has not taken a position. This is the time of the year when the IIABA conducts its annual legislative conference. A contingent from Colorado, to be led by TCCO Chair Gail Salazar, will be in Washington, D.C. on April 18-19. The issues we will be discussing with Colorado Representatives and Senators are: flood insurance; crop insurance; tax reform; cybersecurity; insurance regulatory reform; and, health care. Since this is an election year, you will be hearing from us regarding contributions to both the IIABA Politi-

cal Action Committee (InsurPac) and our Colorado PAC. This election will be particularly important, since the retention or election of people supportive of insurance and business issues is critical. If you have donated in the past, please continue your support and give some thought to increasing the amount of your contribution. If you have not donated in the past, please give serious thought to doing so at this time. We have a very good insurance and business climate in Colorado; your support of these PACs will help to continue this favorable business climate. If you have any questions about the above mentioned bills or any others, or if you’d like to receive more information about a PAC contribution, contact me at 303-3896502 or

Your ASC/TCCO and Big ‘I’ Resources

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Agency Errors & Omissions: Several markets available; Westport/Swiss Re, Utica, Fireman’s Fund and Brokerage

RLI: Personal Umbrella and Home Business Policies

Pinnacol: Work Comp & Assigned Risk Work Comp

SECURA: Variety of Specialty Lines Products

AmTrust: Work Comp and Commercial Lines

The Hartford: Commercial Lines Products, Including Flood

Safeco: Personal Lines Products

Other …

Research indicates that 59 to 70 percent of breaches involve small companies. However, breaches can be prevented through proper training and appropriate protocols. Following these dos and don’ts can help shield your agency against claims for cybersecurity breaches and loss or theft of PII. DO • Become familiar with the various types of scams that are trending in cyber-attacks, such as phishing, whaling, personal engineering, ransomware, denial of service attacks, etc. • Use anti-virus software and regularly update no less than every 30 days. • Maintain firewalls on your computer system. • Back up servers and hard drives. • Use strong encryption on mobile devices and email transmissions. • Double-check email recipients and attachments before sending. • Keep your software and operating systems up to date with the latest patches. • Train your staff on safety protocols regarding email and internet usage. DON’T • Release funds or information without verifying with the recipient through nonelectronic channels. • Click on unknown attachments or links in emails or on websites. • Allow unauthorized access to your computer system or network. • Send PII through unencrypted emails or portals. • Use Wi-Fi networks that are unsecure. While these tips can help reduce the chance of a cyber-attack affecting your business and your customers, you must remain vigilant and be aware of who accesses information on your computer system. If a breach happens, notify your cyber liability insurance carrier immediately so that the proper precautions can be taken and the appropriate remedy enacted to minimize potential damage. 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. Thomas Casella, Esq., CCLA provided this content on behalf of Utica National Insurance Group. This article is reprinted with permission from Utica National Insurance Group.

2018 Signature Events TCCO Convention Sept. 12-13 Ameristar Casino Blackhawk, Colorado

Please contact Nicole Hanna for more information. Available to TCCO members. 303.512.0627 |

Nabity Golf Tournament June 25 Hiwan Golf Club Evergreen, Colorado

April 2018 coin  
April 2018 coin