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Published by Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado

Colorado Insurance News

Volume 26, Issue 6 • June 2018




Don’t risk it

If your clients are housesharing, be wary of the potential for exposure.


Top producers

Dustin Thome (left) and Mark Harrington among nation’s Top 80 in ‘Insurance Business’ magazine.

Group dynamic When it comes to social media engagement, don’t just post. Connect. By SYDNEY ROE Let’s be honest: Sometimes it feels like social media and insurance are like oil and water. You post and post and post and no one seems to hear anything, sort of like when you ask your kids to do something while they’re watching Netflix. That’s partially because Facebook Business Pages are on a pay-to-play system, meaning they don’t typically appear in people’s newsfeeds unless you pay Facebook. And it’s partially because people are on social media to be entertained, and insurance isn’t really … um … entertaining. So, it gets tuned out. That said, how did a two-person, formerly-captive agency in North Carolina find success on social media? Two words: Facebook Groups. I spoke with Jared Bellmund of Caroline Living Insurance about digital marketing for a solid 45 minutes recently. We talked about Google Local, SEO, Adwords, Snapchat and more, but what really captured my attention was his social media strategy revolving around Facebook Groups. Why? Because he wasn’t focused

GROUP, page 8

There’s no time for ‘wait-and-see’ Think you’ve got an E&O issue? You probably do. By DANIEL J. HAMMOND Utica National Insurance Group Has the following thought ever crossed your mind: “Yikes, I wonder if I should report this to my Errors & Omissions carrier?” The answer to that question is a resounding YES! Do not delay. Do not wait and see. Report it to your E&O carrier right now. Your E&O claims adjuster will determine coverage and whether the situation rises to the level of a claim or if it should be recorded for notice purposes. Failure to report an incident

to your carrier may put your E&O coverage in jeopardy. It could also make the claim investigation process more difficult, as it may no longer be possible to inspect damages, memories may fade, important witnesses may change employment or move away, and documents may be lost. When you read the claim reporting provisions of your E&O policy, you will likely find phrases such as “as soon as practicable,” “as soon as possible,” or “immediately.” These are words to remember.

Here are examples of what you should report to your E&O carrier: • A subpoena requesting your deposition and/or a copy of your agency file. • A letter alleging you have made a mistake and/or making a demand for money or services. • A summons and complaint. • A conversation with a client in which the client alleges you have made a mistake. • Any situation in which you believe you have made a mistake. Your E&O policy conditions likely

E&O, page 4

inside Get Smart

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

Ante Up ... with us!

Convention is at the incomparable Ameristar Casino in Black Hawk, and early-bird deadline is soon.... Page 3

How are you Managing?

You should determine whether or not your Agency Management System is outdated ............. Page 7

2 June 2018 |

TCCO Education Calendar

Colorado Insurance News


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 6, June 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.


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

To join our distribution list, click here.

The mission of the Trusted Choice


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

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.


Sept. 19-21 CRM Practice of Risk Management – Denver Sept. 25 CISR Elements of Risk Management – Grand Junction


To advertise in Colorado Insurance

October 2 CISR Personal Auto - Denver October 3-4 Graduate Ruble Seminar October 16 CISR Personal Residential – Fort Collins

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. __________________________

Complimentary Trainings by Enterprise June 20 and July 10 Rental Reimbursement

On Demand CE Webcasts

Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado, Inc.

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

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 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

Coverages You Need . . . from a Name You Can Trust!

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Insurance Companies

Nationwide operations • A+ A.M. Best Rating We have agency appointments available. Go to! Workers’ Compensation • Businessowner’s Policy (Property and Liability) • Commercial Auto* • Commercial Umbrella/Excess • Professional Liability* • Homeowners and Personal Umbrella* • Disability* • and More (*Select States)

Christina Mertens Account Manager Tracy Romond Account Manager Sue Ketchum Accounting Director Erin Joiner Administrative Assistant

June 2018 |


4 June 2018 |

Pinnacol: Exploring the five S’s of sun safety Did you know that up to 90 perIs your workplace sun-safe? cent of all skin cancers are caused by We know that more than 80 percent prolonged or intense exposure to the of skin cancer cases are caused by sun? Outdoor workers are exposed overexposure to UV, so this hazard is to ultraviolet (UV) radiation and at largely preventable! Education about greater risk of sun damage and skin the prevention and early detection of cancers. With this in mind, the Five S’s this disease should be a priority for all rays, so employees who work in these areas should of sun safety can guide you in safeguarding your exercise extra precaution. organizations. Preventing Slips,Important Trips and Falls at Your Workplace employees: For information and standards that can improve to Know 1. Slip on sun-protective clothing. your organization’s sun safety, visit the OSHA, the • Sunlight exposure is highest during the sumDid you know slips, trips and falls (STFs) are the leading cause of general workplace accidents 2. Slop on SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen. and injuries? Employee Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and mer and between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. injuries range from minor bruises to severe traumas such as head 3. Slap on a sun hat. American Cancer Society websites. For workplace • Workers are exposed to UV radiation even on injuries, broken bones, sprains and lacerations. In fact, STFs are often reported as the most 4. Slide on quality sunglasses. posters, forms, online training and more, visit Pincloudy days. common causes of workers' compensation claims. 5. Shade from the sun whenever possible. • Many drugs and medications increase sensitiv- nacol’s Knowledge Center webpages. Or call comprehensive to prevent STFsrisk ofsunburn. These include UV radiation from the sun reflects off Awater, Pinnacol’s Safety On Call hotline at 303-361-4700 ity tochecklist sunlight and the sand, concrete, light-colored surfaces and• snow, or 888-501-4752. Our Safety Services team stands thiazides, diuretics, tetracycline, doxycycline, sulUse slip-resistant footwear. which can harm the eyes. These surfaces considerready to answer questions and help keep your faantibiotics and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory • Clean up floors and working surfaces promptly when they become wet. ably increase the strength of the sun’s damaging drugs, such as ibuprofen. employees safe from the sun’s hazards. • Provide warning signs for wet floor areas. •

Practice safe housekeeping procedures, such as cleaning only one side of a passageway at a time.

Where there are wet or oily processes, maintain drainage, platforms, nonslip mats or floor surfaces, or other dry standing areas. Use no-skid waxes and surfaces coated with grit to create nonslip surfaces in slippery areas such as toilet and shower areas.

Make sure that floor drains, pits and other floor opening are covered or secured by guardrails.

Provide floor plugs for equipment, so power cords don’t obstruct pathways. Temporary electrical cords that must cross aisles should be taped or anchored to the floor.

Aisles and passageways should be sufficiently wide for easy movement and kept clear at all times.

Re-lay or stretch carpets that bulge or bunch.

Eliminate cluttered or obstructed work areas and keep file cabinet drawers closed.

Provide good lighting for all halls and stairwells, especially during night hours.

Ensure stairs have proper handrails, that treads and risers are maintained and that treads have a slip-resistant surface.

Instruct workers to use stair handrails, avoid undue speed and maintain a clear view ahead; encourage employees to request help moving bulky loads.

Eliminate uneven floor surfaces.

If you are concerned that reporting an incident to Utica National will impact your renewal premium, rest assured that incident reports have no impact on your renewal premiums. E&O, from page 1 specify that your claim report should be in writing and likely includes a list of the details that should be included in your report. Your E&O carrier may also have a claim reporting form that takes the guess work out of what information to report. In the policies issued by the companies of the Utica National Insurance Group, a claim generally means a written demand from your client alleging you have made an error. In addition to providing Utica National with notice of any claim, the Utica National policies require that you provide notice of any error the agency becomes aware of which may result in a claim. Your claims adjuster will refer to this situation as an incident — where the agency thinks an error may have been made but no demand has been given to the agency. If an incident is reported, your Utica National claims adjuster will call you to discuss the options, collect information from you and create a record of your report. If you are concerned that reporting an incident to Utica National will impact your renewal premium and you think it would be better to wait to see if it turns into a claim, rest assured that incident reports have no impact on your renewal premiums. Don’t take a wait-and-see approach when you have an E&O claim or a potential E&O claim. Report it at your earliest opportunity. 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. Daniel J. Hammond, CPCU, AIS, AIC, AINS, ARe provided this content on behalf of Utica National Insurance Group. This article is reprinted with permission from Utica National Insurance Group.

June 2018 |

Top 5 Reasons to Choose

Utica National’s Agents’ Errors &Omissions For nearly 50 years, Utica National has been a continuous leader in the E&O market.

Customized Coverage

Claims Expertise

Utica National’s E&O claims team is 100% dedicated to E&O and has an average of 18 years’ experience. When needed, we engage top litigators with proven track records of successful results.

More than just solid, comprehensive coverage; we offer choices based on your operation and risk appetite. We provide several options when you are planning to retire, sell or purchase another agency.

More than 10,000 agents have placed their trust in Utica National’s E&O program and their state association. Let us earn your business!

Direct Access to Underwriters and Claim Specialists Need input regarding an E&O exposure or potential claim situation? With Utica National, you can speak directly with an underwriter or claim representative.

Leading-Edge Risk Management

We offer resources on contemporary topics like social media, cyber liability and multi-lingual communications so you can understand the hazards involved and take steps to prevent problems.

Flexible Payment Options

We offer multiple billing options including electronic fund transfer without any interest charges or fees.

For more information on how Utica National can help protect your agency, contact Nicole Hanna at or 303.512.0627. Visit

9-A-2491 Ed. 10-16


6 June 2018 |



TCCO is excited to introduce this new opportunity to earn CE! All classes in the ABEN catalog are now being delivered via this new format. We will no longer offer classes on specific dates. Visit the ABEN catalog today! Take Classes on Your Schedule!

Member Spotlight

Getting their close-ups TCCO agents featured in ‘Insurance Business’ magazine Two agents from Colorado were are what make his insurance career among those cited as part of Insurworthwhile. ance Business magazine’s recent Outside the office, Thome acTop Producers list for 2018. Eighty tively participates in the Apartment of the nation’s best-performing Association of Metro Denver and insurance professionals from coast the Community Association Institute. to coast made it into this He has also contributed year’s class. Collectively, to numerous articles and those 80 earned more podcasts to the Colorado than $141 million in comReal Estate Journal, which mission revenue in 2017. has allowed him to gain More than 80 percent the trust and respect of of the Top Producers are prospects and customindustry veterans with 11 ers, making him the go-to or more years of experisource for many property ence, but the rookies are owners in Colorado. catching up. Seventeen Mark Harrington percent of this year’s Taggart Insurance, selection have less than Boulder Thome a decade of experience, A Colorado native, but they are already ranking among Mark Harrington joined Taggart the industry’s best. Insurance as a processor straight Trusted Choice Insurout of college, and over ance Agents of Colorado the past nine years, he is pleased to report that has worked his way up Dustin Thome and Mark to become an account Harrington were among executive. them. “I started from scratch Dustin Thome and built a book of busiThe Buckner Company, ness around my passions Denver -one being cars,” HarBelieving success rington says. “I love cars, comes from listening all types, and enjoy workclosely to customers and ing with the dealership working hard to deliver and auto repair indusHarrington solutions to satisfy their tries.” expectations, Dustin Thome focuses In his spare time, Harrington chanon helping companies manage nels his passion for cars into particiand effectively transfer risk. He pating in various driving schools or combines his industry knowledge driving competitions. He also enjoys and established underwriting relahelping his wife, a competitive horse tionships to tailor the most effective rider, prepare for competitions. insurance policies for his clients. Thome says making clients happy Reprinted with permission from Inand offering an affordable plan to surance Business. For the full, original protect their most important assets list of 2018 Top Producers click here.

GET SMART All the industry education you could possibly want or need, with TCCO. Click here for the education calendar.

Manage how you manage

Short-term risks June 2018 |

With home sharing on the rise, be sure your clients are prepared

It may be time to update your company’s AMS

By KEVIN POLL ISO Solutions Although the concepts of sharing vacation rentals and carpooling — and their mutual benefits — go back many years, advancements in technology have turned these ordinary routines into a multi-billion-dollar sharing industry. In response to that growth, lawmakers and insurance companies have become aware of potential risks and exposures that can develop. Local governments, for example, have stepped in to regulate how residents can use their primary homes, with a focus on short-term rentals. Similarly, insurance carriers are working

By STEVE ANDERSON An Agency Management System (AMS) is the most significant technology expense for an insurance agency regardless of the vendor or platform. When well-managed, these systems will help an agency maximize staff productivity, provide a better customer experience, and increase agency profitability. An old or outdated agency management system is a drain on agency productivity, reduces staff morale, and profitability. Selecting and implementing a new agency management system is a massive undertaking. It should not be done lightly. However, there comes a time when moving to a new AMS is worth the effort. What are the signs that the agency should start looking at the management system options available to them? How does an agency owner evaluate when it is time to evaluate a new system? Several new management system platforms are very interesting. And, existing vendor platforms continue to develop new capabilities. There are some “indicators” that your agency should at least look at the current management system platform options. Any of these items by themselves is not sufficient reason to make a move. However, the higher the number that applies to you the more likely your organization needs a new system and should begin the evaluation process. Following are a few indicators. Please note: these items are not listed in any particular order. • You have been using your existing system for more than ten years. • You have an in-house system • Existing in-house Servers Need to be Replaced • Your Desktop workstations are more than five years old • Don’t use / can’t handle all industry carrier communication options • Paper is everywhere • Staff complains about backlog and that they “can’t get caught up.” • Training takes too long for inexperienced staff • You are not able to easily support remote staff and additional locations • Does not support automated marketing and sales and pipeline management This list will help you evaluate if your agency is getting the most out of your existing system. If you would like a more detailed analysis, we have created an online assessment that when completed will provide you with more detailed information. You can take the assessment at The more of these indicators that apply to your organization the more likely you should look at what other options are available. There are cur-

SHORT-TERM, page 9


Could your customers use RLI’s Personal Umbrella policy? • $1 million to $5 million in additional insurance • Backed by a financially secure, A+ rated company • Immediate coverage available in all 50 states plus D.C. • Excess UM/UIM available in all states. • New drivers accepted — no age limit on drivers • Up to one DWI/DUI per household allowed • Auto limits as low as 100/300/50 in certain areas


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MANAGE, page 10



Contact TCCO for more information: 303.512.0627

8 June 2018 | GROUP, from page 1

Extortion by computer is growing . . . about 400% per year Cyber criminals can lock computerized operations and hold the business and customer private information hostage, demanding a ransom to unlock them. Would you know how to keep your insurance agency’s information safe -- and your customers’ -- if confronted with a cyber extortion demand? Trusted Choice Colorado and Arlington/Roe have partnered to offer Cyber Secure. It is offered at a reduced rate to our members and includes coverages such as: •

Cyber Extortion Loss Sublimit

Forensic Expenses to Investigate the Breach/Ransomware Event

Business Interruption Coverage

This member benefit is brought to you by Trusted Choice Colorado and administered by Arlington/Roe.

Member agencies, call us for cyber coverage today. Contact Nicole Hanna Vice President – Agents Service Corporation 303-512-0627

Contact John Immordino E&O Risk Consultant 800-550-9891

on so much on posting, he was focused on connecting. He wasn’t simply blasting a message out in hopes that message is heard and acted on, he was actively engaging those with whom he has a commonality by way of a Facebook Group. The reason many businesses enter the world of social media is to try and reach a larger audience: to, in a sense, “go viral,” even if only on a local level. Most businesses rely on posts, a.k.a. 2017 billboards, to trigger some local virality. But like we discussed before, unpaid Facebook posts don’t have much reach. If you’ve ever read The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell, you know about his attempt to codify virality. Granted, Malcom didn’t give us the quintessential Facebook roadmap – heck, he published The Tipping Point before internet virality was really a thing (smart guy, right?) – but what he does give us is a new way of thinking about how virality is triggered. Typically, we think of virality very linearly: Bill finds something cool and he tells Jo, who tells Sally, who tells Martha, etc. … until a bunch of people are in the loop. But what Malcolm found is that virality requires “Connectors,” people who know a TON of people and love connecting them. So in our previous scenario, Bill knows Jo, Sally and Martha, so once Bill finds something cool, he tells all of them at once. The beginnings of … virality. While in the early 2000s The Tipping Point limited the role of Connector to an actual person, 2017 digitized the role of Connector. You see this all the time scrolling through your Newsfeed. Videos that have millions of views peaked because they were shared by a social hub, like BuzzFeed or CollegeHumor. Facebook Groups act in the same way on a smaller scale. For the small business, a Facebook Group is a local social hub, a digital Connector. Engaging inside it can potentially trigger a sort of virality. Jared Bellmund is a perfect example of this. He joined the local yardsale Facebook Group, the Henderson County business networking Facebook Group, Hendersonville Rugby Facebook Group, and so on. Within that structure, when he sees someone ask an insurance-related question and then responds to it, he’s marketing to everyone inside the group, not just the one person who asked the question. Even better, Jared has asked friends of his who are already established inside these groups to tag him in insurance-related posts. That allows him to leverage the social credibility of his friends in responding to someone’s question or concern. “It doesn’t take too long,” said Jared. “I just lightly monitor those groups, and when I see someone say something like ‘my insurance didn’t cover this, I’ll ask a friend to quick tag me in it.” I’m being half-serious when I say stop posting on Facebook. I don’t mean stop posting altogether, but do do try expending some of your posting energy on Facebook Groups, and see what happens. Syndey Roe is a digital content manager for TrustedChoice. This article is reprinted with permission from Syd and Agency Nation.

June 2018 |


SHORT-TERM, from page 7 aggressively to address exposures that may be unique to the homesharing industry. Agents should review the owner’s homeowners policy to identify exposures and recommend appropriate coverages. The stakes are high. In 2015, revenue generated by the sharing economy was estimated at $15 billion worldwide, according to a study by PwC. By 2025, that number is expected to jump to $335 billion. A large portion of this revenue is being generated by home-sharing platforms. Many of the major companies that facilitate this service have streamlined the process for renting out homes for vacationers around the world. Just a couple of years ago, one of the market leaders estimated the number of rentals available globally on its website at 1.8 million. Today the same company reports that number has increased to more than 3 million. A study by J.P. Morgan Chase showed that the popularity of home sharing in the United States has translated into substantial supplemental income for those who rent out their residences, with an average of about $314 of income per month for each host. New legal scrutiny The idea of supplementing income through home sharing can seem appealing to many, but home owners should do their research before deciding to list their place of residence on a website, in particular, for short-term rentals. With an increase in awareness of the extent of shortterm rental activity by local and state governments, what was once an unregulated industry now is subject to some complex regulations at the local level. For example, residents of New York City should be aware of a law that was passed in 2016. Although tenants already were not legally able to rent out their whole apartments for less than 30 days, New York’s law imposes fines for simply advertising an apartment for a rental period of less than 30 days. Even so, this law affects only apartment dwellers in certain kinds of buildings and does not affect how unit owners or home owners can use their residences. San Francisco’s recent legislation is much more detailed than New York’s law and affects all kinds of residences. The law, enacted in 2014, limits to 90 the number of days that a residence can be rented out in its entirety. If the owner is present, there is no limit. Short-term rentals are restricted to primary homes, and the owner must live in the home at least 275 days of the year. Residents are required to report the number of days the home is rented out annually, and also must obtain a permit to participate in home sharing. The permit costs $250 and requires renewal every two years. Chicago also has intervened, with a home-sharing ordinance that was passed at the end of 2016. The ordinance, which some deemed controversial, initially contained a provision that allowed local officials to search homes and seize records related to home sharing — at any time and without a warrant. It was amended earlier this year, and that provision was removed because of residents’ concerns. Key provisions of the 58-page amended ordinance include: homesharing hosts must keep records of all guests for up to three years; a special

In 2015, revenue generated by the sharing economy was estimated at $15 billion worldwide. By 2025, that number is expected to jump to $335 billion. tax will be levied on home-sharing hosts; and a cap will be put in place for the number of rentals available in any particular building. How to insure? These are examples of the kinds of laws that have been passed in an effort to regulate home sharing more strictly. Agents should urge property owners to check local ordinances to make sure they comply with the law before they decide to list their residences on a home-sharing platform. Similarly, agents should review the owner’s homeowners policy to identify exposures and recommend appropriate coverages. Although many home-sharing platforms provide some kind of insurance or guarantee to protect both the host and the visitor, a certain peace of mind comes from knowing one is protected under one’s own policy.

Several insurers have introduced proprietary forms that address the home-sharing exposure. ISO has developed its own forms and has filed them in the majority of states. These forms are designed to reinforce that coverage for home sharing is not contemplated under the homeowners policy. These forms also give carriers the flexibility to extend coverage (for an additional premium) to insureds who chose to participate in home sharing. As noted above, many homesharing platforms provide their hosts a guarantee for property damage and may even extend liability coverage in the event of an injury or property damage loss. This coverage, however, can be extremely restrictive, and the time frame for reporting a loss can be as brief as a few days. Unfortunately, a home owner may

We Attract the Next Generation of Insurance Professionals BY 2020, 400,000 JOBS WILL BE OPEN IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY. These jobs aren’t limited to sales— the industry needs a wide variety of talent. Technology, analytics, cybersecurity, operations, service, marketing, design, community relations— name the passion and insurance has a career.

not discover property damage until weeks or even months after it has occurred. By this time, the window to report a loss has already been closed. Coverage provided by ISO’s new endorsements (and some carrier endorsements) generally grant a home owner a longer window of time to find and report a loss. It is important for agents to ask their homeowners clients if they are participating in home sharing. As advances in technology generate new exposures, it remains imperative that insurers develop the tools to meet the needs of their insureds. Home sharing is just one example of the newly created exposures that affect home owners worldwide. Kevin Poll is director of personal property and farm product development at ISO Solutions, a Verisk Analytics (Nasdaq:VRSK) business. This article was originally published in Rough Notes July 27, 2017 issue and is reprinted with permission of Rough Notes.


It’s easy to implement InVEST in any classroom. The free online curriculum includes lesson plans, textbooks, classroom activities and simulation interactive resources.


Students meet insurance professionals willing to provide a hands-on, real-life perspective. InVEST makes it easy for volunteers with presentations, videos, career day support and internships guides developed to attract more professionals to the independent agency system.

Our Mission: Educating, preparing and attracting diverse new talent to the insurance industry. @nationalInVEST

10 June 2018 | MANAGE, from page 7 rently about 30 different agency management system platforms available. If you decide it is time to look, then we recommend a five-step process that will help you evaluate other systems. Step #1 – Strategy – Why do you want a system? (or a new system?) The purchase of an agency management system is not first and foremost about computers. It is about the agency, the way it operates now, the way it will perform next year and in the years ahead. A detailed agency system review is an opportunity for an agency to carefully examine its business and make strategic decisions about the kind of organization it wants to become. Step #2 – Establishing System Requirements You should first choose a “system selection team,” a small select group that will coordinate the review process and offers their insight on which system best fits the requirements of the organization. Next, the agency must determine the features of any system, current or future, which are most important and the benefits those elements will provide the agency. In other words, the team selected above should determine the system requirements. A system requirement is a characteristic or trait that a system must include to satisfy the agency’s business requirements and be acceptable to most users. Step #3 – What are your options? The next step is to identify potential vendors and their products/platforms that would be appropriate for you to review. Most agencies are familiar with Applied Systems

and Vertafore products due to their extensive advertising. However, there are about 35 products from about 24 different vendors that could be explored to see if they fit the agency needs. Step #4 – Managing Vendor Demonstrations Vendors are updating their platforms with new features and functionalities on a regular basis. As you are reviewing different systems, you should pay close attention to new functionality that is included that you do not currently have in your existing system. A few of these new features include: • Updated communication options including managing text messaging. • Client portals for self-service options. • Predefined workflows that help staff maintain consistency in procedures. • Service automation -- service tasks are automatically started by the system based on predefined criteria • Enhanced electronic document management capabilities • Support for an electronic signature processes It is essential for the agency to manage the demonstration process carefully. There are two different types of demonstrations that the system selection team will need to sit through. Vendor Controlled Demo: This is the initial demonstration from the vendor. During this demonstration the team will be able to get a good overview of the product and the features contained within it. For this demonstration you should allow the vendor to do their standard review of the system. Agency Controlled Demo: This second demonstration process will be controlled very precisely by

the agency. This is accomplished by providing the vendor with detailed written scenarios on common functions performed in the agency that you require them to achieve using their system during the demonstration. Make sure every team member uses a checklist to take notes during the demo process. After a few demonstrations, it will become very confusing which system did what. Step #5 – Making the Decision At this point, the selection team will be overwhelmed with information. The key is to gather that information together and put it into an organized fashion so that a final decision can be made. The score developed by the team members during the demonstration process is one component of the vendor evaluation. However, it should not be the only measure. The team should use other subjective criteria for judging the vendor’s such vendor direction, user group involvement, and talking with other agency users. We have found that once all of this information is brought together and organized one or two systems seems to stand out. That certainly helps make the decision-making process a bit easier. The bottom line: the team should make a recommendation to management on which system they would select and their reasoning for that choice. Remember, there is not one best agency management system. However, there is a best agency management system for your organization. Reprinted with permission of Steve Anderson. For more information, visit


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No other carrier gives independent agents the same combination of products, service and support as Safeco Insurance. We have all the products your customers want, from auto, home and motorcycle to watercraft, RV, classic car and more. We also offer dedicated service and support for agents, including local Territory Managers and marketing teams, local claims staff, dedicated underwriting and added benefits to help you succeed.

Visit for more information. © 2016 Liberty Mutual Insurance The audience for this information includes insurance agents and brokers nationwide and is therefore general in nature. Every agent and broker is responsible for knowing the guidelines and laws that govern rating, underwriting and claims handling in their states. Coverages and features not available in all states; see the Product Guide(s) for details. AP-5212 01/16

June 2018 coin  

Colorado Insurance News

June 2018 coin  

Colorado Insurance News