E&O Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
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September 2009
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    September 2009


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  • An economist's guess is liable to be as good as anybody else's.

    Will Rogers

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    Letter from the Editor
    Once again, we have a number of excellent risk management articles in this month's edition, by some of the industry's leading experts on RM trends and related issues for agents and brokers.

    In addition, we are pleased to announce that Agents of America is making available on-line the second chapter of the long-awaited AoA eBook, "Thirteen Things Every Insurance Agent and Broker Should Know." This second chapter, THE LEGAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF INSURANCE AGENTS AND BROKERS, THE MOST PREVALENT ERRORS AND OMISSIONS CLAIMS, AND PRACTICAL MEASURES THAT CAN BE TAKEN TO AVOID THEM is now available online. Both chapters one and two are available on the AoA web site for your convenience.

    - Britton Weimer, Editor
    Table of Contents

    E&O: Part of Your Business Continuation Plan
    By Sheri Pontolillo

    Can you keep a secret?
    By Marcia Sartori

    Help your Agency's Clients: Fewer Accidents + Lower Turnover + Less Trouble-Making Employees
    By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

    Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Why Your Clients Need It
    Kathleen M. Bonczyk, JD

    Boosting Your Sales Motivation in Today's Economy
    By Mark Hunter

    Unpleasant Blasts from The Past
    By Joseph Monteleone, JD

    Seize the Opportunity
    By Robert Stuberg

    Agents Must Walk The Walk, Not Just Talk The Talk In Providing Top Service
    By Daniel B. Price

    Joke-of-the-Month and Motivational Quotes
    By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

    E&O: Part of Your Business Continuation Plan
    By Sheri Pontolillo

    The road you choose toward your goal of "sailing into the sunset" after a successful career can vary. It could be a gradual transition as you bring a family member up and into the business for a hand-off. You may choose to sell your business to an associate or other buyer. Or, you could simply retire outright. E&O is a very important part of your transition plan.

    Read More...

    Can you keep a secret?
    By Marcia Sartori

    Would you dare to interrupt a group of co-workers who are engaging in inappropriate behavior? If you saw some of your co-workers making inappropriate gestures, would you correct them? If you heard a group of employees laughing about another employee's foreign name, would you take the time to correct them?

    Read More...

    Help your Agency's Clients: Fewer Accidents + Lower Turnover + Less Trouble-Making Employees
    By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

    A wise proverb states, "If all you have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail." Often, insurance agencies act like all they have is a "hammer," namely, insurance products.

    Imagine if you could offer your prospects and clients your "hammer" - insurance products - plus some ways to avoid ringing up claims. Well, many of your clients need your insurance, because they have employees who get into accidents, destroy their property, steal, abuse substances, and do other harmful actions.

    Read More...

    Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Why Your Clients Need It
    Kathleen M. Bonczyk, JD

    Insurance agents should be aware that every client who employs individuals requires adequate and appropriate Employment Practices Liability Insurance ("EPLI").

    EPLI is a necessity, not a luxury in today's highly litigious economic climate where the insured is more likely to be hit with an employment practices ("EP") claim than a property or general liability loss.

    Read More...

    Boosting Your Sales Motivation in Today's Economy
    By Mark Hunter

    First off, forget about the economy. The more you think about the economy, the more you will allow yourself to develop excuses as to why something won't happen or can't happen. Pretty soon, you'll stumble upon all kinds of excuses as to why you can't close a crucial sale, write an important policy or develop a new account.

    Read More...

    Unpleasant Blasts from The Past
    By Joseph Monteleone, JD

    Tellabs Proves To Have Been A Pyrrhic Victory

    When the Supreme Court decided Tellabs in 2007, many commentators hailed it as another important victory for the defense bar on the issue of scienter in the era since passage of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA). Others among us were a bit more reserved, and hastened to note that defendants would have fared much better if either the concurring opinions of Justices Scalia or Alito prevailed rather than the standard set forth in the majority opinion written by Justice Ginsburg. Indeed, the prevailing standard in at least one federal appellate circuit was already more pro-defendant than the one enunciated by the Court.

    Read More...

    Seize the Opportunity
    By Robert Stuberg

    Do you ever think much about the opportunities that exist in your life?

    Although we are all surrounded with more opportunities for advancement in life than we could ever act on, we typically don't live life from the perspective that we've got unlimited options.

    Read More...

    Agents Must Walk The Walk, Not Just Talk The Talk In Providing Top Service
    By Daniel B. Price

    Over the years, I have spoken with literally hundreds, if not thousands of agency owners, and whenever I ask why someone would want to become their client-that is, what is their primary competitive differentiator-almost without exception they say they provided great service.

    So I ask you, in all of your conversations with other industry professionals, have you ever heard someone say that they provide crummy service? Of course not!

    Read More...

    Joke-of-the-Month and Motivational Quotes
    By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

    Some people are so incredibly lazy - that even if they have a work-from-home job, they still do not get to work on time.

    Motivational Quotes

    "The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power.
    - Mary Pickford

    "Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run. Hurry and scurry puts you further behind."
    - Proverbs 21:5

    "The grass is not greener on the other side. The grass is greener where you water it."
    - Stovall Weems





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