E&O Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
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November-December 2009
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    Letter from the Editor
    Welcome to this special two-month holiday edition of Agents of America's E&O Prevention. As always, we have a number of excellent, cutting-edge RM articles by leading industry experts. This month our Featured Article deals with Minimizing the E&O Exposure of Social Media Networking, providing an in-depth overview of what every insurance agent and broker should know.

    We are pleased to announce that Membership in AgentsofAmerica.org is now free, due to the support of our sponsors, advertisers and contributors. This increases the networking possibilities for everyone involved with AoA.

    Finally, AoA it has entered a joint venture to launch a Social Media educational platform with DemingHill, a Leader in Corporate Social Media and its team of experts. DemingHill will be featured on the website and in our monthly news article highlighting Social Media and various social networks. DemingHill and their team are pioneers in both its experience and successes on the various social platforms. Their focus and cutting-edge approach to social media is distinct, proven, and highly sought after for the fresh and dynamic approach to this new media.

    AgentsofAmerica.ORG members will benefit by utilizing social strategies from proven industry experts brought to us by DemingHill. Their expertise on social sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and many others will provide the necessary skills and education needed for our members to continue their success using these new tools. Members will have free access to reports, webinars and blog posts as well as opportunities to join more advance workshops.

    - Britton Weimer, Editor
    Table of Contents

    How Insurance Agencies and Brokerages Can Benefit From the Upside of Social Networking While Minimizing the Downside of a Possible E&O Risk
    By Colleen M. Murphy, Esq., Richard J. Cohen, Esq.,& Christopher J. Belter, Esq.

    Why You Must Master LinkedIn: LinkedIn Statistics 2009
    By Nathan Kievman

    4 MOST COMMON REASONS MANAGERS HIRE LOUSY EMPLOYEES (+ 3 Guidelines to Help You Hire the Best)
    By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

    Managing Your Career
    By Ed Rosa

    TERMINATING AN EMPLOYEE ON MEDICAL LEAVE: TIMING IS EVERYTHING
    By Robin Foret, J.D.

    My New Year's Resolution... Grow My Book of Business!
    By Marvin Zalevsky, ClearData International, Inc.

    "Dog Bite" Riders
    By Kathleen M. Bonczyk, Esq.

    Phone Sales Tips: 15 Tips to Voicemail Survival
    By Mark Hunter

    A Personal Coach
    By Robert Stuberg

    Six Steps to closing more sales!
    By Bob Ayrer

    Recruiting is a Contact Sport
    By Michael Beck

    How Intangible are Your Organization's Assets?
    By Charles T. Wilson, CMC, CRM, RPLU

    How to Handle Workplace Violence
    By Joseph Starr, JD

    Human Resources vs. "Un" Human Resources
    By Edwin Martinez

    MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES
    By Dr. Michael Mercer

    2 JOKES-OF-THE-MONTH
    By Dr. Michael Mercer

    How Insurance Agencies and Brokerages Can Benefit From the Upside of Social Networking While Minimizing the Downside of a Possible E&O Risk
    By Colleen M. Murphy, Esq., Richard J. Cohen, Esq.,& Christopher J. Belter, Esq.

    As an insurance agent and broker E&O attorney since 1992, one exciting challenge has been to keep up with the changing ways insurance agents and brokers do business. There have been numerous changes over the years, many driven by new technologies. Do you remember "T-filing" or when voice mail and faxing were considered "high tech?" The reason for keeping up with these many changes is to enable us to better predict new or increased E&O exposures associated with new business methods and then determine how to minimize them. The trick has always been to separate a true E&O risk generated by new technologies from those which turn out to be just speculative. Recall the "chicken little/the sky is falling" mentality surrounding Y2K?

    Read More...

    Why You Must Master LinkedIn: LinkedIn Statistics 2009
    By Nathan Kievman

    ~ Nielsen Online

    Here are some of the Statistical Highlights on LinkedIn that you really need to know for your business or professional objectives.

    Average Age: 43
    Male / Female: 54% / 46%
    Average Household Income: $107,278
    Average Household Income $100k+ 51.8% | 6,467,000
    Average LinkedIn has "The world's largest audience of affluent, influential professionals." Household Income $150k+ 23.1% | 2,888,000


    Read More...

    4 MOST COMMON REASONS MANAGERS HIRE LOUSY EMPLOYEES (+ 3 Guidelines to Help You Hire the Best)
    By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.

    I repeatedly notice managers do make four mistakes that result in hiring losers - employees they wish they never hired. I will help you avoid making these four blunders. Plus, I will reveal to you three guidelines that will help you hire fantastic employees.

    Read More...

    Managing Your Career
    By Ed Rosa

    Step One: What Do You Want?

    During the course of a year I speak with literally thousands of professionals in the Medical & Professional Liability Insurance industry. Many people tell me they are unhappy with their careers. Over the years I've learned the number one reason for a lack career fulfillment is, not knowing exactly what you want from your career.

    Read More...

    TERMINATING AN EMPLOYEE ON MEDICAL LEAVE: TIMING IS EVERYTHING
    By Robin Foret, J.D.

    Employees out on medical leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) have a statutory right to be reinstated to the same or equivalent job upon returning from leave. Employers often believe that employees out on medical leave are completely protected from any form of termination from employment regardless of disciplinary problems that would otherwise justify such an employment decision. This general protection under the FMLA is not without exceptions, especially when information is discovered during the leave period that justifies a decision to terminate the employee. The bottom line is that when contemplating terminating an employee who has requested medical leave (or who is out on leave) based on performance issues, timing is everything.

    Read More...

    My New Year's Resolution... Grow My Book of Business!
    By Marvin Zalevsky, ClearData International, Inc.

    Just like fad diets and exercise programs, every year most agents set a goal to somehow grow their book of business. And just like all of the other resolutions we make, the intent is good, but the follow-through... well not so much. In this article, we'll pull together all of the advice we have dished out over the previous year, from event-triggered marketing to appointment setting, so you'll have it all in one place for handy reference. All the best for a prosperous New Year!

    Read More...

    "Dog Bite" Riders
    By Kathleen M. Bonczyk, Esq.

    Broadway Joe Namath may be among those property owners in need of a "dog bite" rider.

    The former New York Jets quarterback and football legend recently learned that his yellow Labrador retriever "Leo" was declared "dangerous" by a special magistrate in Palm Beach County, Florida, after Leo allegedly bite three people during a two-year span at his home in Tequesta, Florida.

    Read More...

    Phone Sales Tips: 15 Tips to Voicemail Survival
    By Mark Hunter

    1. If your goal is to get the phone call returned, don't leave information that would allow the person to make up their mind. Add a call-to-action to your message by providing a key date or something of interest that will encourage the person to return the call. You have to create a reason for them to call you back.

    Read More...

    A Personal Coach
    By Robert Stuberg

    Did you ever notice how so many great athletes and Olympic champions credit their coaches for the success they have achieved? In other walks of life, students credit their teachers, children credit their parents, and businesspeople credit their bosses or mentors- and these authority figures, if they are talented in their fields, are all coaches in their own way. Like sports coaches, they help their protégés reach the potential of their talents, set important goals, and motivate them toward ultimate success.

    Read More...

    Six Steps to closing more sales!
    By Bob Ayrer

    All the modern forward thinking gurus of selling agree--"Telling ain't selling. Listening is." Without question, it's the number one skill of closing sales. But what the gurus often fail to tell you is what to listen for. And how to listen.

    Read More...

    Recruiting is a Contact Sport
    By Michael Beck

    There are many ways to go about finding prospective agents. Some of them are active methods, while others are passive. Active recruiting methods are things like Personal Observation, Personal Prospecting, Public Speaking, Agent Referrals, Networking, and Centers of Influence, while passive methods include internet recruiting, newspaper advertising and direct mail campaigns.

    Read More...

    How Intangible are Your Organization's Assets?
    By Charles T. Wilson, CMC, CRM, RPLU

    Much has been written about the need for small and mid size business owners to protect their "intangible assets." And the reference is usually to patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets and computer data.

    There are other intangible assets that are often even more important. And some of these company "secrets" cannot be protected or insured in traditional ways.

    Read More...

    How to Handle Workplace Violence
    By Joseph Starr, JD

    The term "going postal" became part of the American lexicon after a series of incidents in the early 1980's where United States Postal Service (USPS) workers shot and killed fellow employees. While we often use this term in the context of jokes, workplace violence is no laughing matter. Here are some guidelines for avoiding or handling workplace violence and the liability associated with it:

    Read More...

    Human Resources vs. "Un" Human Resources
    By Edwin Martinez

    The momentary insensitivity of an HR professional can set in motion a disastrous and a potentially harmful chain of events for any business today. Taking a closer look at what can happen when employees seek advice from their employer's HR department and instead are treated as if they are a nuisance, can reveal that some "Un" human resource professionals have managed to settle in positions for which they have no calling. The reality of what we see in the news these days concerning workplace violence and vengeance can lead one to wonder if the HR representatives are abiding by the core values and professional HR code of ethics that can strategically minimize some of the employer tragic stories.

    Read More...

    MOTIVATIONAL QUOTES
    By Dr. Michael Mercer

    "Your best days are not behind you. They are in front of you."
    - Joel Osteen

    "You make it happen. You are responsible."
    - Jack LaLanne

    "No bird soars too high if it soars with its own wings."
    - William Blake

    "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
    - Steven Wright


    2 JOKES-OF-THE-MONTH
    By Dr. Michael Mercer

    1st JOKE =
    If you like the Post Office, then you would love socialized medicine.

    2nd JOKE =
    A young boy kept getting into huge amounts of mischief. His parents could not get the boy to stop all his mischief. So, they sent the boy to talk to their family's clergyman.
    The clergyman looked at the boy, and asked, "Do your parents ever pray?"
    The boy answered, "Yes, my parents pray every night."
    The clergyman said, "Oh, really. Well, what do your parents pray?"
    The boy replied, "Every night, after they tuck me into bed, my parents say to each other, 'Thank God he's in bed!'"

    The Motivational Quotes and Joke-of-the-Month are reprinted with permission from "Dr. Michael Mercer's Management Newsletter." Dr. Mercer is AoA's "Hiring Expert." He is a nationally known expert on (a) pre-employment tests and (b) hiring high-achievers. Subscribe - at no cost - to his management newsletter at www.MercerSystems.com. . Find out how you can use his Forecaster TM pre-employment tests at your company - [note: AoA members get a discount] - by clicking here:




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