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June 2010
Agents of America

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    What is AgentsofAmerica.org?
    AgentsofAmerica.ORG is an Insurance Agent's Association and indispensable resource for news, products, services, education, and industry information throughout America. The organization's Mission is to deliver the BEST people, products, information, and services to Agents on a daily basis all designed to help them manage and grow their business, increase their revenues and provide ongoing value to their clients. Our motto is "Bringing the BEST Together."

    AgentsofAmerica.ORG is offering a FREE MEMBERSHIP to anyone interested in learning about the valuable benefits the new organization offers. All members are eligible for additional discounts and access to an extensive array of other membership programs.
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    Chapter Ten Ebook Image
    Letter from the Editor

    This month, Chapter 10 of the AoA's eBook is available for download.  It is entitled:  "The Agent and Broker's Use of Computer Technology and its Imact on Agency Opereration," by Michael J. McGirney, Esq. & Dennis M. Frantzman, Esq.


    This past month, AgentsofAmerica.ORG announced its partnership with Social Media Strategist Cynthia Cavoto and her team at Marketing That Works For You. They teach insurance agents how to reach more clients, quickly and easily, by effectively using  tools and resources  as  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging and other online social media tools to build your clientele.  Cynthia brings agents the unique blend of insurance industry experience plus skill at using new technologies to increase a customer base. A strategic and focused  plan will systematically and cost-effectively help insurance agents engage customers through social media. By working with an expert, agents get the value-added of consistency and expertise in issues relevant to insurance business. 


    Finally, remember to tell your friends and associates that AgentsofAmerica.ORG is now offering FREE MEMBERSHIP, due to the support of our sponsors, advertisers and contributors.  This increases the networking possibilities for everyone involved with AoA.   


    Table of Contents
    by Kathleen M. Bonczyk, M.B.A., Esq
    agents1Agents May Experience a Wave of "Business Interuption Claims"
    By Katheen Bonczyk, M.B.A., Esq.
    On April 20, 2010, an explosion on the mobile drilling rig Deepwater Horizon occurred some 130 miles southeast of New Orleans, Louisiana.

    As of May 23, 2010, it is estimated that a minimum of 6 million gallons of crude oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of this incident.  However, a growing number of scientists assert that they believe the count is even higher than that troublesome figure.

    In addition to the environmental disaster this accident has caused, many private industries have been affected, including, the fishing industry, the wholesale industry, the retail industry, the tourism industry and the manufacturing industry. The oil spill threatens to be an unprecedented disaster as the resulting oil slick makes its way to the beaches along southern Louisiana as well as Alabama and the west coast of Florida.  It is feared that the slick will wrap itself around the pristine beaches of the Florida Keys and impact Florida's Gulf Coast, Treasure Coast and beyond the eastern end of the peninsula.

    Read More... 
    theThe 80-20 Rule of Prospecting
    By Marvin Zalevsky

    In 1897, Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto stumbled across a pattern when measuring wealth in England.  What he found was that most of the wealth was concentrated in a very small percentage of the population.  And, much to his surprise, this disparity could be modeled in a predictable, mathematical model.  In country after country, he found the same pattern.  Then he began to look for the pattern in other data sets.  Again and again, the mathematical model held true.  Of course, we know Pareto's predictable model by a more popular name today...the 80-20 rule or sometimes the Principle of Least Effort.  Simply stated, the 80-20 rule asserts that a small proportion of causes or efforts lead to a large proportion of results or rewards.  In this article, we will explore the underpinnings of the 80-20 rule, as it applies to prospecting, and we'll uncover the reasons this simple rule could be holding back your sales...113 years after its discovery.

     Ernest Agent
    payPay as You Drive, Part Deux
    by Roy Little
    State Farm, the largest U.S. car insurer, is going first.  So much for perceptions that the first company to try this innovative rating technique would be, well, somebody smaller and faster.  State Farm calls the program "Drive and Save."

    The application is under review, California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said in a recent statement.  Mr. Poizner approved the concept last fall (see our first blog, below). 

    "It's just common sense that Californians who choose to drive less should have an option to pay less for auto insurance," said Commissioner Poizner. "The voluntary pay-as-you-drive initiative is a cutting-edge program that will allow insurers to offer these plans without compromising consumer privacy. I hope other insurers follow suit and join State Farm in offering this product."

    State Farm says that the new policies could roll out as early as September. "It's a program from an insurance point of view that helps us better match price to risk, and that's a good thing for everybody," Devereux said.

    toTo Go Beyond Cross Selling, Provide Total Account Value
    By Ed Lamont CIC, CRM

    Cross-selling is a marketing plan.  New clients are told of other product lines.  Current customers receive marketing messages that address additional protection options.  When you round-out an account, recommend higher coverage limits, or find out what else is needed, you're simply cross-selling.  Yet, achieving measurable increases in sales from cross-selling efforts is difficult.  Why?


    More importantly, what stops successful cross-selling efforts?  Often your support staff's workload pushes cross-selling attempts to the back of the priority queue.  Service team sales reluctance can stop cross-selling efforts cold.  Interagency discord, negative attitudes, or unclear responsibilities undermine cross-selling success as well.


    AOA Insurance Credit Card Offer 
    whatsWhat's Insurance to Value Anyway?

    By Charles T. Wilson, CMC, CRM, RPLU

    Recently a client asked, "Why do I have to be careful about insuring for the full value of my stuff?  I'll never lose it all anyway."

    My answer?  Insurance to value is a big deal, possibly a disaster, and it's not the place to try to save money.
    Here are some reasons why you want to be careful ~


    whyWhy Devaluing Others Devalues Yourself
    by Edwin Martinez, PHR

    Have you ever felt like you have been devalued by someone else? How did it feel? Were you angry and downtrodden? I have and know exactly how it feels when other people have devalued who I am and what I do. I regained my emotional composure in spite of these judgments, and realized that I am still who I am and that I did not die of sadness or inferiority. Overcoming rejections and hurtful situations can be difficult but not impossible. The word "haters" comes to mind when I observe or know of people who constantly devalue others based personal judgments.


    By Dove A. E. Burns and Christopher T. Parkin 

    In a blow to employers' collective peace of mind regarding time limitations imposed by Title VII, last week the Supreme Court allowed a class action filed by a group of black prospective firefighters to proceed despite questions regarding its timeliness.  The case, Lewis v. City of Chicago, formally expands Title VII's prohibition on "employment practices" which cause a disparate impact on protected classes to include both the practices' adoption and application. 
    environmentalEnvironmental Alert - Be aware of open-ended remediation contracts
    By Wilson Elser

    In today's tough economic times, many municipalities are seeking to enter into contracts with insurers for the environmental remediation of contamination caused by an insured's negligence,i.e. an excavating company.  Often, these agreements seek to saddle insurers with open-ended responsibility for remediation work.  As discussed below, insurers can avoid these types of agreements and still provide the remediation that the municipality is seeking.


    Read More...  


    This risk management newsletter is produced in conjunction with Agents of America, www.agentsofamerica.com.  The contents of this newsletter do not constitute legal advice, and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of AoA.

    This newsletter is produced in conjunction with Agents of America, www.agentsofamerica.org. The contents of which may not be reproduced without the express written permission of Agents of America.