E&O Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
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March 31, 2011
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Letter from the Editor

Agents of America is pleased to launch the newest service available to its members and readers, AOA Market Solutions. AOA Market Solutions was developed primarily as a way for our members and readers to strategically market themselves, their unique selling points, their programs or business strategies with a blend of both online and traditional techniques.


AOA Market Solutions will be available as a separate site to access assistance in marketing your business traditionally or digitally.  You will be able to connect to AOA Market Solutions through the AOA site. 


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AgentsofAmerica.org Forms Strategic Partnership with Martin & Company


"Bringing the Best Together" - Agents of America is pleased to announce its newly formed partnership with Martin & Company, a leading provider of insurance support services. Martin & Company's Product Research, Compliance, Regulatory, Actuarial, State Filing Services along with their noted Publications and Web-Based Solutions are considered "best-in-class" by many top Property and Casualty insurers. They have partnered with AoA to provide insurance professionals with the most up-to-date rate and form filing news in the Property & Casualty market. Starting next week, AoA's "Featured Article" will display Martin & Company's "Market Trends & Updates" content for all AoA members to view. Check out the "Market Trends & Updates" banner displayed above for a preview of next week.




Congratulations to Swett & Crawford.  For the sixth year in a row, the Business Insurance Readers Choice survey named Swett & Crawford the best wholesale broker in the industry.  Click to read more!

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AgentsofAmerica.ORG Supports Hoops For Hope


Want to catch the NCAA Championship Game, have a lot of fun and support an incredibly great cause at the same time?   Join the National Insurance Industry Council at Hoops for Hope, Monday, April 4 at the ESPN Zone in Los Angeles or the Bull and Bear Bar in Chicago. 


Hoops for Hope raises money for City of Hope, ranked as one of America's top 20 cancer hospitals by U.S. News & World Report.  City of Hope's groundbreaking research brings treatments, and hope, to cancer patients all over the country.  Whether it was pioneering bone marrow transplants in the 1970's, developing the science behind human synthetic insulin used today by millions around the globe or any one of their 300+ current clinical trials, City of Hope is committed to cutting edge science and compassionate patient care in their quest to cure cancer. 

For the past 33 years, the National Insurance Industry Council has been committed to helping others and finding treatments for deadly disease.  Having raised over $18M, the NIIC consists of the most prominent property and casualty companies, law firms, brokers, accounting firms, reinsurers, executive placement firms and actuaries in the insurance industry, all determined to help those in need. 

So come watch the championship game, have great fun, and support some of the most innovative cancer research in the country.  In Los Angeles, Hoops for Hope will be held at the ESPN Zone at LA Live starting at 5:30pm.  In Chicago, the Bull and Bear Bar will host Hoops for Hope on the same night, April 4, and begin at 6pm.  To register for either Los Angeles or Chicago go to www.cityofhope.org/hoops or contact Shannon Sullivan at 800-272-2310.

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Table of Contents
avoidAvoiding E&O: Assisting The Insured in the Claim Process
By Matt Marone

Sometimes people just don't follow instructions.  Every insurance policy I've seen tells the insured where and to whom a claim should be reported.  This makes perfect sense - how else does an insured know what to do when he has a claim?  But, in spite of these generally clear policy instructions, I'm willing to bet you've had insured clients contact you instead of the carrier to report a claim.  How should you respond?

howHow to Reject a Job Applicant 
By Dr. Michael Mercer


Many years ago, when I worked as a manager at a major corporation, I received a call from a headhunter about a magnificent job opening.  It sounded like the perfect job for me.  So, I went and was interviewed by the vice-president I would report to, if hired.  He told me I was one of two finalists for the position. 

Read More...  
lawsLaws Governing Employees and Hours of Work
By DeCamp & Siegal

Where are we now?-The rise of the wage and hour class action.


For more than 70 years, the Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA") has required almost all businesses throughout the country to pay their employees at least minimum wage for all hours worked and an overtime premium of at least 50% for work beyond 40 hours in a week. Those seemingly simple requirements, along with related state-law regulations concerning employee wages and hours of work, now give rise to what for many businesses is the single greatest risk of major employment-related liability. The wage and hour laws are demanding and unforgiving.

Legal presumptions and burdens of proof tend to favor workers over employers. Since 2001, wage and hour claims have been the most commonly filed employment law class actions in federal court, surpassing equal employment opportunity cases and all other employment claims as the class action du jour. The plaintiffs' bar holds multi-day conferences dedicated to informing more lawyers how to bring wage and hour claims. Many lawyers are actively looking for companies to sue for pay violations. As a result, employers are one disgruntled worker away from a wage and hour class or collective action.


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electronicElectronically Stored Information and the law: Delete, Destroy, Go Directly to Jail! 
By Steward & Walker

More than ten years ago when we hit the proverbial "Y2K," individuals and organizations around the world were frantically backing up their electronic files and systems in an effort to save the computer data that was becoming so critically important to everyday life.  Now, more than a decade later, companies and individuals are doing everything they can to delete and destroy electronically stored information they fear could hurt them in a lawsuit or arbitration.  Our information age and reliance on massive amounts of electronic data raises a salient and somewhat daunting conundrum for businesses in California:


clustersClusters? Are They Right For You? 
By Val Jordon

As both an independent agent and a sole practitioner, you know how it is becoming increasingly more difficult it is to find products and services. Carriers have increased production requirements, wholesalers are starting to require volume commitments, and your clients are demanding more services than you can provide. So, how do you stay competitive and service your existing book of customers while increasing your customer base.

Joke of the Month

hes"He's as funny as a clown waterboarding a mime."

-  Greg Gutfeld, host of "Red Eye" TV talk show, introducing a guest on his show.


COPYRIGHT 2011 Michael Mercer, Ph.D., www.Pre-EmploymentTests.com


HIRE THE BEST - & AVOID THE REST™, Mercer Systems, Inc.  Michael Mercer, Ph.D.  Book Author & Management Psychologist, President.  Phone = 847-382-0690.  Website = www.Pre-EmploymentTests.com.

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.