E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
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July 12, 2012

 

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Letter from the Editor
This Week's Edition of AOA E&O Prevention 

 
Table of Contents     

  

Purported Notice of Claim Provided By Means of an Underwriting Application Is Inadequate

By Jill A. Ellman, Esq.

  

Employment Law Update

By Paul Siegel. Esq. 

 

A Civic Duty or a Precursor to Lawsuit: Issues Involving Employment and Re-employment of Returning Veterans

By Larry Bartel, Esq.

  

NY's Highest Court Further Limits Available Damages in Legal Malpractice Actions

By Brett A. Scher, Esq.& Jonathan Isaacson Esq.

  

We also would like to extend an invitation for you to join AOA's LinkedIn group at AGENTS OF AMERICA. Also our affiliated Insurance Open Network, a LinkedIn open networking group for all insurance professionals.

AgentsofAmerica.ORG has partnered with WebCE, a leading nationwide provider of Continuing Education for insurance professionals, to provide you with state-approved self-study CE courses to satisfy your CE requirements online! Check out your CE State Requirements. 
 
Also available is our most recent edition of " AOA Tips, Views, News & More," including our new feature "Insurance Resources." Remember to tell your friends and business associates that membership in AgentsofAmerica.ORG is FREE! Also if you have any thoughts, comments or suggestions, please email me at info@agentsofamerica.org.   

 

"Bringing the Best Together"

Brit Weimer 


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AOA News, Views, Tips & More

 
Hire Applicants Who Have Terrific Work Ethic
By Michael Mercer, Ph.D.
 
Pre-employment personality tests plus a few other methods help you hire employees who have wonderful work ethic.  You can use these techniques to put hard-working, productive people onto your workforce.   
 
WHAT IS TERRIFIC WORK ETHIC?
A person with a good work ethic
+  shows up - on-time everyday
+  puts in day's work + more everyday
+  conscientious
+  industrious
+  completes assignments
+  asks for more work after finishing assignments
+  increases your company's 2P's:  Productivity & Profits 
 
WHAT IS PERSON WITH LOUSY WORK ETHIC?
An employee with awful work ethic
-  lazy bum, "slacker"
-  does not show up
-  calls-in "sick" although not sick
-  uses all "sick days"
-  avoids doing work
-  goofs-up work and does not care
-  acts entitled
-  complains a lot
-  uses cell phone when boss not looking
-  decreases your company's 2P's:  Productivity & Profits 
 
2 PRE-EMPLOYMENT TESTS HELP YOU ASSESS APPLICANTS' WORK ETHIC
Two types of pre-hire personality tests help predict if applicant may become a hard-working employee: 
1.  Behavior test
2.  Dependability test
 
Using pre-employment Behavior test, start by benchmarking your best employees who display terrific work ethic.  Do this for each job.  To benchmark, have your best employees take the test.  Their scores become your company's "benchmark" test scores for each job.  Then, when applicants take the pre-employment personality test, you can (A) prefer applicants getting same test scores as your best employees and (B) decrease considering applicants whose scores differ much from your best employees' benchmark scores.
 
Doing this pre-employment personality test benchmarking is good for skilled, professional and management jobs.  Use dependability pre-employment test for lower-level, unskilled and semi-skilled job.
 
Warning:  Do not use benchmarks based on "national norm."  For instance, the pre-employment personality test's "national norm" for a particular job most likely differs from your company's customized benchmark for that job. 
 
A Dependability pre-employment test includes scale measuring Work Ethic.  So, you will get a score telling you the applicant has a lousy or moderate or strong work ethic.  You will consider a person with lousy work ethic high-risk.  An applicant with strong work ethic is low-risk - someone you may decide to hire.  

 

Other Methods to Access Work Method

Look at work history.  Does the applicant have career showing increasing responsibilities?   
 
In interviews, see if applicant acts enthused for doing the job, and not solely getting a paycheck.  Ask applicant for measurable results achieved, plus names of boss who can verify each result.  
 
Also, ask this artfully vague question:  "After you finish your work, what do you do?"  A strong work ethic person's answer will include asking for more work or offering to help co-workers.  A lazy bum will interpret the question differently, and talk about non-work activities.  

Hire People With Terrific Work Ethic - & Do Not Try to Change Lazy Bums

I heard about two books relevant to work ethic:  (1) "Reviving Work Ethic" and (2) "The Power of Habit."  

I recommend the following to help increase your company's productivity and profits. 

 

First, do not waste time "reviving work ethic" of a lazy employee.  It proves immensely more profitable to (1) de-employ lazy bums, rather than "reviving" slackers, and (2) hire replacements possessing terrific work ethic never needs "reviving."   

 

Second, work ethic is a habit.  Make sure you hire people who possess "habit" of powerful work ethic.  

 

Use Pre-Hire Personality Tests to Hire Hard-Working Employees

Invest your time and resources in absolutely fabulous employees.  They show up every day, work hard, and increase your company's productivity and profits.  Avoid hiring or retaining lazy bums who act entitled, and want a paycheck without working for it.   
 
Pre-employment personality tests - behavior and dependability pre-hire tests - help you identify which applicants have lousy or moderate or strong work ethic.  Use pre-employment tests and other methods to hire applicants possessing terrific work ethic. 

Copyright 2012 Michael Mercer, PH.D., 
 
Michael Mercer, Ph.D., authored the book "Hire the Best & Avoid the Rest(tm)."  Dr. Mercer created 3 pre-employment tests that companies use to assess job applicants' behaviors, mental abilities, and dependability.  He also delivers speeches and seminars at companies and conferences.  Subscribe to his newsletter, and learn about the 3 pre-employment tests at

www.Pre-EmploymentTests.com. 

 

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Results of Last Week's Poll Question 

 

Should Insurance Departments consider increasing the number of hours that Agents and Brokers need to maintain their license?

 

Yes    89%

No      11%

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Does the passing of Obamacare hurts Consumers, Insurance Agencies and should it be repealed?
 
Yes, repeal it completely
No, don't repeal it at all
No, repeal just parts of it
Articles 
article1Purported Notice of Claim Provided By Means of an Underwriting Application Is Inadequate
By Jill A. Ellman, Esq.of Tressler LLP 

 

The Material submitted to underwriters as part of a renewal process did not meet the policy's requirements for notification to a specified address and within a specified time period according to a federal appeals court. Atlantic Health System, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, No. 11-2060 (3rd Cir. Feb. 29, 2012).

 

In the underlying matter, an antitrust lawsuit was filed in April 2004 against the insured, Atlantic Health System, Inc. ("AHS"), by Med Alert Ambulance, Inc. (the "Med Alert Lawsuit"). While renewing its policy during the 2003-2004 policy period, AHS advised National Union of the Med Alert Lawsuit in its underwriting application. The renewal applications were sent to an underwriter located at a different address than the claims department. AHS reported the lawsuit in July 2004 under a policy issued by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh ("National Union") effective May 1, 2004 to May 1, 2005. National Union denied coverage because AHS had notice of the underlying matter prior to the inception of the 2004-2005 policy period. In response, AHS reported the Med Alert Lawsuit in August 2004 under the prior 2003-2004 policy period. National Union again denied coverage for the claim because notice had not been provided within the policy period or the 30-day notice extension after the policy's expiration. 

 

 

Read More...

  

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articletwo Employment Law Update

October 1, 2011 to March 15, 2012

By Paul J. Siegel, Esq. of Jackson Lewis LLP

 

The Material submitted to underwriters as part of a renewal process did not meet the policy's requirements for notification to a specified address and within a specified time period according to a federal appeals court. Atlantic Health System, Inc. v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, No. 11-2060 (3rd Cir. Feb. 29, 2012).

 

In the underlying matter, an antitrust lawsuit was filed in April 2004 against the insured, Atlantic Health System, Inc. ("AHS"), by Med Alert Ambulance, Inc. (the "Med Alert Lawsuit"). While renewing its policy during the 2003-2004 policy period, AHS advised National Union of the Med Alert Lawsuit in its underwriting application. The renewal applications were sent to an underwriter located at a different address than the claims department. AHS reported the lawsuit in July 2004 under a policy issued by National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh ("National Union") effective May 1, 2004 to May 1, 2005. National Union denied coverage because AHS had notice of the underlying matter prior to the inception of the 2004-2005 policy period. In response, AHS reported the Med Alert Lawsuit in August 2004 under the prior 2003-2004 policy period. National Union again denied coverage for the claim because notice had not been provided within the policy period or the 30-day notice extension after the policy's expiration. 

  

Read More...

  

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Firebrand Social Media   

  

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articlethreeA Civic Duty or a Precursor to Lawsuit: Issues Involving Employment and Re-employment of Returning Veterans  
By Larry Bartel, Esq of Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin 
 

Key Points: 

USERRA and PMAA protect the employment and reemployment rights of members of our uniformed military.
 
The court's recognition of a common law claim for "failure to hire," when against public policy, allows for the potential recovery of compensatory and punitive damages.


Employers should be aware of USERRA's requirements and must strike a delicate balance when questioning members of the uniformed military about their military experience and obligations.  

 

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article4NY's Highest Court Further Limits Available Damages in Legal Malpractice Actions  
By Brett A. Scher, Esq. and Jonathan A. Isaacson, Esq. of KDVG LLP 

 

In a recent Court of Appeals decision, New York's highest court reversed an appellate court's ruling and held that plaintiffs in legal malpractice actions against criminal defense attorneys cannot recover non-pecuniary damages even in situations where the alleged malpractice results in years of wrongful imprisonment. The Court of Appeals appears to have based its decision on the need to avoid "at best, negative and, at worst, devastating consequences for the criminal justice system" and placing "a chilling effect on the willingness of the already strapped defense bar to represent indigent accused."  

 

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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. Copyright 2012