E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
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September 20, 2012


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Letter from the Editor


AgentsofAmerica.org announces a Strategic Partnership with of eMETA Learning Solution`s Encompass Workplace Mental Health.  


"Workplaces are heavily impacted by mental health issues; it is a significant business issue that requires the attention of all organizations. Mental illness accounts for 15% of the entire burden of disease in the US which is greater than all cancers combined"


The Encompass program is the Nation's first program on mental health literacy that gives employers a training program on the early identification and remediation of mental health issues in the workplace. The program is designed for Insurance Agents & Brokers and their commercial clients as a resource that addresses the financial burden of untreated mental health issues in the workplace. It educates all levels of the organization about depression and anxiety and how that affects productivity" In addition to awareness, the ultimate objective for the program is to potentially reduce the cost of both their Health and the Workmen Compensation Insurance. It also creates additional revenue opportunities for Insurance Agents by providing them with a prospecting tool to find new clients.


Each month the "Experts", Debbie Dutton Lambert MBA, PC, CRC founder of Encompass, Daina Dennis MBA Ph.D. and Tracey Skale MD who have a combined 72 years of professional experience in the fields of behavioral health, industrial and vocational rehabilitation, disability management and psychiatry will provide us with some insights to the issues, practical tips and information to this problem to help guide both you and your clients. Check out this month Tip, "How to Talk to An Employee with a Mental Health Condition That is Affecting Work Performance"


Check out the following  video providing more facts and figures on workplace mental health 

"A Business Case For Promoting MentalHealth Training in the Workplace"


This week's edition of AOA E&O Prevention:


Table of Contents    


Are you Aware of the Power of a Signed Application?

By Curtis M. Pearsall

Claims Leakage - Plugging the Hole with Predictive Modeling - Part 2

By Ronald T. Kuehn, Kim Piersol & Alan Pakula    


Insurer Has No Duty to Defend or Indemnify Suit Alleging Incomplete, Nonconforming, Unsatisfactory and Otherwise Defective Work By an Insured

By Jason M. Craft, Esq.


By Francis X. Wickersham, Esq. & G. Jay Habas, Esq.



Check out this week's edition of World Risk & Insurance News at WRIN.tv .


Also available this week is our new feature, "Recommended Reading" where we will suggest books, articles and interesting topics written by one of our "Experts", today we feature, Britton D. Weimer J.D., Eric D. Satre J.D., Andrew F. Whitman PhD, CLU & CPCU  and T Michael Speidel, D.D.S., J.D. who have written a new book

 "Employment Practices Liability: Guide to Risk Exposures and Coverage, 2nd Edition". The book is a detailed and practical guide to employment practices liability, coverage, and risk management.  It is a comprehensive one-volume handbook for all employers and agents.


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"


Angelo J. Gioia




AOA News, Views, Tips and More


howHow to Talk to An Employee with a Mental Health Condition That is Affecting Work Performance

By Deborah Dutton-LambertMBA, PC, CRC founder of Encompass Training Program


It is important that you:

  • Approach your concern as a workplace performance issue.
  • Raise the possibility of providing accommodations if needed.
  • Provide access to an Employee Assistance Program or referral to community services.
  • Assure the employee that meetings with an EAP provider are confidential.
  • Set a time to meet again to review the employee's performance.
  • Document this meeting fully.

But there are some things you should not say or do:

  • Don't offer a pep talk.
  • Don't be accusatory.
  • Don't say "I've been there" unless you have been there. You may not understand or relate to a mental illness, but that shouldn't stop you from offering help.
  • Don't try to give a name to the underlying issue. Even if you suspect a particular illness or problem, focus on how the employee's behavior is concerning you and how you want to help them improve.
  • If you learn that a specific illness is causing the behavior, don't ask what "caused" the illness. Focus on solutions.

Your employee may not know, or may refuse to acknowledge, that they have a mental health problem. In that case, there may be little you can do to help them. At this point, focusing on work performance is the best approach.

For additional information or to contact Debbie go to "Contact Us"



Why Should You Be Using Insurance Leads to Grow Your Business?

By Donald J. Dzubak of Parasol Financial & Insurance Solutions


TIP: To generate enough sales for your business, online leads should be part of your overall marketing mix.  However they should not be the only marketing tactic you use.  Diversify in the marketing tactics you integrate into your marketing plan and you'll see a more consistent flow of new sales coming in

Investing on exclusive insurance leads can be very lucrative. It offers a fast and easy way to populate your sales prospects with a proven lead conversion rate of as high as 40 per cent. Every now and then, however, insurance leads conversion rate fails. Whether it is due to mismatched leads or inappropriate filters, conversion from leads to sales easily suffers. What, then, can you do to protect your investment against low-performing leads?


1. Choose your leads carefully - it would help keep your ROI up if you could make sure that you receive high-quality insurance leads only. There are generally two types of leads that you will find: shared and exclusive.


Shared leads are less expensive, but have lower conversion rates. Typically, shared leads are aged and have been recycled, possibly numerous times.  Exclusive insurance leads, on the other hand, cost more but have a higher conversion rate because they are "real time" and accessible only to you.


2. Use your initial purchase as test and proceed with caution - most insurance lead providers do not require a minimum purchase. Make sure that you start investing in their leads conservatively at first.


Test the water and judge the quality of leads you get. How many of them turned into prospects? How many of them failed? How many of them were you able to return? If you're happy with the results, you can go ahead and buy more. If not, contact the lead provider and ask for an account review. Any lead company worth their salt will spend the time with you to discuss your account, make adjustments and work with you to ensure you receive the most from their program.


3. Take advantage of the company's return policy - the best providers of insurance agent leads will not shy away from having a generous return policy. The term varies from one provider to the next, but in most cases you can return an insurance lead that doesn't have valid contact information or a clear interest on an insurance product.


Typically, a lead fails your target return of investment (ROI) when the customer applying for an insurance quote has entered inaccurate data on the application form. Although entered data is validated before the lead is passed on to insurance agents, there will be some cases when inaccurate information makes it to the database. As a failsafe, insurance agent leads providers offer a return policy to replace these leads.


For more information Contact Donald J. Dzubak, Vice President Sales and Marketing - 651-730-6619, don@parasolleads.com or visit  http://www.ParasolLeads.com


Strategic Insurance Tip

By Andrew Barile, MBA, CPCP of Andrew Barile Consulting Corporations, Inc. 


Negotiating the "Captive Service Agreement" Provided by the Captive Management Arm of the Major Broking Corporations


 The Captive Manager's duties for the captive owner,


   include assisting with the compliance with the domicile insurance law and maintaining books and records in accordance with established accounting principles applicable to the business of insurance ...

   the manager shall assist in the maintenance of the captive's bank accounts

    preparation of its financial statements

    provide administrative assistance in the implementation of any insurance/reinsurance program

     include drafting, preparation, review and issuance of policies, reinsurance contracts, certificates of insurance, binders or cover notes

   Note:  Who is responsible for pricing the insurance and reinsurance?

     Billing and collection of premiums; and

     Payment of claims and other expenses

Management of the captive insurance company is vested in a Board of Directors consisting of not less than three nor more than ten members...

  Note: Who is responsible for settling of claims?

  Note: Do the directors need to have worked in the insurance and reinsurance industry?

Contact Andrew J. Barile (619) 507-0354 - :abarile@abarileconsult.com or visit www.abarileconsult.com.



When It Comes to Prospecting, Don't Start What You Can't Finish

By Mark Mark Hunter "The Sales Hunter."


A huge mistake people make when prospecting is they think they're being efficient by making a bunch of calls or emailing a group of prospects once and then thinking that qualifies as prospecting.


The definition of prospecting is creating a level of awareness with those who might do business with you. This is not something that is going to be accomplished with a single phone call or email.


It takes continuity.

Before starting any type of prospecting, you first have to ask yourself if you have the time and ability to make the necessary number of follow-up contacts with those you intend to prospect with. Just answering this question truthfully can and will save a tremendous amount of time.


To put it bluntly, you are not being productive in your prospecting efforts if you don't have an effective process for following up.

This is something I've talked about for a long time.


Far too many salespeople have used the excuse that prospecting doesn't work, when in fact it's not that prospecting doesn't work as much as it's their approach to prospecting that doesn't work.


Set your calendar - this means your day, your week, and your month - to ensure you have the right amount of time in your schedule to be able to follow through with prospects.


The number of contacts it takes is going to vary depending on the industry the salesperson is selling to. Minimally it's at least 3 contacts with a prospect and could be as many as 8. Whatever the number, don't start anything unless you know you can finish.


End result of this approach is that you will likely be contacting fewer prospects, but more of them will turn into customers because of your follow-through process.


Mark Hunter, "The Sales Hunter," is a sales expert who speaks to thousands each year on how to increase their sales profitability.  For more information, to receive a free weekly email sales tip, or to read his Sales Motivation Blog, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com. You can also follow him on www.Twitter.com (TheSalesHunter), on www.LinkedIn.com (Mark Hunter), and on his Facebook Fan Page, www.facebook.com/TheSalesHunter or call 402.445.2110

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter "The Sales Hunter.



Are You Aware of the Power of a Signed Application?                     
By Curtis M. Pearsall


Going back to my days at the agency side of the business (late 70's), it was definitely rare that we were able to get the client to sign an application. Actually, there were probably some situations where if the carrier wanted the app signed, we would give the client a blank app, advising them to sign it and we would fill it in later. If this agency was the norm, I certainly feel confident that much progress has been made in this area. Is there room for further improvement - I don't think that there is any doubt on that!













In Part 2 of this article we discuss examples of predictive modeling usage in claims leakage studies in order to mitigate the adverse loss development that would have otherwise occurred.


See Part 1 http://www.agentsofamerica.org/pr_detail.php?id_art=765





Firebrand Social Media   





By Jason M. Craft, Esq.


On cross-motions for summary judgment, the U.S. District Court, applying Washington law, held that no defense or indemnity is owed by Gemini Insurance Company ("Gemini") with respect to a lawsuit against its insureds, Big Construction, Inc. and its owner (collectively "Big Construction"), alleging breach of contract and violations of the Consumer Protection Act and Model Toxics Control Act. The case involved Big Construction's conduct as the general contractor in a project calling for the demolition and new construction of a residence. Big Construction, Inc. v. Gemini Insurance Company, No. 12-5015, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71350 (W.D. Wash. May 22, 2012).






By Francis X. Wickersham, Esq & G. Jay Habas, Esq


Neil D. Brown v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review; 1618 C.D. 2011; filed August 9, 2012; by Judge Leavitt


The claimant worked for the employer as a battery machine operator in a warehouse with 605 employees. As part of his job, the claimant was required to make sure that batteries needing repair were kept out of circulation and set aside in a designated space. The claimant labeled each out-of-service battery with a sign reading, "Do Not Use." One day, the claimant discovered someone had torn the sign from an out-of-service battery and attempted to charge and use it before it had been repaired. The claimant then placed two hand-written signs on the battery that read, "To the Moron who can't read - do not use this, do not use this battery" and "Not charging you moron." A complaint was made about the signs, and the claimant was terminated. 


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