E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
  
October 4, 2012

 

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Letter from the Editor

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

 

Table of Contents    

  

Insurance Agent Can Be Sued by Intended Beneficiary for Negligence

By Donald A. O'Brien, Esq.

 

By Michael L. Zigelman, Esq., Eric B. Stern, Esq. and Kirsten Ennis, Esq.  

  

Duty to Defend ... Alleging Malpractice

By Kyle P. Barrett, Esq.

 

By Wilhelm Dingler, Esq.

  

 

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

 

Learn what you need to know to protect your clients in 2013. "DRI's Professional Liability Seminar" is dedicated to addressing the educational needs of attorneys and insurers who protect the interests of all types of professionals, from lawyers and accountants to insurance producers and those involved in the construction and design industry. This seminar will be in New York on December 6th & 7th and will include leading experts in the field who will provide important updates to ensure that you have the information you need.

 

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." & "Recommended Reading".  Remember 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"

 

Britton D. Weimer, Esq.


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AOA News, Views, Tips and More

 

 

Insurance Coverage Tip

By Alison Slezak of Martin & Company

 

New Programs Establish Protection for Organizations Against Compromised Data

 

Today organizations are at a constant threat of their data being breached or compromised.  Because of this, more and more companies are beginning to invest in plans that protect them from the risks associated with compromised data. 

 

Caitlin Indemnity Company recently adopted a new Data Compromise Coverage Plan.  The coverage is broken out into two sections. 

 

The first part of the program is described as 'Response Expenses Coverage'.  This includes the legal and forensic information technology review, the notification of the affected individuals and any services provided to the affected individuals.  An 'affected individual' is defined as  customers, students or student legal guardian clients, members, directors or employees of the insured entity. 

  

The second part of the program is described as 'Defense and Liability Coverage'.  This provides coverage for any defense and settlement costs in the event that the affected individual takes legal action against the insured. 

 

Coverage limits for each part of the program is $100,000.

 

To view more "hot trends" in the Property & Casualty Insurance Marketplace, visit: Martin & Company's Market Trends & Updates or contact Alison at aslezak@martincompanyus.com.

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Executive Effectiveness: Becoming Inspiring

By Michael Beck of Michael Beck International, Inc.

 

One of the most important competencies a leader must master is the ability to inspire people.

 

There is a difference between inspiration and motivation.  By definition, "to inspire" means "to exert a stimulating or beneficial effect upon, or to arouse with a particular emotion" and "to motivate" means "to provide with an incentive, or move to action".   The important implication to this distinction is that we inspire people by who we are and what we do (or did), and people are motivated by who they are or what theywant.  Therefore, for you to be able to inspire people, they need to see who you are as a person and they need to become aware of what you're doing or what you've done in the past. 

 

What does being an inspiring leader accomplish?  Inspirational leadership achieves a number of very important things.

 

An inspiring leader elicits an emotional response from people.  This ability is essential to effective leadership.  People are moved more often and more strongly by emotion than they are by logic.

 

When we inspire people, it creates the desire to accomplish more and helps people to overcome their challenges and fears.  Becoming an inspirational leader is one of the keys to creating a high performing team.

 

An inspiring leader can spark the imagination of an entire organization.  When a leader masters the ability to deliver an inspiring message, their message can become the catalyst for a new, innovative future.  Inspiration causes people to align themselves with your vision, your passion, and your cause.

 

An inspirational leader creates belief, enthusiasm, and hope in people.  When people are inspired by someone, they admire them, respect them, and often strive to emulate them.  In turn, they will strive to gain your respect and admiration as well.

 

Now that I've sparked your interest in becoming a more inspirational leader we need to turn our attentions to the things we can do to become more inspiring.  A good place to start is by thinking of people who you find inspiring and by reflecting on why they inspire you.  These people may be historic figures, present day figures, or family members.

 

Here is a sample list of people I think most of us would consider to be inspiring:

 

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Harland Sanders
  • Mahatma Gandhi
  • Nelson Mandela
  • Martin Luther King

So the question is, what is it (or was it) about them that makes them inspiring?  What causes us to feel that way about them?  If you list all the things about them that cause you to feel that way, you'll see that it boils down to how you feel about them as a person or what they did that was admirable.

When someone has a vision, a passion, a purpose, or a philosophy and communicates it well, they draw people to them like a magnet.  They inspire them to dream bigger and achieve more.  Even more inspiring is when they act on that vision, passion, or purpose. 

 

Additionally, we're often inspired by someone who was willing to stand up for someone or something.  We tend to admire people like that.  People who overcame adversity and succeeded in spite of it also inspire us onward to greater things.  We all have challenges.  Sometimes we overcome them, and sometimes they overwhelm us.  An inspiring leader can make all the difference in someone's life.

 

And finally, we are inspired by someone with integrity.  Someone who not only does what he or she says they will do, but speaks and acts in alignment with the values they say matter to them.  There are few things more powerful than a person who lives by their principles.

 

Let me offer some insights into what you can do right now to be more inspiring to the people around you.  Most of us haven't had to overcome extraordinary challenges and most of us haven't made an impact on a global scale.  But nevertheless, each of us can be an inspiring leader to our team, our company and our family.

 

If you want to enhance your leadership effectiveness and achieve greater success, it is essential to become inspiring to others.  We each tend to consider our past achievements and accomplishments as unremarkable.  Unremarkable because either they came easily to us, or because we feel that anyone (and everyone) could accomplish what we did, or because we focus on (and are possibly embarrassed by) the challenges we faced rather than focusing on the fact that we overcame.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

 

INSIGHT #1:

Become clear about, effectively communicate, and act upon your vision, passion, purpose, or philosophy.  People are attracted to and inspired by someone who believes in something and is passionate.  In truth, most people aren't passionate about anything in their life.  Having and expressing a vision can be impactful, but actually taking action on what we say matters to us is very powerful.  After all, actions speak louder than words.

 

If you need a jump start towards gaining clarity about this for yourself, reflect on what advice you would give someone just starting out in business or in life.   Never miss an opportunity to share what matters to you.  Use stories to make your point and paint a picture with your words.

 

INSIGHT #2:

Let others know about an adversity you overcame.  When people hear a story of how someone overcame adversity and succeeded in spite of it, they become inspired to overcome their own obstacles and challenges.  It doesn't have to be a "crushing" issue.  It can be an attitude, circumstance or belief that we overcame which allowed us to achieve what we did and become who we are today.

 

Share past challenges that you worked to overcome.  Remember, it doesn't have to be a major life-altering challenge to have an impact on someone.  Once again, use stories to make your point and paint a picture.

 

INSIGHT #3:

Be willing to stand up for what you believe.  People admire someone who stands up for what they believe - even if they don't agree with them!  They admire someone who is true to themselves and defends others.

 

Don't compromise on the principles you believe in.  Stand up for someone's rights, even if you don't agree with them.

 

INSIGHT #4:

Act with integrity.   When someone does what they say they're going to do, it creates an impression.  When they go out of their way to do what they said they'd do, it creates an impression.  Acting with integrity causes people to take notice of us.  When we speak and act in alignment with the values we say matter us, we make an impression on people.

 

Make a practice of doing what you say you are going to do, become clear on what values matter to you, and work to ensure your words and actions align with who you say you are as a person.

 

The best way to start becoming more inspiring is to take time to reflect back on your life and take stock of how you've changed, who you've become, what you've achieved, and what you believe in (your passions, philosophies and/or purpose).  And then begin sharing it.  Share it with your team, your company, and your family.  Once you do, you'll start making a greater difference in people's lives.

 

By the way, if you'd like help becoming more inspiring as a leader, please give me a call or contact me through the website.

 

Michael Beck, Executive Coach and Strategist, is president of Michael Beck International, Inc. - a firm specializing in executive development, leadership effectiveness, and executive strategy.  Connect on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/mjbeck  and visit www.michaeljbeck.com to learn more.  Permission to reprint with full attribution.  2012 Michael Beck International, Inc.

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Social Media Tip

By Cynthia Cavoto of Firebrand Social Media

 

 

SEO Copywriting Service

 

There are a great many companies that offer SEO copywriting service.  This is a very competitive field but it is a growing field due to the demand and need for good web content.  This article will focus on how you can sell SEO copywriting service.

 

The first key when talking about SEO copywriting service is to make sure that you have a good understanding of copywriting and experience within the field.  Copywriting is a subject that takes a great deal of time to learn so you want to make sure that you have some experience and education before you start to go the route of SEO copywriting service.

 

SEO copywriting is a little different and more difficult than many other forms of copywriting due to the demands placed upon the writer.  Often when you're writing copy you are writing for a particular audience and know what the audience wants.  This is where SEO copywriting can be a little more difficult is because you are writing for a couple of different audiences at the same time.  You must walk the tightrope in being sure that the web content that you develop fits with what the search engines search bots are looking for when indexing sites but your web content must also entice your target audience to buy your products or services.

 

To become good at SEO copywriting service, you will want to focus on learning what the important keys to building a good website are.  The first key is being sure that you have very good web content that the search bots are looking for and that your audience desires.  The second key one is to make sure that you develop good back links.  Back links are developed when other web sites link back to your web site. This helps the search bots find your website and index it potentially higher in the search engine rankings.  There are many other factors that go into having a high page rank and being noticed by search engines but these are the two factors that stand out most in importance.

 

There are many different companies that offer this service so you will want to develop a particular niche in which you can focus.  By learning the common steps of SEO copywriting, you will have a general basis to focus on many different industries but if you focused on one particular niche, this could allow you to have specialized knowledge in a competitive advantage over many other competing firms.

 

Hopefully this article on SEO copywriting service has been beneficial to you.  This field can be difficult to learn about because you have to make sure that you know about copywriting but also how to put it in a format that fits for the Internet and allows your copy to excel.  There's a great deal more competition potentially on the Internet due to the fact that there are over 4 billion web pages out there.  It can take a great deal of work to get a website indexed and noticed and this is where good SEO copywriting service comes into play

 

This month's EBook is entitled, "Creating Business Listings on Local Search Engines

 

Each month, we will feature a brand new Social Media EBook that contains valuable information on how you can harness the power of social media. Each featured EBook will contain a wealth of information that will include such topics as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Email and Blogging to name a few. Contact Cynthia at cynthia@agentsofamerica.org. or cynthia@firebrandsocialmedia.com
Articles 

A1Insurance Agent Can Be Sued by Intended Beneficiary for Negligence                                                    

By Donald A. O'Brien, Esq. 

 

Plaintiff's decedent purchased a life insurance policy from defendant insurance agent in 1993. Under the policy, the decedent's daughter from a previous marriage was designated as the primary beneficiary until she became of age in 2005 pursuant to a support decree. Plaintiff, the decedent's new wife, was listed as the beneficiary for the balance of the policy proceeds. In 2005, the decedent asked the insurance agent to change the beneficiary designation so as to remove the daughter and make the decedent's new wife the beneficiary of the entire policy. The decedent completed the paperwork to facilitate the change and subsequently the insurance agent told the decedent's new wife and the decedent in person and over the phone that the change had been made. When the decedent died in 2007, the insurance agent first informed the decedent's new wife that she was the primary beneficiary and later, after talking with the insurance company, advised her that the daughter was still the primary beneficiary of the insurance proceeds and that she would only receive the remainder.   

 

  

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On Wednesday, September 19, 2012, in Watson v. Dillon Co., et. al., No. 08-cv-00091 (D. Colo. 2008) a federal jury in Denver awarded $7.3 million in damages to Wayne Watson, who was diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans ("Popcorn Lung"), the scarring of airways caused by fumes from diacetyl, an ingredient in artificial flavorings used in microwave popcorn. According to reports, Watson's attorney stated that this lawsuit was the first Popcorn Lung case in which a consumer successfully obtained a verdict in its favor. While at least two additional consumer-commenced Popcorn Lung lawsuits went to trial in 2010, neither action resulted in a verdict for the consumer. In both such lawsuits, the fact-finders rejected the proposed expert testimony connecting Popcorn Lung to the consumption of popcorn. We note that there is at least one consumer Popcorn Lung lawsuit currently pending in New York state court, Mercado v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., No. 011069/2010 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Queens Cnty. 2010).

 

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A3 

LPL Insurer's Duty to Defend Sanctions Hearing Was Triggered Where Client Intervene Alleging Malpractice and Seeking Fees

By Kyle P. Barrett, Esq.

 

A legal malpractice carrier's duty to defend a discovery sanctions petition brought against the insured attorney was triggered upon the intervention of the attorney's client and filing by the client of an answer alleging malpractice and seeking recovery of attorney's fees. The insurer did not, however, act in bad faith by denying coverage based upon a reasonable reading of the policy's exclusion for sanctions. Post v. St. Paul Travelers Ins. Co., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 15767 (3rd Cir. July 31, 2012). 

 
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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