E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
  
November 15, 2012

 

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Benefits of AoA

E&O Blog

Free eBook

Free Membership

Free Newsletter

Free Social Media EBooks

Market Solutions

Press Releases

Meet the Experts  

Editor (Chief Fire Starter)

Managing Editor 

Publisher

Insurance Blog

Recommended Reading

 

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Letter from the Editor

 

DRI NEWS

 

50-State Professional Liability Compendium

 

This compendium summarizes significant case law and statutes concerning a wide array of professional liability insurance and claims-made coverage issues.  It is truly a comprehensive - and one-of-a-kind - publication which discusses common coverage provisions and exclusions in policies issued to a variety of professionals, directors and officers, and employers.  Insurance professionals and attorneys alike will find this compendium to be a valuable resource to consult whenever faced with professional liability or claims-made coverage issues throughout the country. Ordering information is available at DRI Store.

 

Claims Against Securities Brokers & Registered Representatives

 

Learn what you need to know to protect your clients in 2013. "DRI's Professional Liability Seminar" 

 

Claims against broker-dealers and their registered representatives arising from tenants in common investment property and other commonly owned real estate investment vehicles are on the rise and have the potential to wreak havoc on the investment community.

 

Please join us at the DRI Professional Liability Seminar in NYC on December 6-7 where our seasoned claims counsel and defense counsel will discuss the nature of these investment vehicles; the profiles of those who are permitted to-and most typically-invest in them; the scenarios in which the claims most often arise; and how the broker dealers and their counsel can best defend against claims of lack of due diligence and failure to disclose risk of failure of the product. The methods by which investors formulate their damages, and the strategies by which those damages can be reduced, will also be covered. CLE credits are available.

 

 

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

 

 

Table of Contents    

  

By Philip R. Voluck, Esq. & Keith J. Gutstein, Esq. 

 

Insurance Carrier Owed No Duty to Defend.....

By Devin C. Maddox, Esq

  

Leave Sharing Programs.....

By Joseph J. Lazzarotti, Esq., Bruce H. Schwartz, Esq., & Monique Warren, Esq 

 

By Joe Monteleone, Esq. 


Duty to Defend Triggered by Allegations of Malicious Prosecution

By Terrence P. McAvoy, Esq., & Patricia Lynch Franklin, Esq. 

 

                 

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

  

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

 

Wishing you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving.  

 

"Bringing the Best Together"

 

Britton D. Weimer, Esq.


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AOA Tips, Views, News & More

 

 

Mental Health Conditions in the Workplace

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

 

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER,THE HIDDEN WOUNDS OF WARRIORS FOR OUR FREEDOM

 

Just this month I had the honor and privilege of meeting Sgt. Shane Parsons and his mother, Cindy Parsons.  Both have participated in the Wounded Warrior Project that provides support and treatment to countless veterans who return home from battle with lost limbs, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I was moved by Cindy Parson's speech and her advocacy for her son who lost both of his legs, had a serious head injury, and almost lost his life in 2006 while serving in Iraq.  I also became very concerned when Sgt. Shane Parsons spoke of the stigma facing service men and women who have been diagnosed with PTSD. The PTSD diagnosis often labels these soldiers as "ticking time bombs" making their acceptance in the workplace very difficult.

 

What exactly is PTSD? What does it look like and what are the symptoms?  According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD is an anxiety disorder and symptoms can be grouped into three categories:

  1.      Re-experiencing symptoms

       Flashbacks

       Bad dreams

       Scary thoughts

  1.     Avoidance symptoms

       Staying away from certain situations and/or places

       Feeling emotionally numb, guilty or depressed

 

     2.    Hyper-arousal symptoms

 

       Easily startled

       Feeling tense

       Difficulty sleeping

       Angry outbursts

 

According to Sidran Institute people with PTSD have among the highest rates of healthcare service use. Unfortunately PTSD is often overlooked or undiagnosed since it results from past trauma.

 

Since October 2001, approximately 1.64 million U.S. troops have been deployed for Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) in Afghanistan and Iraq. Early evidence suggests that the psychological toll of these deployments - many involving prolonged exposure to combat-related stress over multiple rotations - may be disproportionately high compared with the physical injuries of combat. Concerns have been most recently centered on two combat-related injuries in particular: PTSD and TBI. With the increasing concern about the incidence of suicide and suicide attempts among returning Soldiers, concerns about depression are also on the rise.  The estimate is that 19.5% of the Veterans from OEF/OIF report experiencing TBI and 18.5% currently have PTSD. Unlike the physical wounds of war, these conditions are often invisible to the eye thus remaining invisible to other service members, family members and society in general (Rand Center for Military Health Policy Research: Invisible Wounds of War Project, 2008).

 

Fortunately, PTSD is treatable and there are programs that have been developed by the Department of Defense and the Veterans Administration to address PTSD of returning Soldiers from OEF/OIF.  However, fewer than half of the Veterans who report symptoms of combat-related PTSD receive the care they need. Of those Veterans who do start treatment, between 20 to 50 percent walk away before the treatment is completed. According to recent studies*, some of the key reasons include Veterans' general lack of trust for any mental health professional, a belief that psychological problems tend to work themselves out on their own and a perception that seeking mental health treatment should be a last resort (Science Codex, May 2012).

 

One of the most difficult challenges for returning Soldiers with PTSD is readjustment to the workplace.  According to a 2010 Society of Human Resource Management survey, nearly half of employers -- 46 percent -- said PTSD or other mental health issues created challenges for hiring employees with military experience. A 2011 survey of 831 hiring managers by the Apollo Research Institute found that 39 percent were "less favorable" toward hiring military personnel when considering war-related psychological disorders.

 

Clearly stigma plays a role in society's acceptance of the returning Soldiers' mental health conditions. Adding to this stigma are the many recent portrayals of acts of violence linked to PTSD of soldiers that labels them as "ticking time bombs."  Yet the rate of violence among Veterans is no greater than the population at large.  These media stories lead to misleading links between military service, mental health and the increased likelihood for violence.

 

PTSD is not just related to returning Soldiers. In fact, the lifetime prevalence of PTSD indicates that about six to eight percent of Americans will be affected (National Institute of Mental Health), many of whom are female victims of sexual assault.

 

The real issue here is stigma and how we as a society respond to individuals with mental health conditions.  To quote President Clinton," mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of, but stigma and bias shame us all."  How do we prevent the disenfranchisement of the warriors for our freedom, our friends, neighbors, or family members who have PTSD or any other mental health condition for employment, acceptance, or any pursuit of happiness? We make an effort as a people to understand mental health conditions and train our workforce on mental health literacy.

 

For additional information go to "Encompass Trainingor to contact Debbie go to "Contact Us"


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5 Offline Marketing Ideas to Generate Insurance Leads

By ParasolLeads

 

It's easy to get caught up in all the cool online marketing methods available today, such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), blogging, Google Places, online directories, and the list is virtually endless. However, to have a robust marketing strategy, an insurance agent should consider a combination of online and offline marketing strategies to generate the most insurance leads possible.

 

Below are 5 offline marketing strategies to give your business a boost to move you in the right direction for those high quality insurance leads you're looking for.

 

Use Business Cards - It's likely business cards will always be used so you can easily hand out your information anytime you come into contact with someone. You can also ask others for theirs so you can follow-up with them.  Obviously, your business card should include your name, contact information (phone and email) and web address.  However, use the back of your card for additional information about your value proposition.  Another idea is to place your "30 second elevator speech" on the back of the card.

Attend Events - The more you're in front of people, the more exposed you are to generate insurance leads. Attend networking events, industry events, training sessions, networking groups, community events, etc.  But don't go just to attend the event. Plan out your strategy so you arrive at the event with a purpose and plan to obtain leads.

Look Into Hard Copy Circulars - Many get so focused on blogging and online article directories that they forget that hard copy circulars still exist. Find a couple industry-related ones, and consider advertising or writing an article for them.

Post Fliers and Sales Pages - When strategically used and placed, one-page fliers or sales pages can help you market your insurance business. Consider placing them on grocery store and hospital posting boards, for example, and be sure to include your contact information.  Did you know postcards still are a powerful marketing tactic?  They are!  However plan to use oversized postcards and run multiple campaigns.  Running just one postcard mailing and hoping for the best is not a strategy.

Give Presentations - Building your credibility and expert status in your industry are important for your business, and presentations are a great way to do this. Offer to give presentations at networking or training events, or even for a lunch and learn where a business could benefit from your services.

 

These activities are a great place to start to ensure you have a strong offline marketing strategy. Choose at least one or two new ones you don't already use to generate new insurance leads sooner rather than later!

 

At ParasolLeads, our primary goal is to build strong relationships that result in meeting the needs of insurance agents.

 

To find out more about using offline marketing tools for your business, as well as some powerful online marketing tools, check out our Ultimate Insurance Agent Marketing Guide (http://www.InsuranceLeadsExclusive.com), or give us a call today!  (888) 778-0410 ext. 2

 

 

Does your E&O Client Discussion include Social Media Exposure?  

By Val Jordan, President of AgenciesOnline

 

You have protected your business clients with E&O coverage, but have you had a discussion with them about one of the potentially most disastrous exposures to a company - social media exposure?

 

Employees tend to think they are only communicating with their circle of friends and don't realize that posts reflecting negatively on your business, other employees, or clients, can go viral and come back to haunt you. Posts have been used as evidence in suits brought against companies and court decisions have been swinging in favor of the complaintant. 

 

How to avoid this? 

 

1.     Make sure you have recommended to your clients that they include a Social Media Policy in their Employee Handbook clearly stating the confidentiality of all client information and the avoidance of any negative posting in their individual social media accounts or on company pages.

 

2.     Make sure you have reviewed their E&O policy to include exposures via social media. 

 

3.     Recommend that the company never respond to a compliant in a social media post. Advise them to never admit to error but rather that the company acknowledges the post and that the company is researching the complaint.  Again, your client doesn't want comments on social media that can be used against them in an E&O or defamation claim.

 

4.     Have a manager or executive of the company sign off on all posts to the company's social media pages insuring that the messages are timely and accurate. 

 

5.     Frequently hold employee meetings to remind them of the company's social media policy.

 

Remember - if you wouldn't say it in person, don't write it in a post.

 

Want to learn more about social media and the good and the bad, let me know.

 

Contact, Val Jordan is President of AgenciesOnline which is a communications, marketing, and technology company.  She can be reached at valjordan@agenciesonline.biz or at 888-985-3331 X225.  Want more information on AgenciesOnline, log on to www.agenciesonline.biz

 
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Let Your Customer Read A Key Point of Your Presentation                            

By Mark Hunter, "The Sale Hunter" 

 

The vast majority of people retain information better when they read it themselves versus when they hear the same information.

 

Use this to your advantage by making it a technique you use during a sales presentation.

One way to do this is by taking your presentation materials and highlight one key point you typically use in your presentation.

 

Rather than stating the key point yourself and expecting the customer to understand what you said, switch things up and ask the customer to read the statement.

 

After they've read the statement, ask them what it means to them.

What we're doing with this approach is engaging the customer using m

ore of their own natural learning skills. The beauty of this approach is you can use it at almost anytime during the sales call. Using it early in the call can help you get the customer involved. Using it later in the presentation can help you set up a trial close.

 

Either way it helps you move the sales process forward.

 

Far too many sales calls are nothing more than one-sided conversations that should really be referred to as a bad lecture from a boring professor. This is exactly what this technique helps to prevent.

 

If you're a salesperson who struggles with getting good dialogue from the customer, try using this on every sales call. When you use it remember the key to making it work is by asking the customer immediately after they've read the key point you want them to read what it means to them.

 

The power is in the open-ended question you're asking them.

 

After they've shared with you their response as to what it means to them, follow-up again by asking them another question based on what they just shared with you. It's at this point the customer is now giving you valuable information with which you can use to close the sale.

 

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, visit www.TheSalesHunter.com. You can also follow him on Twitter, on LinkedIn, and on his Facebook Fan Page, or call 402.45.2110. Mark@TheSalesHunter.com

 

Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter "The Sales Hunter." Sales Motivation Blog.

Articles 

A1Helpful Information for Employers and EPL Carriers in Sandy's Aftermath           

By Philip R. Voluck, Esq. & Keith J. Gutstein, Esq. of Kaufman Dolowich Voluck & Gonzo LLP                     

 

As many of our clients, friends, acquaintances and others continue to deal with the severe hardships caused by Hurricane Sandy, this disaster has likely triggered a variety of challenges for employers under state and federal employment laws. With businesses struggling to re-open and resume operations, KDVG has gathered together a number of general employment issues for companies to consider as a result of Hurricane Sandy.

  

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Professional liability insurer Axis Surplus Insurance Company had no duty to defend its insured in a lawsuit alleging unauthorized use of a website and customer lists, and direct solicitation of customers. Coverage for said claims was barred by a policy exclusion precluding coverage for claims for, or arising directly or indirectly out of, gain, profit or advantage to which any insured was not legally entitled. Coral Reef Productions, 2012 Mich. App. LEXIS 1149, No. 302706 (Mich. Ct. App. June 19, 2012).

 
Read More...

  

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Firebrand Social Media   

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

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By Joseph J. Lazzarotti, Esq., Bruce H. Schwartz, Esq., & 

Monique Warren, Esq. of Jackson Lewis LLP

 

Disaster situations such as Hurricane Sandy often leave companies and employers scrambling for ways to assist those affected by the storm, including employees and employees' families. Below are some of the ways employers are stepping up.

 
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By Joe Monteleone, Esq. of Tressler LLP
 

David A. Gauntlett and his firm, Gauntlett & Associates, are well known in the insurance coverage community as respected advocates on behalf of policyholders. Thus, many insurers might be somewhat bemused and smug to see the firm on the losing side of a coverage dispute with its own employment practices liability insurer. Gauntlett v. Illinois Union Ins. Co., No. 11-cv-00455, (USDC, N.D. Cal., decided September 13, 2012). [See here for a copy of the decision]

 
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article5 

Duty to Defend Triggered by Allegations of Malicious Prosecution   

By

Terrence P. McAvoy, Esq., & Patricia Lynch Franklin, Esq. of  

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

 
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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