E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
  
February 21, 2013

 

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Letter from the Editor

 

"Insurance Agency Risk Management: A Comprehensive Guide to Avoiding E&O Claim - Book One"!  

 

"A Comprehensive Guide to Avoiding E&O Claims" addresses issues that Insurance Agents & Brokers encounter every day. One of the most important assets an agent has is their reputation; it takes years to build a business and only one mistake to ruin it. "Book One" is a practicable guide and resource that every Insurance Agency should read and use as an effective risk management tool. "Book One" is now available on Barnes & Noble and on Amazon

 

On Monday, February 18th AOA announced its plans for

Written for today's insurance professional "Book Two" represent a collaborative effort from industry experts and lawyers, working together to address the cutting-edge issues in risk management, loss prevention and litigation relating to claims and potential claims against insurance agents. See "Table of Contents". 

 

 

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

 

Table of Contents   

 

 

 
that is the question! Including George's new tip, "Still Learning"  
 
 

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"

Angelo J Gioia

Publisher


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AOA Tips, Views, News & More

 

Financial Tip of the Month

By Mike Brady of the Brady Financial Group, LLC

 

Make this the year you follow through on your business resolution. Too often we start out the year with the best intentions but by the end of January we begin to take short cuts again.

As an agency owner, take the time now to:

 

-        Make sure your agency is in trust and you have a process to run this calculation each month.

-        Revisit your producer contracts and ensure all production staff has one and that you aren't using 

     multiple versions.

-       Analyze your book of business to gain an understanding of what clients or industries account for 

     more than 25% of your business.

-        Ensure you know the value of your agency.

-        Discuss the future plans for your agency, are you looking to grow the business and if so how 

     (acquisitions, organic growth, new lines of business, etc.).

 

These are just a few items, agency owners need to think about. Don't let another year go by without addressing these and other critical agency management areas. The marketplace is changing; shifting to a hard P&C market and uncertainty in the medical benefits space due to political measures. With change comes opportunity, don't be the agency owner who is unprepared or unaware of the opportunities the marketplace may offer.

 

Contact Mike at mike@bradygrp.com or Visit Brady Financial Group. Phone (484) 653-6280 
 
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Tips For Making Your Marketing Strategies More Cost Effective and Productive - Inbound Marketing!

By Philip W. Eide, President, BenefitPlace.biz & BPTradeShow.com

  

To make your Inbound Marketing Strategies successful specific techniques and actions are required. Missing only one can make the difference between Success and Failure of a Campaign. The difference will be in gaining new clients; generating revenues; and wasting time, efforts, and money.

  

Many of the Organizations we speak with are doing almost everything right but are not getting their intended results or the ROI they desired! So - What are they doing right and what else do they need to do?

  

What are they doing right? They have:

  

1.  Created a refined set of Plans, Programs, and or Services that differentiate their Organization and 

     meet the Needs and Price Points of their Target Markets!

2.  Created a Website to attract Inbound Marketing Traffic!

3.  Developed Specific Content and Graphics for Plans, Programs, and Services that explains what sets 

     them apart from their competitors!

4.  Removed the Clutter on their website!

5.  Added Audio, Video, and/or Avatars to explain and promote their Organization!

6.  Enhanced Web Page Content that effectively describes their Plans, Programs, and, Services!

7.  Provided an Organized Site Map to assist the visitor in navigating their website!

8.  Utilized Appropriate Key Words to assist the visitor in finding the information they are seeking 

     through the Search Engines!

9.  Created an XTML Site Map to attract Search Engines!

10.Submitted Their Website to the Search Engines - ie. Google, Bing, Yahoo, MSN, and more.

11.Started a Blog and regularly posted articles related to their industry niche to add value and build trust!

12.Properly Distributed Their Blogs using Services, ie. OnTopList, PR Web, PRLog, Squido, Reddit, 

    Tumbler, Business Media Groups (See No. 14 Below)!

13.Joined and Participated in Social Media Groups - ie. Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, HR.com, etc!

14.Joined Business Media Groups - ie. Linkedin, Agents of America (AOA), Producers Web, Insurance 

    Campus, NOLHA, SIMA, Global Risk Community, etc!

15.Created and Optimized Company Pages on Google +, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.

16.Created and Contributed to the Business Media Groups (No. 14 Above)!

17.Utilized SEO Techniques to attract Search Engines - ie. Key Words, Long Tail Words,  Mega Tags,

     Analytics, and more!

18.Adapted Mobile Technology for reaching out to their existing and potential Clients!

19.Utilized Valuable Inbound Marketing Services - ie. HubSpotBenefitPlaceBPTradeShow.com,

     Constant ContactPixabilityWordtracker, etc!

20.And More!

  

What more do they need to do to generate their intended Results and ROI?  Why are visitors to their Websites, Blogs, Discussions, Comments, etc. not becoming/converting into Buyers? In the vast majority of the cases the answer and solution is Simple, Inexpensive, and Capable of providing amazing results.

  

The Answer and Solution - Develop a focused set of Landing Pages instead of Traditional Home (Index) Pages!

  

HubSpot - A leader in Inbound Marketing and Supportive Software tells us:

"Landing pages are the heart and soul of an inbound marketer's lead generation efforts, so why are they still so underutilized? MarketingSherpa cites that the number one reason businesses don't use landing pages is because their marketing department doesn't know how to set them up or they are too overloaded."  HH

  

What are Traditional Home (Index) Pages - As websites were originally being developed, they were the 1st page that a visitor viewed when arriving at the Website. The Home Pages were often packed with extraneous information unrelated to the Company or its Plans, Programs, and/or Services. The Problem- the visitor to the website arrived having used Key Words to research a specific Insurance and Benefits related Topic, Plan, Program, and/or Services. They were delivered to the Home (Index) Page. The Home (Index) Page did not provide the visitor what they were looking for - Answers and a Call-To-Action (CTA) informing them What To Do Next! Landing pages provide these capacities!

  

Landing Pages are the Solution - Build Focused Landing Pages Specific To Plans, Programs and/or Services. Landing Pages provide the visitor the information they need:

  

How To Make a Decision!

What To Do Next

How To Take Action - A Call-To-Action (CTA)

How To Ask Questions - A Form and Contact Information!

  

Now is the time to get started by making your shift to Inbound Marketing more effective! The reason People/Organizations utilize the Internet, Search Engines, Social /Business Media, etc. for business purposes is because they have a Specific Need.  Your Job Is To Efficiently Meet Their Needs!

  

For more information, contact Phil at 

max@benefitplace.biz or Call - 216.577.5579.

  

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stillStill Learning                                                                                                    

By George Nordhaus ~ Chairman of Agenciesonline.biz.

A simple story...Why I ditched my independent agency.

 

The cardinal rules of marketing never seem to change...even in this exploding world of communications.

Ignoring our clients was...and now more than ever IS the major sin.

We all seem to understand this fact of life, we all talk about how wonderfully we communicate with those who make it possible for us to survive..

 

Yet most agencies do NOT have any kind of regular system to keep their agency name in front of their clients...on a positive basis.

                                      A real story

 

A friend of mine (let's call him John) moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, (my new location) about two and a half years ago.

I suggested that he meet with a long-time customer of my former firm, IMMS, in Albuquerque.  They reviewed John's insurance needs (leased home, two cars, umbrella liability policy) and the agent wrote the account.

Since that time, well over two years, John has received exactly:

     
1. No phone calls
2.  No newsletters
3.  No written or electronic communications.
4.  No annual reviews.   

A couple of months ago, I met with a young agent here in Santa Fe ( now a client of our new firm, AgenciesOnline.biz).  He asked if he could review my insurance...and of course I readily agreed...and also sent John, my "new to Santa Fe" friend to him.

 

The result for John?

 

1.  He had no need for $360,000 coverage for his furniture. (Renter's insurance) Way too high..

2.  His auto insurance was overpriced.

3.  The agents felt John needed only $1 million umbrella coverage rather than $2 million.

4.  The pricing was $2300 a year, rather than the $4000 he was paying.

 

So guess who now writes John's (and my) insurance? Who's Fault?

Maybe I should have paid more attention at the initial purchase. Not doing so cost John over $4000 more than he had needed to pay.

 

But had the  original agent even let John and me know he or his agency were still in business (we were direct-billed), had he reviewed the coverage each year, had we even so much as an annual phone call, this column would have been a lot more boring.

 

The medium is the message?

 

More than the money we each are saving, we now have an agency that is listening to us...committed to having John and me as clients, not just customers or policyholders.

And you can bet that this new agent will keep in touch with each of us......or else.

 

For additional information, contact George at X210 or george@agenciesonline.biz or (888)985-3331 X210 www.agenciesonline.biz.

 


 
Articles 

A1

By Nick J. Tate

 

Healthcare reform will take the first big swipes out of taxpayers' wallets this year. With Obamacare's full implementation virtually ensured by President Barack Obama's re-election, a number of key provisions kicked in Jan. 1 - with many more to roll out in 2013 and over the next decade.  

 

  

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article3

Actuarial Implications Regarding Self-Insured Employers for Workers' Compensation                                                                                                                       

By Huggins Actuarial Services, Inc.

 

The Basics:

Bill 863 makes many changes to California's workers' compensation system. These changes include an increase in permanent disability benefits to injured workers, the creation of an independent medical panel to review injuries, and provisions to create cost-saving efficiencies. Some elements of the bill took effect on January 1, 2013, but not all of its provisions will kick-in right away; they will fully come into effect by early 2014. 

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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 2013