E&O Weekly Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
October 17, 2013

Agents of America

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Letter From  the Publisher

AgentsofAmerica.ORG Learning Center announces Book One in Risk Management Series Now Available!


AgentsofAmerica.ORG (AOA), Learning Center and the publishing firm of Thomas Reuters  is pleased to announce that Book One of the series Insurance Agency Risk Management - A Comprehensive Guide to Avoiding E&O Claims is now available.


Book One is a collaborative effort of many of the top Agents, E&O experts, and attorneys in the United States and addresses many of the key issues in risk management, loss prevention, and litigation relating to claims against insurance agents and brokers. The book is intended to be a practical guide and resource that should be on the bookshelf of every insurance agent, broker, and underwriter, and of every attorney that litigates claims involving insurance professionals.


AOA Learning Center, in conjunction with WebCE, has been able to secure Continuing Education credits in a number of states. ORDER NOW.


E&O Tips of the Week 

Each week AOA thru the Learning Center will be providing E&O tips. These E&O tips will be developed from AOA's extensive library of high level educational material and will be included as part of the webinar / seminar package currently in development, that both agents and carriers will find beneficial in reducing E&O Claims. 
Check out this week's E&O TIP on "Agency Procedural Manual - Use It or Lose It". 


A review of the top stories on World Risk & Insurance News at WRIN.tv. Here is your opportunity to see the online video news stories you may have missed. Watch them now "Week in Review".


MONDAY MORNING, the weekly "mini-webinar" features industry leaders interviewed by marketing guru George Nordhaus on "You Tube Marketing for Independent Insurance Agents." To see this week's presentation click here. 


AgentsofAmerica.ORG membership 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 & More

Your Insurance Proposals - Will They Help You or Hurt You in E&O Litigation

By Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA, Executive Director AOA Learning Center


Most agencies and their respective producers look at insurance proposals as one of the key tools that will determine whether they land the account. However in addition to the sales benefit, a quality insurance proposal can also provide solid E&O benefits. The key word is "quality" because there is certainly the possibility that your proposals can cause you some E&O nightmares if a problem were ever to develop. How do the proposals in your agency measure up?

Employers who Solicit Facebook Friend "Snooping" Could Face Liability Under Federal Stored Communication Act 

By Mark Fijman, Esq. of Phelps Dunbar, LLP


Facebook postings by employees have increasingly become a factor in employment discrimination lawsuits.  In some of my recent cases, employers were made aware of an employee's threats of violence, workplace misconduct or other inappropriate actions when a co-worker, who also was a Facebook "friend", brought the Facebook post to the employer's attention.  Such posts can be powerful evidence in defending against a discrimination lawsuit and proving that any adverse employment action was for a legitimate non-discriminatory reason.


Employee Engagement Made Easy: 5 Tips to Increase Employee Engagement

By Michael Mercer, Ph.D. of Mercer Systems, Inc. 


Employee engagement is a big topic in management periodicals. Strongly engaged employees are said to prove more productive and loyal than low engagement employees. Plus, surveys claim a bigger percentage of employees feel low engagement with their jobs and employers. 

Violations of the Unfair Insurance Practices Act May Be Actionable                                           
By Marc Zimet, Esq, of Jampol Zimet LLP
CA Supreme Court Holds Violations of the Unfair Insurance Practices Act May Be Actionable Under Unfair Competition Law


A recent California Supreme Court decision holds that a violation of the Unfair Insurance Practices Act (UIPA; Ins. Code, 790 et seq.) may provide a claim under the Unfair Competition Law (UCL; Bus. & Prof. Code, 17200 e seq.) in certain circumstances. The case, Yanting Zhang v. Superior Court was decided August 1, 2013. 


South Carolina Supreme Court Introduces "Continuum" Approach for "Occurrence"

By Sina Bahadoran, Esq. and Todd M. Davis, Esq. of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP


Last week, inAuto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Rhodes, the South Carolina Supreme Court ruled that an "occurrence" can include subsequent events, so long as they were in some fashion caused by the initial accident. In that case, the insured constructed three billboards. One billboard fell onto the adjoining interstate and also damaged the owner's land.  

Business Associate Definition Expanded and HHS Empowered to Impose New Civil Fines

By Frank Fanshawe, Esq. and Jason LaFlam, Esq. of Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP   

Long-awaited omnibus regulations (Omnibus Rule) adopted earlier this year by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) made significant modifications impacting "business associates" to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Enforcement and Breach Notification Rules (collectively, the HIPAA Rules). 

Stop; Hammer (Clause) Time

By Michael P. Luongo, Esq. and James Gilroy, Esq. of Goldberg Segalla LLP


Litigation is big business with big dollar signs.  As a result of the large awards that can result from malpractice suits, many professionals, their attorneys, and insurers are interested in early settlement discussions.  When considering settlement, the defense team must balance "right and wrong," pride, defense costs, and other complicated factors that are difficult to quantify.   
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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