E&O Prevention
Strategies for the Professional Agent
October 22, 2015

Agents of America


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AOA News, Views, Tips & More
By W. Burke Coleman, Esq. of Demotech, Inc.
Agents often devote significant time and attention to understanding the insurance policies they work with; but they may overlook the importance of examining the contracts that affect them directly-their own employment agreements.  One recent case draws attention to how courts may treat an insurance agent's commission agreement and serves as a reminder to agents to know how the law impacts their rights as employees.

By Greg Burch, Esq., David Grant, Esq., David E. Harrell Jr, Esq. &  Adrian Taylor, Esq. of Locke Lord LLP

An increasing number of businesses continue to be targeted by very sophisticated email scams designed to convince company employees responsible for executing financial transactions to wire funds to overseas accounts controlled by perpetrators of the scam.

By Anjali C. Das, Esq. of Wilson Elser et al

September has been a busy month for the SEC in addressing cybersecurity. In the span of a week, the SEC issued a new alert in connection with its cybersecurity examination of Wall Street firms, entered a Cease and Desist Order against a firm for failing to adopt written policies or procedures to protect customer information, and issued an Investor Alert that highlights actions individuals should take if their personal information is compromised.

By James M. Paulino II, Esq. of Goldberg Segalla
"It's been a watershed year for cybercrime," explains PricewaterhouseCoopers LLC in its 2015 report analyzing data from 500 executives across US businesses, law enforcement and government agencies.  The survey and report, co-sponsored by PwC, CSO, Carnagie Mellon University and the United States Secret Service, provides a comprehensive analysis of trends in cybercrime and cyberthreats, as well as security spending and overall manage of these growing business risks.

By Avi Meyerstein and Alka Ramchandani, Esq, of Jackson Lewis P.C.
Violence is a leading cause of workplace deaths in the last 15 years and causes 48 percent of worker deaths in the retail industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Protecting retail stores is particularly challenging because they are open, public, high-traffic spaces with cash on hand, sometimes late-night operations, and with high employer turnover and stress. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013, 85 percent of retail industry workplace violence involved some sort of crime. 

By Elizabeth A. Odian, Esq. of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

With the school year just underway, thousands of students are heading off campus to begin student internships. (Hollywood is payingattention too.)  Of those interns, many go unpaid.  In recent years, the number of students challenging their unpaid status and seeking minimum wage and overtime protections afforded by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) has increased dramatically.  In the wake of these challenges, employers must carefully evaluate their internship programs, and answer this question: to pay or not to pay.

By Kathryn Formeller, Esq. of Tressler LLP

Violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Fraud Act do not constitute a Privacy Wrongful Act under a medical professional liability policy. Thus, the cyber claims endorsement of the policy did not provide coverage for unsolicited texts advertising cosmetic procedures. Doctors Direct Insurance, Inc. v. David Bochenek, No. 1-14-2919, 2015 Ill. App. LEXIS 579 (1st Dist. Aug. 3, 2015)

By Marc J. Zimet, Esq. of Jampol Zimet LLP
Employers frequently utilize tests and other assessments to determine which job applicants are best suited for a position. However, employers must ensure such assessments are race and gender neutral and do not unknowingly screen out protected classes or else risk liability. A test can be biased, even if it appears neutral on its face, by the statistical effect it has on the applicants considered for the job and ultimately hired.

By Thomas Paschos, Esq. of Thomas Paschos & Associates, P.C.

In Jones v. SEPTA, 796 F.3d 323 (3d Cir. August 12, 2015), Michelle Jones was fired in 2011 by her employer, the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA). SEPTA says it dismissed Jones for submitting fraudulent timesheets; Jones says her termination was the culmination of years of unlawful sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and retaliation.

Letter From  the Publisher
Protecting Your Reputation

As every Insurance Agent knows, their most important asset is their reputation, it takes years to build and just one mistake to ruin. Understanding the issues is the first steps in avoiding E&O Claims. AOA has created a three book series dealing with 56 different E&O topics and issues agents face every day. Enter promo code
WPD20 at checkout for an additional 20% discount.

Book One - 
A Comprehensive Guide To Avoiding E & O Claims
Book Two - 
E&O Exposures in the Sales Process

Book Three - 
E & O Exposures By Line of Business

Demotech, Inc.
Since 1985, Demotech, Inc. has served the insurance industry by assigning accurate, reliable and proven Financial Stability RatingsŪ (FSRs) for Property & Casualty insurers and Title underwriters. FSRs are a leading indicator of financial stability, providing an objective baseline of the future solvency of an insurer.  You can search the most current FSRs here.
Do You Need Continuing Education?
Complete your entire State-Required CE Online with WebCE! AOA 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. 

Is Your Insurance License Renewing Soon?
Is your agency licensed in multiple states? Does your agency maintain nonresident licenses? Do you know when renewals are due? Did you know a resident change requires address changes in the states in which an individual holds licenses? If you need assistance with any of your licensing needs go to the experts Supportive Insurance Services.

Excess & Surplus Lines Laws
We are happy to provide the 2015 Edition of Locke Lord LLP's Excess and Surplus Lines Law Manual.

This edition reflects all of the pertinent changes in the surplus lines laws and regulations of the 50 states and U.S. territories during the past year. We sincerely trust you will find this manual to be a valuable desk reference and if you have any questions regarding the contents, please contact John P. Dearie, Jr., Esq. Editor and Partner at Locke Lord LLP at jack.dearie@lockelord.com or (212) 912-2737
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