Texas Connection PIA of Texas Member Benefit

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					   Texas Connection

Texas PIA 2011
 Moody Gardens -
  Galveston, TX
 June 10-11, 2011
            Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit

                             QR Codes 
                                                                                                           Sure … Apple, Palm, Google
                                                                                                       and BlackBerry have made great
                                                                                                       strides in providing elegant, easier-
                                                                                                       to-use keypads on their latest
                                                                                                       mobile devices. But there more
                                                                                                       than 4.1 billion mobile devices in
                                                                                                       the world today and most of them
                                                                                                       are your standard, garden-variety
                                                                                                       handset with a small screens and
                                                                                                       numeric keypads.
                                                                                                          Inputting long lines of text on
         In This Edition                                                                               such devices, even with normal-
                                                                                                       size    fingers,   is   a   clumsy
QR CODES .................................... 1              Do you know what to do with
                                                                                                       experience at best that can leave
                                                          the square - like maze shown
TOP TEN REASONS TO HAVE A                                                                              even the deftest "text-er" feeling
                                                                                                       ham-handed. This poses a huge
                                                             Did you know that               the       barrier to mobile internet service
10 THINGS YOU MUST KNOW ABOUT                             traditional yellow pages           are       adoption      and,    of   course,
COMMERCIAL AUTO ....................... 5                 becoming obsolete?                           marketing.

OLD CONTACT METHODS DON’T                                     Think about how you search for              Surprising, then, that the QR
                                                          things nowadays. Do you search               code -- sometimes dubbed the
WORK............................................ 9
                                                          for the humongous volume of                  URL killer -- has yet to catch-on
HOW TO BE BUSINESS FRIENDLY .. 10                         yellow and white pages, try to               outside of Asia.
                                                          figure out which category you
WHY SELL FLOOD INSURANCE? ... 12                                                                          Until now that is.
                                                          should look under, and then scan
FLOOD COVERAGE - IS YOUR                                  dozens of listings?                             A flurry of new QR code activity
AGENCY PREPARED TO PROTECT                                                                             from cultural tastemakers and
                                                             Or do you simply "Google it"?
                                                                                                       media platforms alike may finally
YOUR CLIENTS? ........................... 13
                                                             With the number of computers              push the barcode into the
HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF                                and smart phones available these             mainstream.
“LOCAL SEARCH” IN 2011 ............ 21                    days it's much easier to do a
                                                                                                           For those unfamiliar, QR codes
                                                          computer search, which means
WHY YOU SHOULD HAVE AN                                                                                 are 2D bar codes that contain
                                                          YOUR agency must have a
AGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM ... 22                                                                        small bits of data, such as URL
                                                          website in order to get listed in
                                                                                                       strings, phone numbers and e-mail
                                                          these searches.
THE 3 LAWS OF RELATIONSHIP                                                                             addresses.
SELLING ...................................... 24             As anyone who has ever
                                                                                                          To read the QR code, a user
                                                          struggled to manually input a URL
TEXAS PIA 2011 CONVENTION                                                                              simply launches a "reader" on their
                                                          into a mobile phone browser will
EXHIBITORS ................................. 33                                                        mobile device and takes a
                                                          tell you, there are relatively few
                                                                                                       snapshot of the image.
                                                          joys to be had in the physical act of
                                                          "texting."                                           Continued on page 2
May 2011                                                       Page 1 of 35                              More info at  
•	   •	
•	   •	
•	   •	
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
QR Codes 
Continued from page 1 
    The software will then trigger the
appropriate response, which can
include launching a URL in the phone's
browser to streaming a video or MP3.
   QR codes, or "quick response" two -                               How can you use QR Codes?
dimensional barcodes readable by camera phones, can
be used to open a web page, add a vCard contact to a                 Long popular in Japan, where QR codes are used on
user's device, compose an email or perform other                 everything from bananas to advertising to tombstones,
functions. Most Android, Nokia and BlackBerry phones             the following developments may prove the tipping point
come with QR code readers pre-installed, and if not, free        for the technology worldwide:
QR reader software is available for most mobile                      But it's only more recently, with the rise of the iPhone
platforms.                                                       and Google's Android that QR codes are starting to see
   With the broad usability of QR codes, many                    a rise in Europe and the U.S. Both of those devices, with
insurance agencies are using them to engage customers            simple-to-install QR apps, allow users to bypass
and prompt actions.                                              handset/carrier relationships that previously stalled
                                                                 adoption, to download and use the readers of their
   A QR Code is a 2D Barcode                                     choice.
   QR codes are an encoded barcode image resembling                 And as consumers get more familiar with scanning
a square-like maze. Unlike a 1-dimensional UPC code, a           the codes, the future for QR codes will only get brighter.
2-dimensional barcode stores data in both directions and         PSFK recently reported that scientists in Australia have
can be scanned vertically or horizontally to be decoded.         developed a color barcode called Mobile Multi-Color
   2D Barcodes Can Store a Variety of Data                       Composite 2D-Barcode that can hold more complex data
                                                                 and entire images and videos, sans URL. Even better,
   A traditional 1D barcode (UPC/EAN) stores up to 30            the new codes will work with a mobile device whether or
numbers, while a 2D barcode (QR) can store up to 7,089           not an Internet connection is actually available -- which
numbers.      The     additional  storage     capacity           means nearly instant, immersive experiences.
accommodates a variety of data beyond numbers:
                                                                     Given that, it's not hard to imagine a not-too-distant
   • Text                                                        future where QR codes will become the primary bridge
                                                                 connecting real and virtual worlds.
   • Hyperlink
                                                                   2D Barcodes Can be Placed in and on Nearly Any
   • Call your phone number
   • SMS/MMS message                                                Once the barcode image is created, it can be printed
   • Email (Send message)                                        on nearly any surface and location:

   • Contact entry (vCard)                                           QR Codes Everywhere

   • vCalendar                                                       •    Mailing Labels
                                                                     •    Business cards
   • YouTube Video                                                   •    Letters
    Storing a hyperlink presents a myriad of possibilities           •    Postcards
beyond just loading a web page -- play a video,                      •    Fax coversheets
download a mobile app, check-in on Foursquare, update                •    Window stickers
a Twitter status, "Like" a Facebook page, display map
                                                                     This enables you to drive traffic, interaction, and
directions, and more.
                                                                 conversion from anywhere. 2D barcodes excel at
  Read/Decode a 2D Barcode by Scanning it with a                 bringing non-digital media to life.
                                                                    Imagine a QR code becoming the call-to-action on
   A 2D barcode reader app is required to decode the             every piece of printed material distributed by your office.
encoded data.
                                                                     The sky’s the limit!

May 2011                                         Page 2 of 35                               More info at  
        Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
   Top Ten Reasons to Have a Phone                                 
         App for Your Agency 
   by Duke Williams,  
   10 ‐ By the end of 2011 over 50% of Americans will 
have a smartphone. 
   9 ‐ Over 50% of small business owners already have 
a smart phone 
   8 ‐ Three of five smart phone users use apps before 
they use search 
                                                                  Smartphone apps can help connect with customers, 
   7 ‐ Phone apps run much faster than mobile web 
                                                                  agents say 
                                                                  An increasing number of insurance agents offer 
    6 ‐ A phone app keeps you or your business visually 
                                                                  smartphone applications that allow customers to make 
in front of your customer 
                                                                  claims, request services and get quotes, writes Melissa 
   5 ‐ Contacting you through a phone app is faster and           Hillebrand. Creating an insurance app can cost 
easier than contacting you through the contact list on            hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars ‐‐ depending 
your phone                                                        on whether agents make the app themselves, or hire a 
   4 ‐ Phone apps can provide 24/7 customer service               company to assist them. "It gives the agent a presence 
                                                                  above the level of being in a phone's contact list," says 
  3 ‐ Who do you know that is ever without their                  Duke Williams, the founder insurance app developer 
mobile phone?                                                     SehMobile.  
    2 ‐ The Average Smartphone user spends 2.8 hours                            Check out the rest of the story at: 
a day using phone apps                                      ‐attack 

    And the #1 reason ‐ They are just so cool! 

    Contact SehMobile at 
      800‐768‐0907 or                                                            Texas Connection eMailbag
                                                                                   Do you have a comment or opinion of                                                             something you read in Texas Connection? 
                                                                                   Feel free to share your thoughts by 
                                                                                   sending an e‐mail to 
  Use Promo Code: FYIExpress                                               

May 2011                                          Page 4 of 35                               More info at  
 Some agents
have seen it all.

  That's when
 they call on us.

   workerS' comp inSurance

american interstate insurance company
         Silver oak casualty inc.

toll free: 1.800.381.9348   fax: 1.800.450.1091

         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
              10 Things You Must Know about Commercial Auto 
                                                   By Gary P. Alexander 
   As with anything, the more you do a thing, the better               3. Completeness of submission
you become at it. The very first rule in writing any kind of
insurance is to become familiar with the coverage. In                  The trinity of a commercial auto submission is:
addition to coverage, you’ll need to understand the                             Application
primary rating attributes of commercial auto. You can get
that education from a number of vendors or through                              Loss Runs
associations.                                                                   MVRs
    Although it can seem overwhelming in the beginning,                One pickup or 100 transit mixers, if you don’t have
I would leave you with these two tidbits of advice; first,         this information, you’re not going to successfully get an
everybody has to start somewhere and second, I’ve                  offer … if you do, don’t count on the policy coming back
been doing this for over 25 years now and I still get              as offered. You may not have to actually send in a fully
presented with some of the most unique and unusual                 completed application on a single unit quote (although
situations – I look at them all as opportunities. A                many require it), but you better have all the facts before
challenge to me is fun and it provides an opportunity for          calling. Underwriters are busy, when you get one on the
me to do what I do best, which is help someone out.                phone the last thing you want is to be unprepared; it’s
That feeling makes this whole crazy thing called                   unprofessional, wastes your time and theirs and will
insurance a lot of fun and THAT’S what it’s all about.             leave a bad taste in the underwriters mouth … often
  So with all that in mind, here’s my top ten list for             most difficult to overcome!
commercial auto producers…                                             It’s simple to avoid this pit fall, simply complete an
   1. Qualify Risks                                                application as you talk with the applicant over the phone
                                                                   or in person. If that’s not your style, have a checklist.
   Is the risk really a candidate for a commercial auto            Silly things like the applicant’s name and address are
policy? Or is the applicant better off with business use           important details that help you locate your file later and
on a personal auto policy?                                         for documentation purposes you’ll want all the detail in
                                                                   one place anyway. Hello! It’s 2011, the days of three
    The primary yardstick to use is to determine if he
                                                                   lines on a cocktail napkin are over!
actually uses the vehicle in the business (flower delivery
for example). If he drives his pickup from the house to                4. Rating requirements
the job site, where it’s parked all day, chances are, he
doesn’t need a commercial auto policy.                                In personal Auto, the attributes are: Age, sex, marital
                                                                   status (and credit score) Vs Commercial Automobile:
   Commercial Auto policies come with limitations, even            Type, Use, Radius, Driver
exclusions that are absent in a personal policy. The
forms vary by carrier, so if you’re not sure, ask.                    You’ll learn this in your commercial auto rating class,
                                                                   but a quick refresher:
   2. Time Element
                                                                      Type refers to the type of vehicle, which consists of
    How fast is fast? Do you need to get the quote right           the body type (discussed later) and gross vehicle weight
now? Half an hour? Next day? Next week? Next month?                of the truck. This information is generally on the tag
Again, don’t assume, ask! Contrary to popular belief,              receipt, so when in doubt, get a copy of the tag receipt.
everyone does not need their quote right now! Some
people are shopping midterm for any number of reasons,                 GVW classifications:
some are new ventures and don’t have coverage                                   Light- under 10,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight
presently, some are going to renew next month. Find out
what their time line is and you’re in a better position to                      Medium 10,001 to 20,000 lbs. gross vehicle
work for them. Also try to determine the complexity of             weight
the risk. A one man one vehicle pickup risk can be done                         Heavy 10,001 to 26,000 lbs. gross vehicle
pretty quickly, but if you add in the DUI/Eluding                  weight
Police/Accident, it becomes a touch more difficult to
place! Determination of time element places a sense of                          Extra Heavy 26,000 lbs. gross vehicle weight
urgency upon a risk, or removes it entirely. This is good                               Continued on page 6
information to have!

May 2011                                           Page 5 of 35                               More info at  

AR                                                                                                       X INTERNAL

Insurance Sales Agent
With the expansion of Acceptance Insurance, we are seeking entrepreneurial minded sales professionals to join our
company. If you are a self-starter, have a winning attitude, enjoy sales and have the desire to run your own office,
then this opportunity is for you!

•A comprehensive benefits package that includes: Medical, Dental, Vision, 401(k),
& educational reimbursement
•Unlimited earnings potential that includes a base salary, commissions & bonus plans
•No overhead expenses •Full-time employment
•Customer service, marketing & sales support

•2 years of proven sales & service experience, consultative sales experience preferred
•High School Diploma, BA/BS degree preferred
•Excellent communication & interpersonal skills
•Professional presence in person & by phone
•Competitive sales drive, goal oriented & tenacious •Computer experience required
•Work days including evenings & a minimum of 2 Saturdays per month
•Valid driver’s license & good driving record

Licenses are not required to apply.
Acceptance Insurance will pay for your insurance license

We have over 70 office locations in the state of TX. For more information regarding this opportunity, please contact
Veronica Caldwell-Boone at 615.844.2933,, or apply online at and click the Employment Link.

                              First Acceptance is Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/D/V
     Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                                Understand how an underwriter thinks, he sees a
   Commercial Auto            Mack pickup, he puts the submission in a special place
                                                                     and classifies the producer as special, as in special
   Continued from page 5
                                                                     attention requires, as in, I’ll call him back when I have
   Use refers to the class of business. According to ISO             some free time, which is like …. Never.
there are three primary uses: Service, Retail and Other.
                                                                        Don’t make that most basic of mistakes, get a look at
   Make an educated guess:                                           the vehicle you’re being asked to insure, get a photo,
                                                                     and get an understanding of how it is to be used. If you
   A flower deliver van is: a. service, b. retail, c. other
                                                                     can’t explain it on the app or a cover letter, call the
   A painter’s pickup is: a. service, b. retail, c. other            underwriter and discuss it with him PRIOR to sending
                                                                     the submission in.
   A Mack Dump truck is: a. service, b. retail, c. other
   Answers 1b, 2a, 3c – it ain’t rocket science!
                                                                         6. Asked & Answered
   See the following note about “Type”.                                 Any ethics class you attend will have some mention
                                                                     about file documentation. The bottom line is, if you don’t
   There are three radius classifications,                           ask, you don’t have the information. There is absolutely
                                                                     NO margin for error, either you asked and you know the
            Local – up to 50 miles
                                                                     answer, or you didn’t and you don’t.
            Intermediate – up to 200 miles
                                                                        Did you ask the guy his name? Yep, it’s Tom Jones,
            Long haul – over 200 miles                               got it right here on my app, very first thing I asked! Did
                                                                     you ask for his driver info, radius, vehicle description,
    Different carriers have different rules and forms for
                                                                     use, business, number of years in business/ yep, yep
rating and coverage purposes. For example some
                                                                     and yessireebob, got all that right here on the app!
carriers define intermediate as up to 300 miles.
    Driver    criteria    are     pretty    basic.     Age
                                                                         Did you ask if he’d ever had any losses, been
(youthful/inexperienced) and record (clean, not so
                                                                     cancelled or nonrenewed in the past three years and
clean). While I’m on the topic of drivers, let’s talk about
                                                                     what premium he paid last year? Well, I left that part
accidents and losses. You can have a driver with an
                                                                     blank on the app. Why? You cannot assume in
accident, on a loss free risk (the accident occurred in his
                                                                     insurance. If the guy has been non-renewed, he’s not
personal vehicle). You can also have a risk with a loss
                                                                     going to tell you unless you ask. Many times it’s no big
and driver with no accident on his MVR (a lightning
                                                                     deal, but sometime it is. “Yeah, two years ago Bubba
claim, for example). This takes you back to the asked
                                                                     was driving the Mack Pickup and got a DUI when he ran
and answered portion of the show. As you’ll quickly
                                                                     into a patrol car at 1:00 a.m. comin’ back from the Dance
learn, one question leads to another!
                                                                     Hall … but I didn’t know Bubba had the keys”. Wow,
   5. Type                                                           that’s powerful information you’ll need to share with your
                                                                     underwriter and if you didn’t get it up front, but find out
    There are a lot of types of trucks. Pickups, vans, tow           later, well, you may as well go find you another
trucks, flatbed trucks, cargo or box vans, tractors (aka             commercial auto company to do business with!
semi-tractor), etc. There’s some special use vehicles as
well, like cherry pickers, trucks with cranes, booms or                  Let me restate; if it’s on an application, ask (unless
other mobile equipment attached. If you’re not sure what             you’re clairvoyant in which case you’re probably better
kind of vehicle it is, the internet is helpful … but a picture       suited for another line of work). Asked and answered is
as they say is worth a thousand words. Don’t forget                  the only way to get a true picture of risk and exposure
about the trailers … if it’s got a tag, it needed insurance.         and without that, you won’t be getting any offers.
Trailers include utility trailers, although not all carrier
                                                                         7. Fleet/non-fleet
charge for extra for them.
                                                                         Different carriers define “fleet” differently. Is a fleet 5
   Have you ever seen a Mack Pickup? You know a
                                                                     units or more then 5? Is it 10 or more than 10? Does that
10,000 pound (half ton) Mack Pickup Truck? If you have,
                                                                     include the trailers or just the power units? The short
could you take a photo and email it to me, ‘cause I been
                                                                     answer is if it’s more than three units, don’t try to secure
doin’ this a long time and I never seen one. OK I take
                                                                     terms without an application, MVRs and loss runs.
that back, I’ve seen a lot of them on paper, but never
                                                                     Onesy, twosey units, no problem, provided there’s no
one in real life! I guess maybe they’re kinda like a
                                                                     loss or driver issues, otherwise, do the paperwork, your
leprechaun or a unicorn … only “special” people see
                                                                     underwriter will send you a ham at Christmas!
them. Us underwriters are pretty special, but we don’t’
have THAT much imagination.                                                               Continued on page 8
May 2011                                             Page 6 of 35                              More info at  
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   Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                               Garage Keepers Legal Liability (GKLL for short) is a
Commercial Auto             separate coverage it is a physical damage coverage (as
                                                                    opposed to liability). It’s like physical damage for
   Continued from page 6
                                                                    vehicles left in the applicant’s care custody or control.
   8. Be a Specialist                                               Think of it that way and you’re half way down the road to
                                                                    winning the Pulitzer Prize for garage coverage.
   Designate someone in your shop to be the
“commercial person”. Let that person do ALL the                        This is coverage offered for specified cause of loss
commercial stuff. There’s a level of detail required in the         (sometimes comprehensive) and collision; each with a
commercial world that requires focus, knowledge and                 deductible – just like auto physical damage, except the
commitment. That is all.                                            vehicle is not owned by the applicant, but rather the
                                                                    applicant’s customer. The trigger for the coverage is that
   9. Filings                                                       the applicant has to be LEGALLY LIABLE for the loss.
    There’s a difference in a Form E/PSC filing and an              There’s also Garage Keepers Direct primary coverage,
SR22/FS1 filing. They are similar in that they are both             which removes the “legally liable trigger” from GKLL. I’ll
financial responsibility filings, the similarity stops there.       stop there before I put you to sleep.
The Form E/PSC filing is made on “for hire” risks
                                                                       Finally there’s Dealer’s Open Lot coverage (DOL for
(truckers, tow truck operators etc.); the SR/22/FS1 is
                                                                    short). This is physical damage for automobiles for sale
made for individuals who have not complied with
                                                                    on a dealer’s lot. Interestingly, when a dealer takes
compulsory insurance laws. BIG difference!
                                                                    possession of a vehicle, the tag does not change
    If you’re a specialist, you know the difference (revert         possession. There’s an insurable interest, but there’s an
to previous rule). Most commercial automobile carriers              open title on the car! Hence the need for DOL coverage.
will not make SR22 filings.                                         Again, this is coverage offered for specified cause of
                                                                    loss (sometimes comprehensive) and collision; each with
   10. Garage Liability                                             a deductible – just like auto physical damage.
   Garage liability is the most misunderstood part of the              Call your underwriter, call your carrier, go to a class,
commercial auto manual ever to grace the desk of an                 learn these exciting coverages, be the oracle of garage
insurance professional. I’m not really sure why, but I was          in your agency, your carriers will buy you lunch and
blessed with a sixth sense when it comes to garage                  shower you with accolades!
                                                                       That’s about all the time I have for now kids, but I’m
   I could write a book about it all, it would be an                available and happy to openly respond to your questions
excellent sleep aid. An underwriter who knows and                   via this publication. Send Eddie your questions, as my
understands the ins and outs of garage is worth his                 mailbox might become overloaded and I’ll be happy to
weight in company ink. It’s not difficult to learn, but for         reply!
some reason most people have a block about it.
                                                                        Vaya Con Dios!
   Take a garage class, pay attention, it ain’t rocket
surgery!                                                                ObiGarpCanobee aka Gary P. Alexander
   The number one thing I hear is a producer calling for
“Garagekeepersliability” … you heard it, the one catch all
be all, solution to anything that has to do with the service
or sale of anything on wheels! WRONG! There ain’t no
such animal as garagekeepersliability. Let me repeat:
There ain’t no such animal as garagekeepersliability!
There’s Garage Liability … kinda like General Liability,
but it adds coverage for automobiles used in various
stages of the garage business (test drives for example).                2011 Convention Saturday Continental Breakfast
This is a liability coverage; it’s got no “keepers” in it.
                                                                                           Sponsored by
    That term “keepers” will instantly reveal to your
underwriter how little you know and understand garage
coverage. OK, now for the curve ball… Garagekeepers
Legal Liability >ducks and runs< … (I know you’ve just
re-read that last paragraph at least three times, now

May 2011                                            Page 8 of 35                             More info at  
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                             The Woodlands, TX 77380
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
    Old Contact Methods Don’t Work                                      Because 80% of the people that visit your website
                                                                     are NOT ready to buy today. If you simply cherry-pick
   In 1860, a new phenomenon swept the nation. The                   the 20% that are ready to buy, you miss out on a huge
Pony-Express, a private venture, could carry mail from               opportunity!
Missouri to California within 10 short days. By the end of
1861 the Pony Express disappeared. The completion of                    You see, the remaining 80% of leads will be ready to
the transcontinental telegraph system dissolved the                  buy within a year, but only after they've been exposed to
need for the horse and rider deliveries.                             your message multiple times. By keeping in touch with
                                                                     those future buyers through systematic follow-up, you
    Now with the use of the Internet, an email (including            develop strong relationships. And because the majority
files, pictures, and all kinds of documentation) can be              of insurance agencies don't follow-up, you'll stand out
sent anywhere in the world within seconds. But what’s                from the competition and maximize your chances of
surprising is the number of insurance agency owners                  being selected when leads are ready to buy. Just think
who are not taking advantage of this marketing tool.                 about the impact that would have on your sales!
Rather, they wait for customers to call or come in before
engaging in conversation with them.                                     Marketing automation tools give you the tools you
                                                                     need to capture leads online and follow-up automatically
  They fail to realize the value of instant messages.                until your leads are ready to buy. The best part is, this
We’ll get into this in detail at Insurance Expo 2011.                automated follow-up boosts sales significantly without
                                                                     increasing your advertising budget.
    As one of today’s entrepreneurs, your ability to
instantly connect with your customers and prospects is a                 2011 Convention CE & Special Interest Classes
“new” method you can’t afford to neglect.
                                                                                            Sponsored by
    I could continue to share all kinds of “old “methods
with you. Consider the impact websites have had on
brochures. In most cases those who receive brochures
instantly toss them. Why? Because it’s paper.
   Paper is old. Computers are new. Computers don’t
get torn, misplaced, or faded. And with the right
webmaster, space is unlimited. Rather than using one or
two photos to display your product or service, you can
use 20, put up a video, or create a virtual tour.
    And once you have that website, you also increase
your selling capabilities with online shopping. Ultimately,
if you’re not keeping up with “new” methods of marketing
and selling, you’re going to be left behind and you’ll be
running time-consuming manual processes forever. (And

not getting much closer to growing your business.)
   Most companies believe that to increase sales, they
must spend more on expensive advertising. While this
can work, there is a better (and cheaper) way to                     How to transition from Captive to Independent (non-CE)
increase sales.
                                                                     Advanced Personal Lines Risk Analysis for E&O Loss
  Simply improve your process for capturing and                      Prevention (CPIA – 7 hours CE)
converting leads.
                                                                     It’s Not You, It’s Me (3 hours CE)
   The first step is to find a way to attract leads to your
website by offering something of value. This can be as               Beyond the Basics – Advanced Flood (3 hours CE)
simple as writing a free report and offering it to visitors in       Speaking THEIR Language: Cross Selling to your
exchange for contact information. (Writing a report is               Hispanic Commercial / Business Owner Clients (non-
easier than it sounds. We've created a variety of                    CE)
resources to help you get started.)
                                                                     Texas Standard and           ISO     Homeowner    Forms
    Once you've captured the lead, the real work begins-             Comparison (1 hour CE)
the work of following up to convert that lead into a buyer.
If you are not currently adding leads to a follow-up                 Texas Standard Dwelling and ISO Forms Comparison (1
system, you may as well flush your marketing dollars                 CE)
down the toilet. Why?                                                The Breath of a Salesman (3 hours CE)
May 2011                                             Page 9 of 35                             More info at  
5 Star Yearly Sponsor
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                                                                     Empathy isn't only for disasters and bad times. You
How to Be Business Friendly                                      can join in when someone mentions a birthday, a
   By Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor                       vacation, a wedding, or anything that is happy. Point is,
                                                                 just do not ignore what they say. COMMENT on it.
   When you take the "friendly" out of Business
Friendly, all you have left is business - business as               Smile: Yup, the customer can hear it. We all know
usual. And we all know that's just not good enough.              that. And since we all know that, we all need to do it.
                                                                 And by the way, smiling is showing your teeth. If your
   So our new program deals with the tender subject of           teeth aren't showing, you're only grinning - not smiling.
how to be Business Friendly. And it's NOT just for the           Grins can't be heard! Let those puppies show!
phones. Being Business Friendly is for all touch points of
customer service. Any way you touch or reach out to                  Avoid Emotional Leakage: What? Ok, what's
your customers on the phone, in person, by email, voice          emotional leakage, Nancy? Well, that's getting mad at
mail, fax or snail mail, we need to be Business Friendly.        Peter and taking it out on Paul. Not right, not fun and not
                                                                 fair. To take a negative thought or emotion out on one
   First of all, you may be asking yourself, "What the           person and transfer it to another? Let's show you how to
heck is Business Friendly?" Well, it's the middle ground         avoid emotional leakage when one transaction goes bad
between being too cold, impersonal and uncaring, and             and you need to deal with another one immediately.
the other extreme of being too over familiar. We've all
experienced both I'm sure.                                           •    Take a deep breath
   Here are the five points in delivering Business                   •    Regain your professional composure
Friendly customer service.
                                                                     •    Smile (Even if it's phony)
   Every Call is Unique - Don't Become
Desensitized: The transaction you get at the end of the              •    Then start the transaction
day needs to be as upbeat and helpful as you were with              Being Business Friendly will make a huge difference
the first one of the day. What happens is often times we         in customer satisfaction. Don't be cool and aloof and
get the same questions over and over and it's easy to            don't get too familiar; be the middle ground and deliver
become desensitized.                                             Business Friendly customer service.
   We need to remember that to the customer, his                     Telephone Doctor, Inc
question is new to him. And it's the first time for him; no
matter what time of day it is.                             

   Solve the Problem - Don't Argue: You know the old               IF LIFE HANDS YOU A LEMON, DON’T COMPLAIN,
saying "the customer is always right." Well, at Telephone        BUT INSTEAD MAKE LEMONADE TO SELL TO THOSE
Doctor we've changed that around to "the customer                WHO ARE THIRSTY FROM COMPLAINING.
always thinks they're right" and that's the perception we            Wally Amos, the man whom many consider to be the
need to deal with. There are indeed times when the               father of the gourmet cookie industry, has turned lemons into
customer is wrong and we as service specialists know                                      lemonade so often in his life that in
and realize it. Of what value is it to tell them "Oh Mr.                                  his official portrait he holds a pitcher
Jones, you are WRONG." None is there? So focus on                                         in one hand and a glass of
the problem; don't worry about whose fault it is. There is                                lemonade in the other. A perennial
zero value in arguing with a customer. Don't even get in                                  optimist,      Amos       refuses      to
the ring with them. You will lose every single round.                                     acknowledge that obstacles are
Focus on solving the problem.                                                             anything other than stepping-stones
   Show Empathy - Don't Ignore What The Customer                                          to success. In a career that has
Says: The other day, I called a company and explained                                     spanned several decades, he has
that the product they sold me wasn't operating properly.         made it to the pinnacle of success several times, only to lose
The answer from the company representative? "Oh,                 everything and be forced to start over. But he’s never lost faith.
OK." AGGGGGG. That drives me crazy. First of all, it's           "You have to have the trust and faith to let go and not
NOT OK that the product wasn't working right. And                agonize," he says. "Don’t waste your time worrying. Worry is
secondly, where was a little empathy? Where was some             not preparation. Analyze the situation and focus on solutions.
sort of acknowledgement that they indeed heard what I            There is always an answer."
was calling about. None. And you can have empathy in                 This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon
happy and good things too.                                       Hill Foundation. Visit us at We
                                                                 encourage you to forward this to friends and family. They can
                                                                 sign up for this free service at our web site.

May 2011                                          Page 11 of 35                              More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                                                                      Why Sell Flood Insurance?
                                                                      You have established strong, trusting relationships
                                                                  with your clients. You know the types of products they
                                                                  want and the levels of protection they may need. By
                                                                  adding flood insurance to your portfolio, you can further
                                                                  tailor coverage for each client's unique situation. This
                                                                  opens the door to increased sales potential, while
                                                                  deepening the value of your client relationships.
                                                                     In addition, protecting your clients is your business.
                                                                  Your clients count on you to keep them informed of their
   Above-average hurricane season predicted
                                                                  protection options. In the long run, this also protects you.
   Weather forecasters are predicting an above-average            The top two Errors and Omissions (E&O) claims are
hurricane season for the Atlantic Ocean.                          based on not offering coverage and not offering the right
                                                                  amount of coverage. Making sure your clients have
   Researchers predict 16 named storms in the Atlantic.
                                                                  access to all of their protection options reduces your
Nine of those storms are expected to turn into
                                                                  E&O exposure and helps you protect yourself and your
hurricanes, five of them major.
                                                                  agency from costly lawsuits.
   Forecasters say the combination of warm surface
                                                                      Flood insurance provides an essential way for home
temperatures in the tropical Atlantic combined with
                                                                  and business owners and renters to financially protect
neutral surface temperatures in the Pacific will make for
                                                                  their property and possessions. And, they look to you,
an active season.
                                                                  their insurance agent, for help. Did you know that floods
   No hurricanes have made landfall in the United                 are the nation's number one natural disaster?
States in nine of the last 11 years. Forecaster William           Historically, flooding has brought damage and
Gray says residents can't expect that trend to continue.          destruction to communities across the United States and
                                                                  its territories. In order to help alleviate the financial
                                                                  devastation caused by flooding, Congress created the
   What’s the most common natural disaster?                       National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968. The
                                                                  NFIP, managed by the Federal Emergency Management
   Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the            Agency (FEMA), enables homeowners, business
United States.                                                    owners, and renters to purchase federally backed flood
    Yet every time there is                                       insurance.
a flood event, the media                                              Every day at your office, you can be a hero by selling
highlights the victims who                                        flood insurance policies. The NFIP created the
chant in unison that they                                         FloodSmart campaign to educate consumers about their
never knew that flooding                                          flood risk and encourage them to talk with their
was not covered by their                                          insurance agent about their insurance options to
homeowners insurance.                                             financially protect their property with flood insurance.
Eventually,           state                                       The campaign also works with the insurance community
insurance departments receive complaints, and                     to educate agents about the importance of flood
legislators promise investigations. Finally, errors and           insurance and to help agents attract and retain
omissions lawsuits are filed and agents find themselves           customers.
trying to defend against two major allegations.
                                                                     One of NFIP's main goals is to provide affordable
    They will be accused either of failing to advise clients      protection against flooding to as many homeowners,
to purchase flood insurance or of failing to advise clients       business owners, and renters as possible across the
of the limitations of flood coverage under the standard           country.
homeowners’ policy. It is a cycle that cannot continue.
There is no longer an excuse—every insurance agent                    Direct mail, television commercials, and online and
needs to know about flood insurance.                              print advertising are just some of the ways the campaign
                                                                  reaches out to consumers. All of these elements drive
   Period.                                                        customers to call you, their agent, and to visit the
   Excerpt from Recommend Flood Insurance to Every       Web site for more information.
Client by Rita Hollada, CIC, CPCU, CPIA                                                Continued on page 13

May 2011                                           Page 12 of 35                            More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                                                                    There are time frames to adhere to when writing a
   Why sell Flood Insurance?                                     policy through the NFIP. The NFIP puts out new
   Continued from page 12                                        manuals every May and October. Look at the official
                                                                 NFIP website at:
    At, consumers can see just how                There is a wealth of information available at that site.
much damage flooding can cause, assess their personal
flood risk, and find information about flood map changes             Claims against an agency can happen following a
in their area as well as information about the claims            flood. The more armed an agent is with information
process.                                                         about flood coverage and options, the less likely a claim
                                                                 will be made against his agency. Not knowing the
   Most importantly, consumers can use the "Find an              specifics of what can be covered and how it is covered is
Agent" tool to locate an agent in their area in order to         a recipe for disaster when procuring a flood policy for an
purchase a flood insurance policy.                               insured.
                                                                     Take, for example, the agency that attempted to
                                                                 obtain flood coverage through the NFIP for a commercial
                                                                 client. The coverage was needed because the risk was
                                                                 in a flood plain, and the bank wanted proof that flood
   FloodSmart and You                                            coverage was in place for each building.
   Learn more about the National Flood Insurance                     Under the NFIP program, only one structure can be
Program's FloodSmart campaign's many tools,                      insured under each NFIP policy and multiple structures
resources and programs that can help you better serve            require multiple NFIP policies. The agency was confused
your clients and grow your business by registering at            on that simple fact, and when submitting an application today.                                     for coverage to the NFIP, attempted to list two separate
                                                                 structures on the application. A flood occurred damaging
                                                                 both buildings, and a claim was submitted. Only the first
                                                                 structure listed on the application was covered. The
    Flood Coverage - Is Your Agency                              servicing carrier denied coverage for the second
   Prepared to Protect Your Clients?                             building. When the client learned of the error, a claim
                                                                 was presented against the agency for damages to the
    Every year, many areas of the country face the               second building. The claim was settled well into six
daunting task of preparing for the rising waters from local      figures.
rivers, lakes, streams and oceans. Volunteer groups are
formed, burlap bags are filled, and attempts are made to             As previously stated, there are carriers that will offer
protect property from damage by ground water.                    flood coverage on an excess basis. An agent needs to
                                                                 make sure all layers of flood coverage are in place.
   In spite of all the preparation, many property owners         Claims will arise when this is not done. A claim was
near an area prone to flooding go without insurance              recently settled where the agency failed to secure NFIP
protection. In addition, many property owners who                coverage for a risk. The client had just switched to a new
thought they were in an area not prone to flooding find          agent. The client's previous agent had obtained
out they were wrong and have no flood coverage. And              coverage for three buildings by securing NFIP coverage
that can lead to an E&O claim exposure for an agent.             at the maximum available on three policies and by
    According to the experts, flooding can happen                adding an excess flood policy which had a provision in
anywhere, anytime. Like earthquake insurance, the                the policy that it would be excess to all available
premiums charged under the National Flood Insurance              coverage under the NFIP.
Program (NFIP) are based on risk. Properties in a flood              A flood loss occurred and damaged the three
plain are more expensive to insure than a property not in        buildings owned by the client. The damages to each
a flood plain.                                                   building were under the NFIP per building limit. When
   Flood insurance through the NFIP is available to              the excess flood carrier was presented with a claim, they
anyone. In addition, there are carriers that will pick up        denied responsibility by stating all damages were within
coverage on an excess basis (above the NFIP limits) for          the available NFIP limits for each building. The agent
both personal and commercial risks. An agent needs to            had replaced the excess flood policy for the account, but
be familiar with what can be insured under a NFIP policy         failed to secure an individual NFIP policy for each
and at what limits. There are gaps between what a                building. A lawsuit was filed against the agent, and this
regular HO and Commercial Property policy will pay and           claim also was settled well into six figures.
what is collectable under an NFIP policy.                                             Continued on page 14

May 2011                                          Page 13 of 35                            More info at  
        Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
   Is Your Agency Prepared?
   Continued from page 13
   Here are some practical tips for agents:
    1. Know the NFIP rules. There is no binding
authority for flood coverage. Mail applications promptly
to ensure the 30-day waiting period begins at the date of
application. Stay current with the rules, as they can
    2. Take advantage of the material provided by the
NFIP, which can answer most questions posed by                     Membership & General Information
clients. Do not answer a questions regarding flood                 Sandra Appelt
coverage off the top of your head-refer to the manual,
policy language, or ask an expert.                                 Executive Director

   3. Make sure your clients are aware most standard               Toll Free: 1-800-829-9838
policies do not cover flood damage and document your               TEL: 512-301-0226    FAX: 512-301-0265
   When an agency is armed with knowledge of the
NFIP coverages and requirements, future claims can be              PIA National
avoided, and your clients will be protected.                       Main Office: 703-836-9340
                    About the Author
                   The author, Paul E. Walters, has
               been in claims for the last 37 years. He
               has held the position of Claims Manager
                                                                               E&O Solutions
               for   Utica's   Errors    &   Omissions             Renewing your E&O every year isn’t much fun, is it?
               Department for the last five years. He             Don’t you want to make sure that you’re getting the
               and his wife have 3 children and live in        best price for the best coverage you can get on your
               Clay, NY.                                       renewal?
                                                                  Why not compare with another company for your
   Beyond the Basics – Advanced Flood                          peace of mind?

                        3 hours CE                                It costs you nothing and you don’t have to be a
                                                               member of PIA of Texas to move your coverage. Go to
   Friday from 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at 2011 Convention        the E&O Program link at and print the
  Instructor: Julie Duncan, Director, Field Education &        applicable application and e-mail or fax it to us.
Marketing for The Hartford                                        Do you want higher E&O limits but your carrier won’t
   Beyond the Basics provides attendees with an                quote what you want? That’s not a problem. Go to the
advanced understanding of the National Flood Insurance         E&O Program at and print the umbrella
Program and passes along the intricacies associated            application from the link shown. Fill out the application
with understanding the product from an underwriting            and send it to us.
stance. The course opens with a refresher of the
“Basics” of the flood insurance program / product.                 E&O Contacts                 E&O Contacts
Discussion will move to more in-depth topics such as
Substantial    Damage     /    improvement,     DBRS,              Houston area                 Dallas area
Understanding the Elevation Certificate and much more.             Bob Dixon                    Ray Reyes
    The course is designed to give those who have an        
Intermediate understanding of the National Flood
Insurance Program, the tools needed to fully understand            866-577-7428                 214-618-2365
the product from a more in depth view as well as                   832-375-0787
providing knowledge needed to work with A and V

May 2011                                        Page 14 of 35                           More info at  
TM   Become an Authorized Agent
       Contact Carlos Bodden
       956-574-9787 ext. 8011
          Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
Who are YOU?
                                                                    6. When you go to a party or social gathering
   This is a real test given by Human Relations                   you...
Departments at many of the major corporations today.
It helps them get better insight concerning their                       A) Make a loud entrance so everyone notices you
employees and in their prospective employees.                         B) Make a quiet entrance, looking around for
   There are 10 Simple questions, so grab a pencil and            someone you know
paper. Record your letter answers to each question.                    C)   Make the quietest entrance, trying to stay
  Answers are for who you are now and not who you                 unnoticed
were in the past.
   Ready?                                                           7. You’re working very hard, concentrating hard,
                                                                  and you’re interrupted...
                                                                        A) Welcome the break
   1. When do you feel your best...?
                                                                        B) Feel extremely irritated
       A) In the morning
                                                                        C) Vary between these two extremes
       B) during the afternoon and early evening
       C) Late at night                                             8.  Which of the following colors do you like
                                                                  most …?
   2. You usually walk...
                                                                        A) Red or orange
       A) Fairly fast, with long steps
                                                                        B) Black
       B) Fairly fast, with little steps
                                                                        C) Yellow or light blue
       C) Less fast head up, looking the world in the face
                                                                        D) Green
       D) Less fast, head down
                                                                        E) Dark blue or purple
       E) Very slowly
                                                                        F) White
   3. When talking to people you...
                                                                        G) Brown or gray
       A) Stand with your arms folded
       B) Have your hands clasped
                                                                    9. When you are in bed at night, in those last few
       C) Have one or both your hands on your hips                moments before going to sleep you are......
      D) Touch or push the person to whom you are                       A) Stretched out on your back
                                                                        B) Stretched out face down on your stomach
      E) Play with your ear, touch your chin, or smooth
                                                                        C) On your side, slightly curled
your hair
                                                                        D) With your head on one arm
   4. When relaxing, you sit with...
                                                                        E) With your head under the covers
       A) Your knees bent with your legs neatly side by
       B) Your legs crossed                                           10. You often dream that you are...
       C) Your legs stretched out or straight                           A) Falling
       D) One leg curled under you                                      B) Fighting or struggling
   5. When something really amuses you, you react:                      C) Searching for something or somebody
       A) with a Big appreciated laugh                                  D) Flying or floating
       B) with a laugh, but not a loud one                              E) You usually have dreamless sleep
       C) with a quiet chuckle                                          F) Your dreams are always pleasant
       D) with a sheepish smile                                       Add up your Points on Page 17
May 2011                                           Page 16 of 35                           More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
   POINTS:                                                       then, usually decide against it. They think this reaction is
                                                                 caused partly by your careful nature.
   1. (a) 2 (b) 4 (c) 6
                                                                     UNDER 21 POINTS: People think you are shy,
   2. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 7 (d) 2 (e) 1                              nervous, and indecisive, someone who needs looking
   3. (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 5 (d) 7 (e) 6                              after, who always wants someone else to make the
                                                                 decisions and who doesn't want to get involved with
   4. (a) 4 (b) 6 (c) 2 (d) 1                                    anyone or anything! They see you as a worrier who
   5. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 2                              always sees problems that don't exist. Some people
                                                                 think you're boring. Only those who know you well know
   6. (a) 6 (b) 4 (c) 2                                          that you aren't.
   7. (a) 6 (b) 2 (c) 4
   8. (a) 6 (b) 7 (c) 5 (d) 4 (e) 3 (f) 2 (g) 1                      "THE CURSE OF ASSUMPTION"
   9. (a) 7 (b) 6 (c) 4 (d) 2 (e) 1                                 All too often we assume people know all about what
                                                                 we are selling when they don't. And if people don't know
   10 (a) 4 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 5 (e) 6 (f) 1                        what you're selling, they are hardly likely to buy it, are
   Now add up the total number of points.                        they?

   OVER 60 POINTS: Others see you as someone they                    Because we live with what we sell all the time and
should "handle with care." You're seen as vain, self-            think about it constantly, we presume that others do. As
centered, and extremely dominant. Others may admire              a result we fail to mention things we know which are
you, wishing they could be more like you, but don't              actually crucial and without which people simply will not
always trust you, hesitating to become too deeply                buy.
involved with you.                                                  The moral is, always show your stuff to someone who
    51 TO 60 POINTS: Others see you as an exciting,              knows nothing about it and ask if they understand. You'll
highly volatile, rather impulsive personality, a natural         be amazed what you can miss out or ignore.
leader, who's quick to make decisions, though not                    Once practical thing to do that is very boring but
always the right ones. They see you as bold and                  utterly necessary is to describe your offering in complete
adventuresome, someone who will try anything once,               detail before you start.
and someone who takes chances and enjoys an
adventure. They enjoy being in your company because
of the excitement you radiate.
   41 TO 50 POINTS: Others see you as fresh, lively,
charming, amusing, practical, and always interesting,
someone who's constantly in the center of attention, but
sufficiently well-balanced not to let it go to their head.
They also see you as kind, considerate, and
understanding, someone who’ll always cheer them up
and help them out.                                                   GAINSCO Auto Insurance®
    31 TO 40 POINTS: Others see you as sensible,                     Are You Driven?® We are. Visit GAINSCO’s booth
cautious, careful & practical. They see you as clever,           for a free photo with our championship-winning race car
gifted, or talented, but modest. Not a person who makes          and drive the world’s most realistic racing simulator. One
friends too quickly or easily, but someone who’s                 of the fastest-growing companies in our market,
extremely loyal to friends you do make and who expects           GAINSCO sells policies exclusively through independent
the same loyalty in return. Those who really get to know         agents. GAINSCO was established in 1978 and is based
you, realize it takes a lot to shake your trust in your          in Dallas, with a regional office in Miami. At GAINSCO
friends, but equally that it takes you a long time to get        we are committed to championship performance. This is
over if that trust is ever broken.                               epitomized by the championship-winning No. 99 racing
   21 TO 30 POINTS: Your friends see you as                      team we sponsor and is experienced by our agents
painstaking and fussy. They see you as very cautious,            every day in the way we service their needs, whether via
extremely careful, a slow and steady plodder. It would           our website, our customer support team or our
really surprise them if you ever did something                   commitment to long-term agency partnership and
impulsively or on the spur of the moment, expecting you          growth.
to examine everything carefully from every angle and

May 2011                                          Page 17 of 35                           More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
    Why Should You Evaluate a “Mom                                     Agency A generated $2 Million of commissions five
                                                                    years ago and has been whittled down by competition,
     & Pop” Insurance Agency?                                       soft market, etc. to its current state. It has one owner
   Evaluations are usually done for one of three                    (age 67), no producers and an employee base all over
reasons: (1) to determine a fair market value for selling           60 years old.
or buying; (2) to calculate ownership value among                      Agency B opened five years ago with three young
partners; or (3) planning for retirement or changing                producing owners and has added staff as they have
careers.                                                            grown to their current position.
   Insurance policies are considered intangibles. What                 Would you pay the same multiple of commissions for
we sell to our clients is a promise. Those promises add             each of these agencies?
up to become a book of business. What’s a book of
business worth?                                                        That's why a multiple of commission "rule of thumb"
                                                                    simply doesn't work.
    Agencies are like snowflakes … no two are exactly
alike. That’s why a “rule of thumb” doesn’t work. Every                (And we didn't even address the issues of non -
agency has different dynamics and should be valued in a             standard vs. standard business, owned vs. brokered
way that takes those different characteristics into                 business and volatile or target accounts vs. standard
consideration.                                                      accounts.)

   That intangible determines the vast majority of the                Al    Diamond      may            be    contacted        at
value of an agency. It reminds me of the theory than a    
body in motion tends to stay in motion unless acted upon
by an outside influence. Likewise, an agency that has
been growing will continue to grow (or continue to lose
marketshare) unless the new buyer changes the agency
    Fair Market Value … that price at which a willing
seller will sell and a willing purchaser will buy, neither              Make plans to join Sam Mader of Infinity Insurance
under abnormal pressure to act.                                     as he leads 2 different CE seminars created especially
   Multiple of Commissions Does Not Work                            for Independent Agents.
    Until recently, there was virtually only a couple of                         Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 12 Noon
ways an agency was sold. When an agency principal                       It’s not You, It’s Me
wanted or needed to sell, he was forced to contact a
"friendly" competitor due to the complexity of the                     Uncover the real meaning of accountability between
industry. The "friend" would "buy" the agency for a                 your co-workers and your clients
percentage of the renewal premiums.                                    Evaluate the level of accountability within your office,
    There are many problems with this type of                       and identify a plan for improvements
arrangement. I will only mention a few. The first thing the            Understand the meaning of “joint accountability” and
"friend" does is start "rolling" the business to his existing       how team members can work together for a common
contracts so that the renewals drop steadily. He then               goal
tells his "friend", the seller, "Attrition is really a killer."
The low price he agreed to pay is deceptively reduced                           Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 12 Noon
and the seller would incur substantial cost to monitor the              The Breath of a Salesman
                                                                       Identify key areas of opportunity            commonly
   Another popular method is a multiple of the past 12              overlooked by many producers
month’s income, i.e. one times, 1.50%, etc. Depending
upon past income is like driving backwards down the                    Evaluate your own agency on these areas of
road using your rear view mirror to see where you are               opportunity
going!                                                                 Understand what it means to truly create “unique
   Al Diamond of Agency Consulting Group                            value”
( uses this example: Let’s                    Identify and practice new skills for better uncovering
say Agency A and Agency B are next to each other in a
                                                                    your customer’s buying criteria
medium sized city. Each generates $1 Million of
May 2011                                             Page 18 of 35                              More info at  
You Do NOT Need iMGA!!
    If you don’t have to look up protection class,                 •Commercial entities, trusts and estates are
square footage, year built, construction type and more,        eligible as named insureds, even with liability
and can already meet your clients’ broadest personal           coverage.
property needs, submit the down payment, complete                 •Dwelling and Vacant policies can include up to
the process, and hand them a policy in minutes, then           NINE different properties on a single policy.
you probably don’t need iMGA.
                                                                  • Texas Elite HOA+/HOB policies can be
    Agents all over Texas, though, have found that             written on properties with incidental business and
working with iMGA makes writing personal property              farming exposure.
policies MUCH easier.
                                                                  • MobileHome policies can have contents
   Here is just a little of what they are saying:              coverage up to 200% of the dwelling limit.
    “iMGA’s rating and policy management software                • Vacant Dwelling policies can include optional
is a breeze to use.” - Warren R., Austin                       Remodeler coverage.
   “[iMGA has] the second best quoting system I                     “Well,” you may say, “it’s nice that iMGA has an
use... right behind Progressive.” - Allen M.,                  easy-to-use system and products with broad
Muleshoe                                                       underwriting guidelines. But to really make my life
    If a personal lines market is going to claim to be         easier you have to have underwriters that really ‘get
easy to work with, getting a new quote quickly and             it’ when it comes to Texas business”.
easily is absolutely critical. At iMGA we take this so             We agree completely! iMGA underwriters are true
seriously we track how long it takes - and that’s just         Texas personal property experts who love working
one of the ways the iMGA system makes things                   with Texas agents and work hard to make things as
EASY for agents:                                               easy as possible.
   • A new quote with iMGA takes less than 2                      Better yet, they actually answer the phone and
minutes - no wasted time!                                      have - and use - real underwriting authority!
  • Policy documents are generated instantly - no                 Again, don’t take our word for it - here’s what
more binders for closing!                                      some agents had to say:
   • Endorsements are also real-time and just as                  “iMGA’s underwriters really understand our
easy to complete - no long waits!                              market and what our agency needs.” - Danny M., San
    No market can claim to be easy unless their                Antonio
system works well, but being truly easy takes much                 “iMGA is very easy to use, very competitive and
more than a great system. At iMGA we understand                really nice to work with” - Melissa C., Waco
that and have products that make things easier for
agents:                                                             Like what you’ve heard? Want a great Texas
                                                               personal property market? Need to make your life
    • Coverage can be provided on dwellings with               easier?
up to 30 acres.
   • There is no maximum dwelling age.                           Go to and
   •Up to 2 prior claims are allowed.                          see how EASY it is to get started!
           An iMGA Appointment Might Make Your Life a LOT Easier
             Visit us at today. Youʼll be glad you did!

                                   The iMGA team is a proud supporter of the Texas PIA
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                                                                  apply for a new policy so the carrier can re-evaluate the
Buying or Selling an Agency?                                      exposure.
       Time to Check Your E&O Coverage                                 This logic applies to many types of insurance policies
   Part 1 of 5 E&O articles by Bob Porten                         . . . including agents’ E&O.

    Throughout my 20+ years of underwriting agents’                   Prior Acts—or “Tail”—Coverage: Make It
E&O insurance, I’ve seen many articles on buying or                      Part of Your Buy/Sell Agreement
selling agencies. They often include information on
agency valuation, contracts, transitional information, and            Part 2 of 5 E&O articles by Bob Porten
client communications. However, most never mention                    Unlike other types of insurance, which usually cover
E&O, and if they do, it’s often simply a suggestion to            known and tangible losses, agents’ E&O insurance
review your policy.                                               covers claims occurring after the retroactive date on your
   Problems can arise when E&O coverage is not given              policy. This includes presently unknown wrongful acts
adequate consideration before the sale or purchase of             you committed, or allegedly committed, that may result
an agency. But you can avoid problems if your E&O                 in a future claim.
carrier is advised prior to finalizing any agreements or              Prior-acts coverage is specific to those individuals
sooner if possible.                                               named in the policy, and this can significantly impact you
   An E&O policy is two-party contract between the                when buying or selling an agency. For example, if you
E&O carrier and the agent/agency identified as the                cannot obtain the carrier’s consent to assign the E&O
named insured. When underwriting an E&O policy—                   policy when purchasing an agency, then the current
whether it’s for a sole proprietor, corporation, or LLC,          E&O policy must be cancelled and you’ll need to apply
etc.—the risk is evaluated based on the exposures                 for coverage.
particular to that agency.                                           As the buyer, your policy would not cover the former
    These exposures include the present owners, their             owner’s prior acts. However, there is a way to protect
experience, and their tenure as principals of that agency.        yourself. Have the seller purchase “extended reporting
Agency leadership can significantly impact an E&O                 period” or “tail” coverage, and make this a stipulation of
underwriting decision. And when ownership changes,                the buy/sell agreement.
leadership changes—even if nothing else does—and                      Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with the terms
this constitutes a change in exposure.                            and conditions of your E&O policy. This will ensure that
   Look at just about any E&O policy, and you’ll find a           you understand the impact of changes in exposure,
clause stating that the rights under the policy are not           claims-made coverage, and prior-acts exposure.
assignable or transferable to another party. Even the                This advice also applies to mergers, consolidations,
most carefully written buy/sell agreement can’t get               or other similar circumstances. These constitute
around that.                                                      changes in exposure, and you need to make your E&O
     Generally speaking, E&O policies are non-                    carrier aware of them. Murphy’s Law applies equally to
transferable because the carrier accepted the risk based          the insurance industry, and things can—and do—go
on the leadership in effect at the time the coverage was          wrong when you least expect it.
initiated. Therefore, if the leadership changes, the risk
can potentially change. Some E&O policies, however,
sanction assignment to someone other than the original                    Bob Porten is an Account Underwriter in
party if the carrier provided written consent prior to the                            UMICO's E&O Department. Bob has
change in ownership.                                                                  26 years of industry experience, 22 of
                                                                                      which has been as an E&O
   If you’re thinking of buying or selling a corporation,                             underwriter with Utica Mutual. Prior
don’t assume that the E&O carrier’s consent to                                        experience includes time as an
assignment is not required because it was a “simple”                                  independent insurance agent and
stock transfer. Think of it this way: If I sold you my home,                          underwriter     in      the    Lawyers
my homeowner’s policy would not transfer to you on the                                professional liability market. Bob is a
date of closing. You would have to apply for a new                                    graduate of North Central Technical
policy.                                                                               College in Wausau, Wisconsin with a
    You might argue that it’s the same home, in the same          Major in Insurance. He also holds his New York Property
location, with the same fire class, etc., as when I owned         & Casualty Producers License. Bob and his wife
it, but from an insurer’s perspective, a new owner                Melissa live in Utica, NY.
constitutes a change in risk. Therefore, you’ll need to
May 2011                                           Page 20 of 35                           More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
   How to get the most out of “local search” in 2011               Increase exposure: Add your agency to other free
                                                                online        directories,      like,
   By Matthew Marko
                                                      ,, and your local
    By now, you’ve probably heard how creating a                Chamber of Commerce website.
website or using social media can help increase visibility
                                                                   Add content: Post additional content like photos and
and generate leads for your agency. But you may not
                                                                videos to your listing.
have heard about a faster, easier way to reach
thousands of people in your local area who are shopping            Learn from others: Study the listings of high-ranking
for insurance right now - and it’s free.                        agencies in your area and adopt their best practices.
   It sounds too good to be true, but “local search” can           Monitor your listings: Assign one person in your
give your agency excellent visibility at the same moment        agency to monitor listings on a monthly basis.
consumers are looking for a local agent on the internet.
                                                                   The local search environment is constantly changing.
   What is local search?                                        By acting before your competition, you’ll get the greatest
                                                                impact and value from your listing. You have nothing to
     Quite simply, local search is the name used to
                                                                lose - it’s easy. It’s fast. It’s free.
describe search engine results that show local business
listings when a consumer searches for products or                   About the Author
services in their area. For example, if a consumer enters
                                                                    Matthew Marko is a Marketing Process Manager
“insurance + Savannah, GA” the results page will include
                                                                for Progressive Insurance. He works to provide local
a map and a list of the top ranking local agencies. By
                                                                marketing strategies and tools to help independent
claiming your agency’s free local listing, you’ll open the
                                                                agencies grow their business, and has developed
door for additional exposure and new business leads.
                                                                several online marketing webinars for Progressive
   How to get started                                           agents on
    The easiest way to claim your local listing is by               E-mail:
visiting, a free service that checks
your current listings and helps you claim them with major
search engines including Google, Yahoo, and Bing.                 When you start giving out, you’ll soon
   For each search engine, just register for a free             begin taking in.
account, and then provide the following information
                                                                   There's an old folk song about a thirsty traveler who
about your agency:
                                                                comes across a pump in the desert. An attached note
        Business address                                        explains that there's a jar of water buried nearby to
                                                                prime the pump. You've got to give before you get, the
        Local phone number                                      note says.
        Website (if applicable)                                    It is up to the traveler to decide whether to drink the
        Business hours                                          water from the jar or take a chance that the small
                                                                amount of water invested will result in an unlimited
        Insurance products                                      supply of cold, clear water.
        Special services                                           So it is with going the extra mile. You've got to give
   Making the most of local search                              before you get. You cannot expect to receive generous
                                                                rewards and then decide what to give in return. You
     After you claim your listing, adding more relevant         must give freely and have faith that the rewards will
information will likely help your agency move up on the         eventually come.
list of local results. Here are some ways to enhance your
local listing:                                                     As clergyman Frank Crain once said, "You may be
                                                                deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in
   Include     keywords: Update        your     business        torment if you do not trust enough."
description and categories to reflect your offerings (ex:
auto insurance, home insurance, business insurance). If             This positive message is brought to you by the
you represent carriers with recognizable brands, include        Napoleon Hill Foundation. We encourage you to forward
carrier-approved keywords such as “Authorized                   this to friends and family. They can sign up for this free
Progressive Agent.”                                             service at our web site:
    Get reviewed: Encourage customers to post reviews
of your agency.
May 2011                                         Page 21 of 35                          More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
     Why You Should Have an Agency Management                         Going Paperless
                                                                      As an extension of the concepts of having everything
                        By Ken Butler                             in one place, consider going paperless.
   Agency         Management      systems   are    often             The idea is to scan all of your paperwork into the
misunderstood in the normal functioning of an agency.             management system and attach it to the proper client
Agents are told they must "automate or die", which does           and policy. Then, all of your documents are always
not fit in with their experience.                                 available from anywhere you are, almost instantly.
   I have heard many agents say "I have gone this long               Now I am not telling you to actually do away with your
without a management system, why should I move                    paper, although you certainly can if you want to. If you
now?" While I was thinking this topic over, it came to me         want to continue filing it, that is perfectly alright. Or you
that I have never heard an agent who has a system say             can file it organized loosely by date to minimize filing
"This is worse than having no system, so I am going to            expense.
drop it." Even those with systems that provide more
                                                                      Going paperless does not have to mean throwing
power than they need with costs that they cannot afford
                                                                  your paper away. It just means you don't have to
do not opt to go back to nothing. They look to find a
                                                                  depend on it any more, or spend countless hours trying
system that fits their needs better.
                                                                  to track it down.
   So why is it so important to be automated? Some of
                                                                      Imagine never having to go look for that paper again.
the answers might surprise you.
                                                                  You can just sit at your desk and click a couple of
   The Old Reasoning                                              buttons, and you will be looking at that application, or
                                                                  letter, or photograph, or spreadsheet - anything at all -
   In the past, most of the justification for having a
                                                                  almost instantly. And no more chasing around finding out
management system has focused on costs.             But
                                                                  who has the file.
particularly in a small office, it might be hard to see
where those cost savings are going to come from.                      Better yet, if you are working from home one rainy
                                                                  Saturday afternoon and your client gives you a call, you
   I could spend a lot time talking about increasing
                                                                  can hop on to your laptop from home and still be looking
business with the same staff, cutting inefficiencies, etc.,
                                                                  at that same document in a few seconds.
but you have heard that before.
                                                                      Again, the same list of benefits apply, the ease of
   I think there are some much better reasons to think
                                                                  doing your job, looking good in front of customers and
about a management system. Let’s talk about some of
                                                                  clients, lowering the overall stress level.
those reasons.
                                                                      Real Time Interface
   The Joy of Having Everything in One Place
                                                                     More and more companies offer online policy service,
     It is hard to imagine the ease it brings to your
                                                                  ranging from a simple inquiry to full endorsement
workday to always have everything in one place,
                                                                  processing, payment inquiry, and claims management.
available without even having to stand up. Your client
contact     information,   the  associated     company               A good management system will give you one-click
information, policy schedules and coverages, all                  access to the real time data on your company system.
important documents, letters, emails, pictures, and the
                                                                     This is the best of both worlds. Your own information
list goes on and on. You can even have the Pizza Hut
                                                                  that you collect and store locally, combined with instant
number available in that same central place.
                                                                  access to information collected and store by your
    That means that when you need to know anything at             companies.
all about a client or a policy or any other aspect of your
                                                                      Legal Benefits
business, it is at your fingertips. Need to call your client
and ask a question? Need to send your underwriter an                  An often unrecognized benefit of storing all your
email on behalf of this client? Need to see a signed              information together in a management system, along
copy of the application? It is all there with a couple            with contemporaneous notes on phone calls, personal
clicks of the mouse.                                              conversations, memos and emails, is that you build a
                                                                  good system of legal protections for yourself. A properly
   I am sure that this is going to save you some money,
                                                                  designed management system provides defenses for
but I doubt you will ever be able to put your finger on
                                                                  many E&O situations. (Talk to your lawyer about this if
exactly how much. The greater benefit in my mind is the
                                                                  you have legal concerns.) Your E&O premium may be
ease of doing your job, feeling on top of things, and
                                                                  lower, and of course, your exposure to E&O risk is lower.
looking good in front of your clients and your company
people.                                                                                Continued on page 23
May 2011                                           Page 22 of 35                            More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
   Why Agency Management System                                       The batteries were given out free of charge.
   (continued from page 22)                                          A dentist and a manicurist married. They fought tooth
                                                                  and nail.
   Finding Your Ideal System
                                                                      A will is a dead giveaway.
   There are a lot of systems out there, all claiming to
be very user friendly, with robust features (whatever that           If you don't pay your exorcist you can get
means), and all at a low cost. Well, some more than               repossessed.
others.                                                               With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.
     If you already have a management system, then you               Show me a piano falling down a mineshaft and I'll
know what it can do for you. If you are dissatisfied with         show you A-flat miner.
it, you already know why.
                                                                      You are stuck with your debt if you can't budge it.
   If you do not have a system, you should think about
what things you want your system to do for you and then              Local Area Network in Australia: The LAN down
ask around as to what systems offer the features you are          under.
looking for.                                                          A boiled egg is hard to beat.
   Talk to some of your friends in the business, and                 When you've seen one shopping center you've seen
those you know through the PIA, and find out what their           a mall.
experiences are. What kinds of benefits are they
experiencing? How much does it cost them?                            Police were called to a day care where a three-year-
                                                                  old was resisting a rest.
   Some vendors offer a free trial period whereby you
can evaluate the system in a non-pressured                          Did you hear about the fellow whose whole left side
environment, and determine for yourself whether this is           was cut off? He's all right now.
something that would be good for you before you take                 If you take a laptop computer for a run you could jog
on any financial commitments.                                     your memory.
    A good management system should make your life                    A bicycle can't stand alone; it is two tired.
easier. It should help you provide better service to your
clients, and to raise the level of pride you have in your            In a democracy it's your vote that counts; in
own business.                                                     feudalism, it's your Count that votes.
   Once you find the right system, you will never go                  When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds
                                                                      The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine was
    Ken Butler is the founder of Evolution Agency                 fully recovered.
Management, LLC. We hold core
                                                                     He had a photographic memory which was never
beliefs that the agent has certain                                developed.
rights in selecting his systems,
managing       deployment,       and                                 Those who get too big for their britches will be
ownership of his information.                                     exposed in the end.
These are documented in writing in
                                                                     When she saw her first strands of gray hair, she
the Agent’s Bill of Rights, which are
                                                                  thought she'd dye.
detailed on the company website at                                                       Acupuncture: a jab well done.
   Reprinted from the PIA Professional Agent                        The fattest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir
                                                                  Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.
   Sey What?
                                                                      A sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center said: 'Keep
   To write with a broken pencil is pointless.
                                                                  off the Grass.'
   When fish are in schools they sometimes take
                                                                      She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.
                                                                     No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still
   A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.
                                                                  be stationery.
   When the smog lifts in Los Angeles, U.C.L.A.
                                                                      A dog gave birth to puppies near the road and was
   The professor discovered that         her     theory   of      cited for littering.
earthquakes was on shaky ground.
May 2011                                           Page 23 of 35                             More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                                                                    Law # 2 - Law of Intention. Your motive is to satisfy
                                                                 your customer’s needs but your intention sets the
                                                                 customer’s expectations.
                                                                       Ideally your intention should be to always exceed
                                                                 their expectations. Have you ever arrived at a store with
                                                                 a sign on the door that says “Open at 7am” yet you’re
                                                                 still waiting for them to open at 7:05? You’ve probably
                                                                 experienced this many times - what goes through your
   The 3 Laws of Relationship Selling                            mind? They don’t care, they’re lazy, their apathetic, they
                                                                 come first, not you the customer.
   by Stu Schlackman
                                                                     Perception is reality and when we over promise and
   Here’s an oxymoron - if you want to be successful in          under deliver, it sets us up for failure in the mind of the
the world of sales, stop selling! You don’t need to              customer. Then there are those times when we are
convince the prospect to do business with you; they              standing at the door at 6:55 and the staff notices you
must convince themselves that you are the person they            waiting and they immediately run to the door to let you
                            prefer to buy from.                  in, apologizing for making you wait, even though you
                                  Prospects            and       were early. Isn’t that who you want to give your business
                              customers don’t just buy           to?
                              the products and services             Customers do business with those that set the
                              they need, they buy a              expectation of over delivering on their promise. It’s
                              relationship with someone          dropping off the proposal on a Thursday when it’s due
                              that they know is looking          on Friday. It’s estimating what a project will cost, then
                              out for their best interest.       coming in under the estimated budget and 2 weeks
                              Do you really know what it         earlier than planned. That’s what’s called “customer
                              takes to build a solid, long       delight”.
                              term relationship with a
   Consider The 3 Laws of Relationship Selling.                      Law # 3 - Law of Accountability. It seems like we
                                                                 live in a world where the only time people are
                                                                 accountable for their actions is when there’s good news.
   Law # 1 - Law of Reciprocity. If you want to receive             You need to be accountable regardless of the nature,
business from a customer you need to give. Giving of             and you often have to help your customers be
your time and expertise will lead to getting.                    accountable too.
   If your goal is to satisfy your customer’s needs and              It’s easy to blame others for the events and
not your own, then you are giving, and, taking care of the       circumstances that affect your customers. Yet that is
customer trumps all else. Customers enjoy buying from            exactly when you want to take responsibility and avoid
sales professionals that work hard to satisfy their              the excuses.
business and personal needs. They love to give the
good news to the person that has earned their trust and             Accountability means owning up to the good, the bad
their business. A trusted sales person becomes the               and the ugly and as the team quarterback it’s your
quarterback of the team and helps to decide which team           responsibility to communicate the news to the customer.
members need to be involved to meet the challenges               Your customers will respect your honesty even when
and needs of the customer.                                       you are the bearer of bad news. Owning up to customer
                                                                 disappointments shows character. Trust is the
    Sales professionals that focus on building a long term       combination of the character and expertise you deliver,
relationship earn the right to ask the tough questions that      and customers buy from people they trust.
others might not get to ask, or might not get answered.
                                                                     Being accountable will help you build long term
    Would you answer a personal question the same way            trusting relationships with your customers. So, when you
to a stranger that you would to a close friend? I don’t          can’t deliver on the customer’s expectations, let them
think so. It works the same way with customers.                  know immediately.
Generosity builds the long term relationship with the
customer just as it does with your friends.                                          Continued on page 26

May 2011                                          Page 24 of 35                           More info at  
                                                                                        DRIVEN TO WIN

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one of the fastest growing insurers in today’s non-standard market. In addition to outstanding service, competitive rates, and an intuitive web site, we
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         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
3 Laws of Relationship Selling
   Continued from page 24
   To truly serve the needs of your customers,
remember the Three Laws of Strong Relationships:
   1. Law of Reciprocity
   2. Law of Intention
   3. Law of Accountability
   Study each one and reflect on how well you
understand and execute on each of these laws. Once
mastered, the three laws will help you become the                                                                
trusted adviser and the quarterback of a team that is in
demand for solving customer needs.
   Good selling!
   Stu Schlackman
   Author of Don't Just Stand There, Sell Something
and Four People You Should Know
   Phone:      214-435-9758                                                                                      
                                                                          Advertise in the Texas Connection 
                                                                      Attention: Insurance Companies, MGA’s, Premium 
                                                                      Finance Companies & Insurance Industry Vendors: 
                                                                     Check out the rates for the most cost effective method 
                                                                     of keeping your message in front of your customers … 

                                                                        Texas Independent Insurance Agents. 
        Saturday Dinner & Casino Night Auction
                         Sponsored by                                  Now published monthly and available for all 
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                                                                               Ad Size             Monthly     Pre‐Pay 6 

                                            Full Page (7.5” x 10”)     $175.00      $900.00 
    Editor’s note: Stu will be the keynote speaker at the
dinner on Saturday at the Texas PIA Convention. He will                 Half ‐ Page (7.5” x 5”)    $100.00      $500.00 
be talking about “Relationships Trump Everything When
It Comes to Sales”.                                                   Quarter‐Page (3.75” x 5”)     $75.00      $375.00 
    Stu says “In the world of sales the bottom line is
‘people buy from people’ period! It is you who makes the              1/8 ‐ Page (3.75” x 2.5”)     $50.00      $250.00 
difference in each and every sale you make. People buy
from those they trust. Selling is a transferring of our own
                                                                           Questions? Contact Eddie K. Emmett at 
beliefs and feelings to our customers. In the world of
sales emotions always trump logic. Customers buy with        or (770) 312‐2342. 
their emotions.”

May 2011                                          Page 26 of 35                              More info at  
        Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 

   Texas PIA President’s Message                                   Smart people want to be aligned with other smart and
                                                                successful people. Align yourself with the Texas PIA.
    I have been getting emails and phone calls daily from
all over asking me "How do we do it?"                              You may ask, "What does the Texas PIA really do?"
                                                                Simply put, I Believe we Enthusiastically Support and
   How do we get such important people to participate           Trust in our Team.
in Texas PIA’s projects, and put on such great events
year after year?                                                    Belief … Enthusiasm … Support … Trust
   My answer? The Independent Agent is the most                    We are the Texas PIA! We are the BEST! Belief,
important factor in making things happen in the                 Enthusiasm, Support, Trust. This makes us the BEST!
insurance industry in Texas.
                                                                    As Independent Agents, we may be competitors, but
   WE BELIEVE                                                   we are smart competitors who Enthusiastically Believe
                                                                and Trust that WE will support each other every day and
    WE BELIEVE we can do anything. WE BELIEVE in                in every way.
what we do, and WE BELIEVE all we have to do is ask,
and people will respond to us like they do every day in            You can try to continue on the path that made your
our agencies when they purchase a "promise" that we             agency a good agency in the past, or you can join forces
will take care of them. It is an intangible. It is TRUST!       with people that are making their agencies great.
You can't touch it, but you feel it. You BELIEVE it!               The hard part is trusting and believing in that first
    The Companies TRUST us that we will bring people            step and that first step is joining the Texas PIA. WE will
together in a way that is different, refreshing and             share our ideas, WE will support you, and WE will give
rewarding. They know our organization will be motivating        you the tools to help you succeed.
to all who join because WE are the best at what we do.             Together WE can make it happen. Together WE are
All our members are successful business people, and             the BEST.
others want to be just like us. I joined the Texas PIA
which at the time was made up of my biggest                        Come join us and learn how to change that good
competitors. Crazy you say, yeah, crazy like a Fox. In          agency into a great agency.
fact, when I look back on it, there were a lot of Fox's at          I hope to see you at Texas PIA 2011 Convention
that meeting. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain
                                                                    Tom Sorrels
and so did those other Fox's.
                                                                    President, Texas PIA
   Texas PIA Promise to Members
                                                                    Tom Sorrels Insurance
   We promise to give you ideas to help you grow your
business. We promise you networking, to put you with                1313 S. Vine Suite A
those companies that want you to succeed.                           Tyler, TX 75701

    And we promise we will show you the way to survive              Tel 903-597-6699
the bad times, and then shout “I am the BEST when it is   
all over”. Show your enthusiasm. Be Enthusiastic!!!
Success Breeds Success!

May 2011                                         Page 27 of 35                              More info at  
        Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
   Texas PIA 2011 Convention Agenda
                             June 10-11, 2011
                             Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center
                             If you have never been to Moody Gardens you have missed out! Register to attend the
                             Convention and bring the entire family. Texas PIA will be selling discounted Attraction
                             Passes at the registration desk on Friday and Saturday. These passes will be good for all
                             attractions at Moody Gardens during the entire Convention. You will not be disappointed.
There are CE credit courses, an Advanced CPIA course, as well as special interest classes scheduled. Texas PIA agent
members, and their staff, have the benefit of FREE registration.
On Saturday night after dinner there will be lots of fun with Casino Night. Vouchers will be sold for chips and then you can
use your winning total to bid on items during the Auction.
If you are a member of Texas PIA, a guest of a member, or staff your convention registration includes all courses, the
Friday Reception, the continental breakfasts, lunches on both days, dinner on Saturday, and the Casino Night. All of this
for FREE. If you are not a Texas PIA member and pay a registration fee your registration includes everything as well,
unless you only want to visit the Exhibits. The Exhibits Only registration fee is $25 and does not include attending any
courses or food functions except the Reception on Friday night with the vendors in the Exhibit Hall.

                                                                  9:00 a.m.—11:00 am Special Interest—no CE credit
                                                                  How to Transition from Captive to Independent
                                                                                                 A special interest class on
                                                                                                 How to Transition from
                                                                                                 Captive to Independent is
                                                                                                 scheduled     for     Friday
                                                                                                 morning from 9 am—11
Friday, June 10th                                                                                am.
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 am Continental Breakfast / Registration                                       Carl Shockey, President
                                                                                               of Paragon Independent
                                                                  Insurance Agencies will lead this class. Carl is also on
                                                                  the Texas PIA Board of Directors.
                                                                                      Items of discussion:
                                                                    Preparing financially for the change
                                                                    Access to E&O
                                                                     Using the resources of a professional insurance
8:30 a.m —12 Noon                                                 association (PIA)

CPIA course (part 1) - Parts 1 and 2 must be taken to               How to organize and streamline your office for
get CE credit Part 1 and part 2—7 hours CE credit (does           maximum effectiveness
not count toward designation)                                       Making decisions on carriers & products to sell
Advanced Personal Lines Risk Analysis for E&O                       Understanding your limitations starting out
Loss Prevention
                                                                    Gaining access to carriers
This course counts toward update requirement. It is
approved by Utica Mutual for E&O loss prevention credit.            Determining your competition
                                                                    Personal branding & marketing

May 2011                                         Page 28 of 35                              More info at  
        Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
       Texas PIA 2011 Convention Agenda
Friday, June 10th                                              1:30 pm—3:30 pm Special Interest—no CE credit
9:00 am—12 Noon CE credit course—3 hours credit
It’s Not You, It’s Me
                Infinity Insurance, Sam Mader
                                                                            Speaking THEIR Language:
                    Uncover the real meaning of
                accountability between your co-workers             Cross Selling to your Hispanic Commercial /
                and your clients                                                        Business Owner Clients
                     Evaluate the level of accountability                             Roy Mendoza, Hispanic Business
within your office, and identify a plan for improvements                              Development Manager for Illinois
  Understand the meaning of “joint accountability” and
how team members can work together for a common                                       It is an astonishing number—
goal                                                                                  70%
                                                                                   If    70%     of   the     general
                                                                                   Latino/Hispanic        population
12 Noon—1:15 pm LUNCH (for all registered attendees)
                                                                                   doesn't have a Financial Plan,
CPIA designee recognitions
                                                                                   what     percentages    of   your
1:00 p.m.—4:00 p.m. Vendor move-in                                                 Commercial        Latino/Hispanic
                                                               clients, Business owners & Contractors have any
                                                               clue??? One shudders to think….
1:30 p.m.—4:30 p.m. CE credit course—3 hours credit            Come LEARN how to SPEAK their language and sell to
Beyond the Basics—Advanced Flood                               the MOST untapped of the untapped Latino Financial
                                                               Services Market!
                        Julie Duncan, Director, Field
                        Education & Marketing of The
                       Beyond the Basics provides
                       attendees with an advanced
                       understanding of the National
                       Flood Insurance Program and
                       passes along the intricacies
                       associated with understanding
the product from an underwriting stance. The course
opens with a refresher of the “Basics” of the flood
insurance program/product. Discussion will move to             5:00 pm—6:30 pm
more in-depth topics such as Substantial Damage/
                                                               Reception with vendors in Exhibit Hall B
improvement, DBRS, Understanding the Elevation
Certificate and much more.
The course is designed to give those who have an
Intermediate understanding of the National Flood
Insurance Program, the tools needed to fully understand
the product from a more in depth view. As well as
providing knowledge needed to work with A and V

                                                               Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center

May 2011                                        Page 29 of 35                          More info at  
        Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
Saturday, June 11th                                           10:30 am—11:30 am CE credit course—1 hour credit
8:00a.m.—9:00a.m.: Continental Breakfast / Registration             Texas Standard Dwelling and ISO Forms
                      Sponsored by
                                                              Mike Gibbs, Director of Personal Lines, IMGA, LLC
                                                              Learn more about the ever changing development of
                                                              dwelling fire forms used in Texas.       Includes a
                                                              comparison of major differences in coverage between
                                                              standard TDP1 and TDP3 coverage and corresponding
                                  ISO forms.
                                                              Importance of understanding the different coverages and
                                                              forms and the challenges created for the agent including
                                                              impact on E&O.
8:30 am—12 Noon CPIA course (part 2) - Parts 1 and
                2 must be taken to get CE credit
                                                              9:00 am—12 Noon CE Credit course—3 hours credit
                    Part 1 and part 2—7 hours CE
                    credit (does not count toward                             The Breath of a Salesman
                    designation)                                              Infinity Insurance, Sam Mader
                  Advanced Personal Lines Risk                                   Identify key areas of opportunity
Analysis for E&O Loss Prevention                                              commonly     overlooked  by   many
This course counts toward update requirement. It is                           producers
approved by Utica Mutual for E&O loss prevention credit.         Evaluate your own agency on these areas of
                                                                 Understand what it means to truly create “unique
                                                                Identify and practice new skills for better uncovering
                                                              your customer’s buying criteria

                                                              12:30 pm—1:15 pm LUNCH Award presentations          (for
9:00 am—10:00 am CE credit course—1 hour credit               all registered attendees)

    Texas Standard and ISO Homeowner Forms
                            Comparison                        1:30 pm—5:30 pm Trade Show
                      Mike Gibbs, Director of Personal        Open—visit with vendors in
                      Lines, IMGA, LLC                        Exhibit Hall B—drawings at 5
                      Learn more about the ever
                      changing    development     of          5:30 pm—10:00 pm       Vendor
                      homeowner forms used in Texas.          move-out

                      Includes a comparison of major          6:30 pm—8:00 pm DINNER
                      differences in coverage between         Keynote speaker       (for all
                      standard     HOA     and   HOB          registered attendees)
                      coverage and corresponding ISO          Introduction of newly elected board members
Importance of understanding the different coverages and
forms and the challenges created for the agent including                         8:00 pm—10:00 pm
impact of E&O.                                                                   Casino night & Auction
                                                                                 (for all registered attendees)

May 2011                                       Page 30 of 35                         More info at  
                                           Texas Connection                                                           4

Advanced CPIA Course—Scheduled during 2011 Convention
                                                                                          TIPS Board of Directors

The AIMS Society has a new Advanced CPIA class that will be offered on Sat-
urday, May 16th. The title is Advanced Personal Lines Risk Analysis for E&O                        President
Loss Prevention and it is recommended that participants have a minimum of                         Don Miller
three years of industry experience. During this class there will be a discussion            Texian Insurance Agency
of an insurance agent’s legal responsibility to apply effective loss prevention
techniques that will benefit personal lines insurance consumers. Included will                    PO Box 686
be a discussion on:                                                                           Belton, TX 76513
   the current causes of errors and omissions in agencies today,
   the producer’s responsibility to the insurance company,
   issues surrounding records control, and                                                    Jimmy Beathard
                                                                                               Beathard Insurance
   the importance of internal agency controls.
                                                                                             3500 W. Davis Ste. 240
                                                                                               Conroe, TX 77305
This class is approved by Utica Mutual for E&O loss prevention credit.
Need an update for your CPIA designation?                                       

If you currently have your CPIA designation and need the required update this
class will satisfy that requirement.                                                           Kay Templeton
                                                                                          Templeton Insurance Agency
Need CE Credit?                                                                            21120 Spring Towne Drive
This one class will give you 7 hours of CE Credit. You do not have to be work-                 Spring, TX 77388
ing toward the CPIA designation in order to take any of the CPIA classes for                     281-350-4999
CE credit.

Don’t need an update or CE credit?
This class is approved by Utica Mutual for E&O loss prevention credit.

Scheduled—Part 1 on Friday—6/10/11 from 8:30 am to Noon and Part 2 on
Saturday—6/11/11 from 8:30 am to Noon. You must attend both parts to get

Register for the course by completing the Convention Registration Form locat-
ed on the PIA Texas website—, or call 1-800-829-9838.

                                               CPIA Designation Program
                           Be sure to look at the CPIA Designation Program information on our website.

         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
            Why should YOU attend the Seminars?
                                                                     Roy Mendoza holds Chartered Financial Consultant,
   Friday, June 10                                              Registered Financial Consultant and Associate in Claims
                                                                insurance designations. He is a graduate of St. Mary’s
9:00 a.m.—11:00 am Special Interest—no CE credit                University in San Antonio, Texas with a degree in
                                                                International Business. He has 20 years of Insurance
                        How to transition from Captive          experience successfully increasing sales for companies
                    to Independent
                                                                such as USAA, State Farm, New York Life and now
                         Carl Shockey’s workshop is             Illinois Mutual. In his current position as Hispanic
                    intended to provide agents with some        Business Development Manager with Illinois Mutual, he
                    initial resources for establishing and      has increased Hispanic sales for 3 years in a row and in
                    licensing the proper Entity, obtaining      a down economy, almost tripling Hispanic Market
                    the proper E&O insurance, pursuing          Production since joining Illinois Mutual in 2008!
the right carrier appointments, using automation in the             Come see how you too can find success in the
agency and ideas on brand marketing as well as                  largest untapped market in our Industry…you DO NOT
promoting themselves on the internet. The ideas and             want to miss this opportunity!
information will not only be provided by myself, but
additional experienced professionals whose companies
provide product support
                            to                                      Saturday, June 11th
across the United States.                                       9:00 am—10:00 am CE credit course—1 hour credit
                                                                    Homeowners CE Course
                1:30 pm—3:30 pm Special Interest—               10:30 am—11:30 am CE credit course—1 hour credit
                no CE credit
                                                                    Dwelling Fire CE Course
                      Speaking THEIR Language:
                                                                   Mike Gibbs has 40 years of
                  Cross Selling to your Hispanic                experience working with personal lines in
                Commercial / Business Owner Clients             Texas. As a member of the iMGA team,
                                                                Mike lives out our mission to keep things
                    If 70% of Hispanics do not have any
                                                                as easy for agents as possible and have
                life insurance/financial planning…what
                                                                fun at the same time. Mike will bring that
                percentage of Latino Business Owners
                                                                same approach to the CE certified
do you think have any type of Financial Business
                                                                seminars comparing Texas and ISO
                                                                Homeowners forms and Texas and ISO Dwelling Fire
   The key is to Speak their language:                          forms, which will make this experience learning about
                                                                coverage comparisons unlike any other you have had.
   Remember to speak their language…no, no, no, NOT
SPANISH…Business Owner Language! Visit small                       Independent agents working with iMGA have access
locally owned businesses and ask them this simple               to a wide range of specialized Texas Personal Lines
question:                                                       Property products, including Homeowners (on HOA,
                                                                HOA Plus or HOB forms), Dwelling Fire (TDP1 and
   “If I could show you a way to protect and                    TDP3 including multiple dwellings on a single policy and
guarantee your Cash Flow, give you a last minute                optional liability coverage), Vacant Property (including
year end Tax Deduction and put extra money in your              optional liability and remodeler coverage) and Mobile
pocket for Retirement – would you be interested?”               Home policies written through highly-rated carriers on
    This is how you speak their language, pique their           both an admitted and non-admitted basis.
interest and get them interested in meeting with you!               iMGA's mission is to be the specialty MGA of choice
 And this is what you will learn how to do by attending         in our chosen programs for retail producers because we
this vitally important presentation at the PIA Convention!      are the easiest to interact with; while providing the best
                                                                products and customer service in the marketplace,
                                                                delivered by people who are having fun doing their jobs.

May 2011                                         Page 32 of 35                          More info at  
        Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
            Texas PIA 2011 Convention Exhibitors       







May 2011                                  Page 33 of 35                 More info at  
       Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
            Texas PIA 2011 Convention Exhibitors






            Texas PIA 2011 Convention Sponsors


May 2011                                     Page 34 of 35                            More info at  
         Texas Connection … a Texas PIA Member Benefit 
                                               Texas PIA Board of Directors
               beginning 10/1/2010

                     OFFICERS                                                   DIRECTORS

President             term to 10/1/2011
                                                                Mark Solomon, Sr.          term to 10/1/2011
Thomas O. Sorrels, Jr., CPIA
                                                                All Auto Insurance Agency, Inc.
Tom Sorrels Insurance
                                                                833 East Arapaho Rd #107
1313 S. Vine Suite A
                                                                Richardson, TX 75081
Tyler, TX 75701
                                                                Tel 214-739-5610 fax 214-739-5404
Tel 903-597-6699 Fax 903-597-7099
                                                                Jennie McDonald            term to 10/1/2011
President- Elect   term to 10/1/2011                            Wedgewood Insurance Agency
Joe Trevino                                                     1410 Spring Cypress
Trevco Insurance Agency                                         Spring, TX 77373
4111 N. Alexander                                               Tel 281-350-1605 fax 281-350-8735
Baytown, TX 77520                                     
Tel 281-427-9063 Fax 281-422-0090                                         Tony Harper               term to 10/1/2012
                                                                Porter Insurance Agency
Immed. Past President term to 10/1/2011                         PO Box 1710
David Almany, CPIA                                              Porter, TX 77365
Almany’s Insurance                                              Tel 281-354-3279 Fax 281-354-8607
150 Hwy 77 South                                      
Waxahachie, TX 75165
Tel 972-937-0979 Fax 972-937-3366                               Clifford Parker,GA,CPIA,RR term to 10/1/2012                                              Parker Insurance
                                                                831 Village Square
Treasurer           term to 10/1/2012                           Tomball, TX 77275
Randy Templeton, CMA,. CPA, CPIA, EIS, LUTCF                    Tel 281-351-8282 Fax 281-351-1454
Templeton Insurance Agency, Inc.                      
21120 Spring Towne Drive
                                                                Chuck McMillan            term to 10/1/2013
Spring, TX 77388
                                                                Anchor General Insurance
Tel 281-350-4999 Fax 281-350-5907
                                                                136 Forest Brook
                                                                Oak Leaf, TX 75154
Secretary            term to 10/1/2013                          Tel 972-935-1233
Don Miller, CPIA
Texian Insurance Agency
                                                                Carl Shockey                term to 10/1/2013
PO Box 686
                                                                Paragon Independent Insurance Agencies, Inc.
Belton, TX 76513
                                                                6305 Preston Rd Ste. 1000
Tel 254-939-7000 Fax 254-939-0009
                                                                Plano, TX 75024
                                                                Tel 972-867-9797 Fax 972-767-3314
National Director                                     
Jimmy Beathard, CPIA
Beathard Insurance Agency, Inc.
3500 W. Davis Suite 240
Conroe, TX 77305
Tel 936-756-0988 Fax 936-756-0940
May 2011                                         Page 35 of 35                           More info at  

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