May 16, 2012
Three PIA Activities - Oregon, Insurers and the
Washington, Montana | 8 Fortune 500 | 17
E&O: Quality Documentation the Key in Prevention | 22
Volume 17 | Issue 3 | Published Weekly
Pick a Winner
Take advantage of a select group of
highly qualified candidates who are
looking for the right opportunity.
Professional Insurance Agents Western
Alliance provides you with direct access to
these active and passive professional
candidates to fill your open positions.
We help you find the right candidate by
making the recruiting process:
• Highly targeted for your open positions
Other employers are snatching up this talent
left and right so don’t miss out!
You can: POST A RESUME
You can: SEARCH OUR JOB LISTINGS
And SET UP A JOB alert on our site
Join the Exclusive
Membership in PIA’s K-Klub has many obvious benefits, but none is more important to
you than putting your company in direct contact with PIA member agents and agencies.
This unique contact provides your company and your markets with direct access to the
Oregon, Idaho, Washington, Alaska, Montana, Arizona, California, Nevada and New
Mexico retail community.
Click here to join
the K-Klub and bring
your company into a
insurance agents in the
nine states of the PIA
PIA Western Alliance’s
Companies and Agents
K-Klub member companies are not only critical to the success of the PIA Western
Alliance, but they are a vital link between the association’s member agents — you
— and your customers.
The PIA Western Alliance encourages you to support our K-Klub members.
Companies. Not a member of K-Klub? Contact the PIA Western
Alliance staff at 888-246-4466 to find out how. K-Klub membership
puts our members one step closer to you.
PIA-Hartford WYO Flood E&O Webcast Now
TOP STORIES Available | 14
PIA National is offering a free webinar broad-
cast from PIA National flood insurance expert
Weekly Industry News Hiatus - We’re Gone Rita Hollada who taught a two-part morning
Next Week | 8 and afternoon session on Avoiding Flood Insur-
Weekly Industry News will not publish next week, ance Errors & Omissions at the National Flood
Wednesday, May 23rd. Insurance Program (NFIP) 2012 Annual Con-
ference in Austin Texas.
Three PIA Activities - Oregon, Washington,
Montana | 8 PIA & the Hartford WYO | 14
The first three stories in this issue focus on three The Hartford WYO Flood program offers an
upcoming PIA events. easy enrollment process and extremely com-
PIA Oregon/Idaho’s 45th Annual Convention
- Climbing New Heights - An Opportunity to P&C Jobs — Up | 14
Attend for Free! | 9 March was good to those looking for insurance
Set at the foot of Oregon’s beautiful Mt. Hood, jobs - or trying to get their old jobs back.
agents attending the 45th annual convention, The Hard Market Controversy | 16
Climbing New Heights will ― indeed ― climb new MarketScout was the first to declare the soft
heights. market over. While not completely embrac-
ing that a hard market has arrived, a couple of
Strapped for Time? Attend Monday for Free! |9 companies have reluctantly admitted that the
Some of you do not have the time to make the en- market is at least “different.”
tire convention. We understand that.
Insurers & the Fortune 500 | 17
PIA Washington/Alaska & IIABW of Washington The number of insurers on the Fortune 500
Joint Conference | 11 has dropped. There were 49 in 2010 and 47
The second annual joint PIA Washington/Alaska last year.
and Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of
Washington will be at the Coeur d’Alene Resort in A Scary First - License for the First Self-
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, September 19-21, 2012. Driving Car | 19
Driverless cars. The thought is kind of unnerv-
PIA Montana 2012 Producer Seminar | 12 ing. Get used to them.
The annual PIA Montana Producer Seminar is Oc-
ObamaCare Suit Backlash | 19
tober 11-12, 2012 at the Holiday Inn in Bozeman..
Dozens of women filed a lawsuit last week
Flood Renewal - PIA National’s Grassroots Ac- against Washington State Attorney General
tion Alert! | 13 Rob McKenna.
PIA National has launched a nationwide grass-
Regulatory Uniformity -
roots action campaign to rescue the soon to ex-
An Industry Must | 20
pire National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and
Ways to strengthen state regulation and make
is asking PIA member to - pun intended - Flood
it more uniform were some of the topics
discussed at the recent NAIC/NIPR E-Reg
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 4
TOP STORIES CONT. ADVERTISEMENTS
PIA National’s New Website - Check it Out | 22 Wanted, For Sale and Opportunities | 27
PIA National has a new website design. You can Contact us to place a classified ad.
still find it at www.pianet.com.
Small Business - Small and Large Problems | 21
The CEOs of 6,000 small businesses have spoken.
JUST FOR FUN
AIG - Looking Up | 21
The U.S. Treasury is selling more of its stake in Getting the Most Out of Social Media | 28
AIG. The plan is to reduce government ownership Ever wonder about the best time to use social
from 70% to 61% by selling 188.5 million shares for media to get out whatever message it is you
about $5.8 billion. want everyone to read?
E&O: Quality Documentation the Key in
Prevention | 22
Document. Document. Document. In all likeli-
hood, this suggestion has been uttered in virtually
every Errors & Omissions class ever taught. Advertise your
Big Bank Failure - JPMorgan, business in the
Dodd-Frank, FDIC | 214
Last week’s mess at JPMorgan Chase - $2 billion in Weekly Industry News!
bad trading losses - have brought the Dodd-Frank
Act, too-big-to-fail and what to do when a worst An ultra high quality style that
case scenario hits a big financial institution to na-
makes your ad stand out. We are
tional attention - again.
one of the West’s
AROUND THE PIA WESTERN ALLIANCE and best-read
AZ — Fire Bans | 26
AZ — Healthcare Panel | 26 WIN is sent
CA — $16 Billion Budget Gap | 26 to more
CA — Commissioner Jones on Wildfires | 26
ID — Consumer Affairs Officer | 26 agencies and
NM — Wildfire Warning System | 26 companies in the nine states of
the PIA Western Alliance.
OR — Insurance in the Transportation Plan | 27
OR — SBS Online | 27 To advertise contact PIA
Western Alliance Executive
WA — Take Down the Sandbags | 27
Vice President Clark Sitzes at
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 5
PIA Western Alliance
Our Face on Facebook
PIA Western Alliance Mission
To Guarantee the preservation and prosperity
of the independent agency system by
leveraging the strength of the four affiliate
chapters - Washington/Alaska, Oregon/
Idaho, Montana, and the Group (AZ, CA, NM,
NV) - to increase our influence with insurers,
markets and policy makers, and to provide
affordable products and profitable services
while allowing each affiliate chapter to
maintain individuality and independence.
SUBSCRIBE OR COMMENT
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respectfully ask that you keep the comments
to 200-300 words.
Visit us on Facebook. Leave a
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comment or start a discussion
PIA Western Alliance
thread. With insurance there is
always plenty to talk about.
Clark Sitzes Find us and connect: Click Here
(888) 246-4466 x114
Did you know that on March 21-22, 2012, PIA members from across the country came to
Washington, DC to meet with their Members of Congress as part of PIA’s annual Federal Leg-
islative Summit? Hundreds of other independent insurance agents used PIA’s online grass-
roots action center to send their personalized messages to Capitol Hill.
These agents know that laws made in Congress can have devastating effects on their busi-
nesses. They also know that PIA has the tools, information and support materials to arm a
Here are some of the important issues these agents were fighting for:
• National Flood Insurance Program
• Health Care Reform
• Crop Insurance
• Regulation of Insurance
• Tax and Regulatory Burdens on Businesses
• Natural Disaster Legislation
• Producer Licensing
PIA will continue to fight for the best interests of professional insurance agents. If you are
not a PIA member, please join the fight. Contact us for a membership application or visit us
online at www.pianet.com/AboutUs/JoinPia.
National Association of Professional Insurance Agents
400 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314-2353
www.pianet.com | email@example.com | (703) 836-9340
Weekly Industry News Hiatus
We’re Gone Next Week
Weekly Industry News will not publish next week,
Wednesday, May 23rd. Staff is covering the annual PIA
Oregon/Idaho Convention and Trade Show at The Re-
sort at the Mountain in Welches Oregon.
We will return to our regular schedule on May 30th. n
Three PIA Activities
Oregon, Washington, Montana
The first three stories in this issue focus on three upcoming PIA events.
PIA Oregon/Idaho’s annual convention is next week, May 20-22 at The Resort on the Mountain
in Welches, Oregon. The agents and company members of PIA Washington/Alaska will con-
nect with the Independent Agents & Brokers of Washington (IIABW) for the 2nd annual joint
conference September 19-21 in Coeur d’Alene Idaho and PIA of Montana is bringing the CPIA
designation program to the Montana Producer Seminar October 11-12 in Bozeman.
Plan on attending and one of these fun and informative programs. Anyone who has attended
one of our events will tell you that no one puts on a better gathering, with more fun, more net-
working and better education than the PIA. n
PIA Western Alliance
Need PIA Western Alliance Main Street Website
CE? Online & You’ll Be Fine.
click on online Continuing education
No Time? Go It’s That Easy!
What’ll We Think of Next?
We Make It So Easy!
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 8
PIA Oregon/Idaho’s 45th Annual Convention
Climbing New Heights - An Opportunity to Attend for FREE!
Set at the foot of Oregon’s beautiful Mt. Hood, connecting, learning and seeing old friends. There
agents attending the 45th annual convention, is so much packed into this year’s program that
Climbing New Heights will ― indeed ― climb new you won’t want to miss a minute.
If you’re in Oregon or Idaho ― or even the sur-
May 20-22, 2012 rounding states ― you need to plan to join the best
The Resort at the Mountain in the industry as we bring independent insurance
Welches, Oregon agents together with top companies representa-
tives to share, learn and discover innovative ways
This year’s PIA Oregon/Idaho Convention and for you and your business to remain competitive in
Trade Show ― like all PIA conventions ― is about our new economy.
Strapped for Time? Attend Monday for Free!
Some of you do not have the time to make the entire convention. We understand that. We’re all very
busy. We also have a solution. Our KKlub members are offering a Monday special where you can
attend for free. Here’s the offer for Monday, May 21st:
• Breakfast with Exhibitors
• Keynote Presentation
• Lunch with Exhibitors
• PLUS 3 hours of CE
• Your choice of Flood Insurance Essentials — OR
• Buy, Build, Sell — What you need to know for every phase of your
To take advantage of this special offer, print the scholarship form HERE
Fax the form to us: 360-571-7600 Or Scan and EMAIL it back to us: firstname.lastname@example.org
IT’S EASY TO REGISTER
IT’S EASY TO ATTEND
DON’T WAIT, REGISTER TODAY!
For more information call: 888.246.4466
The 45th PIA Oregon/Idaho Annual Convention ― Climbing New Heights
PIA always puts together comprehensive educa- • Flood Insurance Essentials
tion designed for all insurance producers, agency
owners and managers. Classes are not just for CE • Buy, Build, Sell: What you need to know in every
credits, but to help you grow business. phase of your agency’s evolution
Earn up to 16 hours of CE with these informa- • High Hazard Fire Prevention, Woodworking,
tive classes: Painting & RL 300 restaurant suppression systems
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 9
• Sprinkler Systems for Property Insurance • PIA Western Alliance
Protection • Professional Benefits Services
• Red Shield Insurance Company
• Risk Placement Services
• Ethics in the Insurance Industry • ServiceMaster Cleaning Specialists
• Superior Underwriters
• Oregon Law for Insurance Producers • The Hartford
• Western Experts in Transportation
• Willamette Valley Restoration
• E&O Hotspots – 2012 and beyond
Exhibit Hall Hours:
• Oregon Legislative Update
• Continental Breakfast Exhibition:
Network at the Sold Out Tradeshow: Top ven-
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
dors will showcase the latest in products and ser-
vices. The Exhibit Hall is open Monday May 21st:
• Lunch Exhibition:
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Here’s who’s attending our always sold out trade
• Reception Exhibition:
• Adjusters International 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
• American Strategic Insurance
• Amtrust North America Our Keynote Speaker: Don’t let the doldrums of
• Applied Systems everyday business life control you. Fred Schafer
• BELFOR Property Restoration
will enlighten and entertain you with Strike Back at
• Blackthorn Insurance Underwriters
• Building Metrix Mediocrity. Fred is a leading business/career con-
• Capital Insurance Group sultant, wellness coach and author. He will show
• Capital Premium Financing you the mistakes of mediocrity that many people
• Cochrane & Company and organizations make on what he calls the 5 Pil-
• Empire Pacific Sovereign
lars of High Performance Mastery. Strike Back at
• Grange Insurance Association
• Great American Insurance Company Mediocrity contains the strike back solutions you
• Great Northwest Insurance need to master your professional and personal life.
• Griffin Underwriting
• Hawksoft, Inc. Stay: Reserve your room at The Resort at the
• Hull & Company
Mountain. Identify yourself as part of PIA to get
• IBQ Systems
• Imperial PFS the special convention rate of $139 per night plus
• Indemnity Excess & Surplus Agency tax and resort fees.
• Indiana Lumbermen’s Mutual Insurance Company
• Irwin Siegel Agency Golf and have some Fun: Don’t miss the annual
• Kemper Specialty
golf tournament. It’s at the Courses and tee off is
• Legacy Insurance Services
• MacAfee & Edwards Mexican Insurance Specialists 1:00 PM, Sunday, May 20th. Early bird registration
• Mapfre USA/American Commerce is just $99.
• Mid Valley General Agency Relax: Guests staying for the PIA Convention and
• Multico Ratings Systems
Trade Show receive a special spa rate at the Re-
• NIF Group/NIF Pacific
• Norman-Spencer Agency, Inc. sort. Enjoy a 50 minute massage package for just
• Northwest Preferred Federal Credit Union $79!
• Oak Street Funding
• Pacific Coast E & S Services CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY!
• Pennsylvania Lumbermen’s Mutual Insurance
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 10
PIA Washington/Alaska & IIABW
of Washington Joint Conference
The second annual joint PIA Washington/Alaska • Networking with
and Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of fellow agents and
Washington will be at the Coeur d’Alene Resort company reps on a
in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, September 19-21, 2012. sunset cruise.
It is Washington’s only all-industry event of the Exhibitors please
year. note. Like last year,
Last year’s event was the largest insurance event features an incred-
in Washington State history as over 600 insurance ible trade show
professionals attended. This year’s conference with five hours of exhibition time planned into the
features: schedule with breakfast and lunch on September
21st. Last year’s trade show was sold out in less
• Networking with over 60 exhibitors showcasing than three weeks.
the latest services
Sponsorship opportunities are plenty. We have
• Golfing in a tournament on the world-famous many ways to get your company involved and to
Coeur d’Alene Resort Golf Course help you show your support for the insurance in-
dustry. Registering to sponsor early allows your
• Learning from nationally-recognized speakers company maximum exposure in our marketing
• Earning CE on cutting-edge technical insurance
topics To exhibit, sponsor or be among the first to regis-
ter to attend, go to: www.waconference.com.
Register online for PIA Education:
Click Here or call 888-246-4466.
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 11
PIA Montana 2012
The annual PIA Mon-
tana Producer Semi- PIA understands the importance of time well spent.
nar is October 11-12, This means valued education. Earning the CPIA
2012 at the Holiday designation requires completion of these three In-
Inn in Bozeman. The surance Success Seminars within a three-year
PIA Western Alliance has been approved as the period to earn the designation. This designation
only designation provider for the CPIA program does require a biennial update. CPIA is valid for
(Certified Professional Insurance Agent) in the CE in certain states.
nine states we serve.
PIA of Montana will be presenting CPIA 1 and 2
We are thrilled to bring this esteemed designation on Thursday and Friday. Earn up to 12 CE hours
to Montana for the first time. for the first 2 sessions. CPIA 3 session will be pre-
sented sometime next year.
What is CPIA? CPIA (Certified Professional Insur-
ance Agents) is a new designation Training Pro- In addition, the PIA Montana Producer Seminar
gram like no other. It is the first-of-its-kind, hands- includes:
on, how-to training designed to enhance the ability
of producers, sales support staff and company Learn new products & services: Meet compa-
personnel to efficiently create and distribute effec- ny representatives who want to meet you, learn
tive insurance programs. To earn the CPIA des- about your business and share the latest of their
ignation, candidates are required to participate in products and services.
a series of three, one day Insurance Success
Seminars. Network with industry peers: The PIA always
provides plenty of networking time. In fact, it’s the
CPIA 1 – Position for Success — This course number-one item attendee’s check as their favor-
assists you in implementing risk identification ite in our post seminar surveys!
strategies and systems that will prevent errors and
omissions during the insurance prospecting pro- Have a little fun and win great prizes! Our annual
cess Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament is always a hit.
Even if you don’t know how to play, don’t be shy.
CPIA 2 – Implement for Success — To develop It’s all in good fun and profits go for a good cause.
the technical knowledge and skills you need to de-
sign a complete, yet innovative insurance program ALSO join us Saturday October 15 for some tail-
for prospective clients. You will leave with detailed gating and football. Watch the MSU Bobcats take
information for providing solutions in the complex on Eastern Washington University at Bobcat Sta-
insurance market. dium. The first 20 FULL Package registrations in-
clude 1 game ticket and tailgate event before the
CPIA 3 – Sustain Success — You will learn spe- game.
cific methods for maintaining high legal and ethi-
cal standards of operations while developing the For more information and to register click HERE n
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 12
Flood Renewal PIA National’s Grassroots
PIA National has launched a nationwide grass- The bill we want the Senate to act on is S. 1940. It
roots action campaign to rescue the soon to expire is sponsored by South Dakota Democrat Sen. Tim
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is Johnson who chairs the Senate Banking Commit-
asking PIA member to — pun intended — Flood tee. His bill extends the NFIP until Sept. 30, 2016.
the Hill. You are asked to contact your two U.S.
Senators and urge them to force Senate Majority While everyone waits on the Senate Majority Lead-
Leader Harry Reid to get the NFIP extension to the er, Montana Democrat Sen. Jon Tester and Loui-
Senate floor for a vote. siana Republican Sen. David Vitter held a hearing
last week for the Economic Policy Subcommittee
The flood insurance program faces a May 31 of the Banking Committee. The topic: the need for
expiration unless Congress passes an extension long-term reform.
— temporary or otherwise. PIA prefers the long-
term solution discussed here. They are pushing not just for an extension — but
real reform. At the hearing Tester — who is the
Agents have become accustomed to short term subcommittee chair — encouraged his colleagues
extensions but now there is an opportunity to in the senate to get moving. “We’ve been down
achieve a multi-year extension and Congress this road before, and we’ve seen how unproduc-
needs to hear from you to push the bill to the finish tive and destructive lapses of the program can be.
line. Click this link to contact Congress now: The unprecedented flooding in the Missouri River
http://www.pianet.com/alert1 basin at this time last year further reminds us of
the urgency of passing a long-term reauthorization
PIA is conducting this grassroots campaign in that offers Americans — and Montanans — cer-
conjunction with organizations inside and outside tainty in the face of risk.”
our industry. The coalition includes the National
Association of Realtors, the National Wildlife Fed- Vitter vowed to fight for floor time to get it done
eration, the Mortgage Bankers Association, the before the end of the month.
Nature Conservancy, the Consumer Bankers As-
sociation, the American Land Title Association, the He and Tester sent a letter in February to Senate
National Association of Mutual Insurance Com- Majority Leader Harry Reid that was signed by
panies (NAMIC), the Reinsurance Association of 41 senators. In a nutshell it said “let’s get the job
America and PIA. done!” Vitter is now circulating a second letter.
Send your message to Congress right now! Just Tester said at the very least there will be another
go here: http://www.pianet.com/alert1 short-term extension. “And while we cannot take
our focus away from passing a long-term reautho-
PIA National has also signed on to a coalition letter rization and reform bill, it is also clear that we will
to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minor- need a short-term extension in order to continue
ity Leader Mitch McConnell, urging them to move our work in getting a long-term reauthorization and
quickly to reauthorize the NFIP. reform bill across the finish line.” n
Click here to send your message:
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 13
PIA-Hartford WYO Flood
E&O Webcast Now
PIA & the
Available Hartford WYO
PIA National is offering a
free webinar broadcast The Hartford WYO Flood program offers an easy
from PIA National flood enrollment process and extremely competitive
insurance expert Rita Hol- commissions. Through their national flood insur-
lada who taught a two- ance service center, The Hartford offers the most
part morning and after- advanced Internet services available. The firm has
noon session on Avoiding two plan offerings from which PIA agencies can
Flood Insurance Errors select:
& Omissions at the Na-
tional Flood Insurance • The Standard program includes a web-
Program (NFIP) 2012 based application process with the agency doing
Annual Conference in the customer service administration with Internet
Austin Texas. and live customer service support.
Since most of you could not attend, PIA and The • The Flood Solutions program includes a
Hartford WYO are making the sessions available. streamlined application process with The Hart-
It runs about one-hour and you can listen to it as ford’s Flood Insurance Processing Center doing
many times as you want. And the number of peo- most of the work. Flood Solutions simplifies the
ple in your agency invited to listen is unlimited. writing of flood insurance for the agency.
It is a free resource from PIA National and the For more information about the PIA/Hartford flood
Hartford WYO. Link to the webcast from PIA Na- insurance program, please contact Karen Piacen-
tional’s main flood page here ta of The Hartford at (860) 757-1984 or karen.pia-
By the way, Hollanda was honored with a PIA Life-
time Achievement award for excellence and ex-
pertise in flood insurance at the conference. n
P&C Jobs — Up
March was good to those looking for insurance tence but Dr. Hartwig said March is not good for
jobs — or trying to get their old jobs back. The In- comparisons. “To put this gain in context, it is worth
surance Information Institute (I.I.I.) said the prop- noting that P&C employment often rises in March;
erty and casualty insurers added 2,000 of them. in the 23 years starting with 1990, for example, it
I.I.I. President Dr. Robert Hartwig analyzed the rose 17 times, fell only three times and was flat
stats from the U.S. Labor Department’s Bureau of three others.”
Labor Statistics and notes they clearly show the
downward trend for P&C employment has clearly The gain — however — was the most of any of the
not reversed. insurance subsectors. And when you compare this
year to 2011 the industry is still down 9,100 jobs n
Lots of use of the word “clearly” in the last sen-
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 14
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May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 15
The Hard Market
MarketScout was the first to declare the soft mar- Wide Insurance Group said the industry is over-
ket over. While not completely embracing that a capitalized and it is hiding how much we’re losing.
hard market has arrived, a couple of companies
have reluctantly admitted that the market is at He did admit that MarketScout, the CIAB, Advisen
least “different.” and CLIPS do have a point. Rates are improving
but the industry needs to liquidate about $100 bil-
Better. lion for the hard market to really get going. That
money could come from catastrophes, beefing up
The latest to embrace the arrival of a hard mar- reserves or losses from bond investments, or any
ket is the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers number of other areas or reasons.
(CIAB). Spokesman Ken Crerar — the associa-
tion’s CEO — said its quarterly survey says we “We have had $12 billion in reserves releases in
are in a hardened market. “We’ve been cautious the 2011 calendar year alone, for the accident
up to now about declaring a market turn, but I think years 2010 and prior released across the U.S. in-
it’s reasonable to say that the market has made a dustry. It’s been three loss-ratio points of reserve
hard turn after two quarters of price increases and releases over the past 3-4 years on average. It’s
tighter underwriting. It’s difficult to predict length
sheltering losses on current-year business and
and severity, but the market has turned.” masking how unprofitable current business is be-
cause of releases in this year from accidents which
The CIAB survey shows a 4.4% average rise for occurred prior.”
prices for small, medium and large commercial ac-
counts. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Council’s To underscore his point, Lyons said in the last 35
stats showed an average hike of 2.7%. And it was years the P&C industry has made a profit a total of
1% in 2011’s third quarter. Leading the way is work five times. Investment income is where the profits
comp and commercial property. lie.
Workers’ compensation rates rose 7.4% in the first As if to underscore Lyons’ points, Lou Iglesias of
quarter and were up 7.5% in the fourth quarter Allied World said surplus hit $565 billion in March
of last year. Commercial property rose 6.5% and 2011 and by the end of the year was down just
5.7% in the same two time periods. 1.6%. He sees growth ahead but it’ll be sluggish.
A year ago at this time pricing had dropped an- F. Michael Crowley of Markel Corp. said hard
other 2.9%. market predictions are premature. His analysis is
that insurers are not being as disciplined with new
The CIAB’s survey indicates brokers think the big business as they are with renewals.
losses from catastrophes last year and this year
are driving the rate hikes. Meyer Shields of Stifel Nicolaus said the 52 public-
ly held insurance companies saw quarter loss re-
Naysayers disagree with the hard market assess- serve releases fall 17% over the same period last
ment. At the Advisen Casualty Insights Confer- year. Net releases in the first quarter were $1.5
ence earlier this month, Mark Lyons of Arch World billion compared to $1.8 billion a year ago. Seven
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 16
insurers accounted for 60% of the releases: ACE, Allstate, Chubb, Cincinnati Financial, Markel
ProAssurance and Travelers.
Those same firms only contributed 34% to increased net written premiums. n
Source: PropertyCasualty360.com, MarketScout, CIAB
Insurers & the Fortune 500
The number of insurers on the Fortune 500 has dropped. There were 49 in 2010 and 47 last year. In
2012 the number is down one to 46 with the top insurer being Berkshire Hathaway at number seven.
Nationwide made an impressive run, climbed 27 places and moved into the top 100.
There are five insurance categories in the Fortune 500. Here is the top 100 with last year’s position in
7. Berkshire Hathaway (7)
22. UnitedHealth Group (22)
33. AIG (17)
34. MetLife (46)
43. State Farm (37)
45. WellPoint (42)
55. Prudential (64)
79. Humana (79)
84. Liberty Mutual (82)
86. New York Life (71)
88. TIAA-CREF (87)
89. Aetna (77)
93. Allstate (89)
100. Nationwide (127) n
Professional Insurance Agents
“Local Agents Serving Main Street America”
Need Markets? We’re here for you.
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 17
A Scary First
License for the First Self-
cars. The This leads into a report done by Celent: A Scenar-
thought is io: The End of Auto Insurance — What Happens
kind of un- When There Are (Almost) No Accidents. The
nerving. firm’s senior analyst Robert Light thinks it is a strong
Get used possibility. “In that scenario, technology is widely de-
to them. Driverless cars could be the wave of the ployed that radically reduces the frequency and se-
future. Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles just verity of motor vehicle accidents. Consequently, the
issued the nation’s first license for a driverless car. need for automobile insurance is substantially re-
duced — and insurers see a large reduction in their
It was given to Google and Nevada’s DMV Director revenue as automobile insurance premiums drop.”
Bruce Breslow said the modified Prius may be saf-
er than a human. And for sure a texting, cell phone The technologies that would make auto insurance
gabbing, distracted driving human. extinct are telematics, collision avoidance features,
automated traffic enforcement and — as seen ear-
The requirement is that two people have to be in the lier — robot cars.
car when it is in operation. Both — near as we can
figure can talk all they want on their cell phones and If Light’s concept comes to light the hit to the industry
even text while driving. “They’re designed to avoid would be huge — something close to 39% n.
distracted driving. When you’re on the Strip and
there’s a huge truck with three scantily clad women Source: Insurance Journal
on the side, the car only sees a box,” Breslow said.
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May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 18
ObamaCare IS YOUR E&O
Suit Backlash X-DATE HERE?
Dozens of women filed a lawsuit last week against Considering
Washington State Attorney General Rob McK-
enna. They allege his participation in legal action a change?
seeking to overturn the Patient Protection and Af-
fordable Care Act threatens access to comprehen-
sive coverage for women.
Let the PIA
The politically charged lawsuit is seeking a ruling
that McKenna violated his ethical duties by ask- quote your E&O
ing the Supreme Court to invalidate protections for
women’s healthcare. It claims that his actions go
against the wishes of his clients, the residents of
Washington state. So far, 90 women have signed
on as plaintiffs.
Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kre-
idler commented on the lawsuit. “We cannot afford email@example.com
to play politics with people’s lives. History shows
that as a nation, we summon the will to try to ad-
dress health care reform only about once a gen-
eration. Mr. McKenna knows that many provisions
of the law — such as letting parents keep adult
children on their health coverage until age 26,
expanding women’s coverage, and barring insur-
ers from denying coverage to sick children — are
popular. He maintains that the challenge to the in-
dividual mandate will not overturn the entire law.
The problem is that the case he joined seeks to do
exactly that: throw out the entire law.”
Kreidler added that if the court challenge unravels
the entire healthcare reform law “it will be a trav-
McKenna — by the way — is running for governor.
Kreidler is also seeking reelection.
n Director of Insurance
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 19
An Industry Must
Ways to strengthen state regulation and make it Some of the regulators talked about the difficulty
more uniform were some of the topics discussed they have in designing questions that adequately
at the recent NAIC/NIPR E-Reg Conference. The test applicants’ knowledge of insurance, but are
conclusion of most attending is that state insur- not so difficult as to prevent good people from en-
ance regulation — in spite of challenges at the tering the industry. If you would like to assist your
federal level and the establishment of the Federal insurance department in this effort, please contact
Insurance Office (FIO) — remains strong. Also im- them directly or you can contact David Eppstein at
pressive is the strides being made by the states on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
uniformity and reciprocity.
The need to get regulations streamlined — and
PIA National Assistant Vice President of Regula- soon — was highlighted in a separate report is-
tory Affairs David Eppstein attended the meetings sued last week by University of Iowa’s insurance
and continued to convey our support for their ef- expert Tyler Leverty. He said the added expense of
forts to strengthen and streamline state insurance meeting regulations in every state drives up com-
regulation. One area PIA members can be particu- pliance costs as much as 26% when you compare
larly helpful in at this time is to assist with design- prices for companies regulated by just one state.
ing test questions for perspective new licensees. n
PIA National’s New Website
Check it Out
PIA National has a new website design. You can still find it
PIA National says the new website provides a great plat-
form for the future. It is faster, better organized and built
on a modern technology that will grow with PIA for years to
come. In the coming weeks and months PIA National will
continue to add new features to the site, to better serve PIA
members and affiliates.
The bottom-line: it looks great, it loads faster, it has more
features and it provides better service to you — the PIA
member. In addition, it projects a cutting-edge image of PIA to our industry and our customers.
The new www.pianet.com was created by the communications staff of PIA National and the project was
under the auspices of the PIA National Image Committee. n
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 20
Small Business — and Problems
The CEOs of 6,000 small businesses have spo- Bloomberg reports the U.S. Department of Labor
ken. In a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation, stats that say there are now 3.74 million job open-
Thumbtack.com — who connects small businesses ings in the United States — up 172,000 and the
with potential clients — did the study. It concludes highest level since March of 2008.
the PIA Western Alliance state of Idaho is the most
business friendly in the nation. Some of the increased openings comes from the
2.1 million workers who quit their jobs in March.
Texas, Oklahoma and Utah followed. The least busi-
ness friendly — and not surprising — is the PIA West- Quit their jobs? Yes. Quit.
ern Alliance state of California. Hawaii, Vermont and
Rhode Island follow in non-popularity. Here’s what An improving economy is why. Or so says Andy
the study found that small businesses say make a Ernst of Robert Half International. “We’re seeing
state or local area small business friendly: more people be more comfortable in making a move
to a new organization, where they took a position
• Licensing requirements are twice as important to during the recession because they had to. Now their
small businesses as tax-related regulations. confidence is increasing.”
• Do state or local governments offer training pro- Better jobs are the reason most leave their jobs.
grams for small business? But some — according to this report — leave for
very — let’s just say — “interesting” reasons. Here
• Women are 9% more likely than men to feel state are the reasons some employers said their now ex-
government supports them. employees gave:
The National Federation of Independent Business • Our employee said he was joining the circus.
(NFIB) says small businesses are starting to see
profits. The NFIB’s Independent Business Index • The worker told us he just couldn’t get up in the
rose 2-points in April and hit 94.5 — the highest it morning.
has been since February of 2011.
• A person quit because he hated the carpet.
Profits may be up but hiring is not. NEWT — the
small business consulting firm — said its SB Author- • Someone left because her boss lost the dog she
ity Market Sentiment Survey for April says 67% of had given him.
those it surveyed will not be hiring in the next six
months to a year. • He quit because he didn’t like the way the office
As if to contradict NEWT’s small business report,
AIG — Looking Up The U.S. Treasury is selling more of its stake
in AIG. The plan is to reduce government
ownership from 70% to 61% by selling 188.5
million shares for about $5.8 billion. As the
Treasury unloads the stock, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) thinks taxpayers will ulti-
mately see a profit from the $182 billion bailout.
“When all the assistance is considered, the amount the federal government ultimately takes in could
exceed the total support extended to AIG by more than $15.1 billion,” the GAO said. n
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 21
E&O: Quality Documentation the
Key in Prevention
by Curtis M. Pearsall, CPCU, AIAF, CPIA, President, Pearsall Associates Inc., Special Consul-
tant to the Utica National E&O Program
Document. Document. Document. In all likeli- If the insured must get back to you with some in-
hood, this suggestion has been uttered in virtually formation, put that action item on record to ensure
every Errors & Omissions class ever taught. While nothing is missed.
it’s unsure who coined the phrase, in many re-
spects truer words have probably never been spo- In reality, the “old school” way of documenting in
ken. Documentation is one of the most important the file is no longer good enough. Why? If you
aspects of a quality E&O loss prevention program. simply documented the issue in the file, there is
the potential for a misunderstanding between what
It is important to realize, though, that not just any the customer told you and what you heard. When
type of documentation will do. It must be quality, does the misunderstanding often surface? When
detailed and timely. Good documentation can stop the customer has a loss and is unhappy with the
a potential claim in its tracks. Conversely, poor settlement.
documentation can be like “gasoline on a fire” and
further intensify the actions against your agency. Document it back
For example, say the customer asked you to de-
Instill in your agency and with each staff member lete the property coverage on 410 Main Street.
the important role documentation plays — and You understood the conversation to be that they
make sure every employee follows through on wanted all coverages on 410 Main Street deleted.
your expectation of quality, detailed and timely In this example, there is a misunderstanding in the
documentation. file. How do you resolve this?
Customer contact The most effective means is to document back to
Let’s start with phone calls that come into the the customer your understanding of the conversa-
agency. Over the years, agency staff has been tion. This should be in writing and, for many agen-
trained to ensure that phone messages are prop- cies that have adopted this approach, a quick e-
erly documented in the paper file or in the agency mail or letter does the job. Something such as:
management system. While it is probably safe to
presume this activity is being performed, the key is Mr. Jones, per your request, we have deleted all
actually not whether it is being done, but rather is coverages on 410 Main Street. If this is contrary to
the documentation of sufficient depth and handled your understanding, please contact the agency as
in a prompt time period? soon as possible.
Does the documentation in the system state This now puts the responsibility on your client to
something to effect of “spoke with insured regard- speak up, advise you that you misunderstood him
ing their homeowners policy?” If so, what does that and state that he only wanted the property deleted.
documentation truly tell you? Actually, not a lot. While this may take some time, the benefits are
The documentation should identify the exact indi- tremendous. Plus, this added level of documen-
vidual with whom you spoke, with detail on what tation helps identify misunderstandings before a
was discussed and what, if any, the next steps are. claim as opposed to after it.
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 22
the one handling the file documentation. Don’t ask
If possible, the customer should make these types another agency staff member to do it. Once again,
of requests in writing. Another option is to require the quality of the documentation is extremely im-
the customer to come into the office when re- portant. Requiring the person who spoke with the
questing policy changes. While this is ideal and customer to perform the documentation adds to its
preferred, unfortunately it may not be possible in quality and validity.
Bring up documentation at practically every staff
Nearly every day, your staff – internal and produc- meeting, too. That helps emphasize you are seri-
ers – interacts with your customers on important ous about this issue. In addition, conduct periodic
insurance issues. Questions are asked, cover- quality control checks of each of your staff, with
ages are explained, etc. There is a good chance strong focus on quality, detail and timeliness of the
the customer is documenting the essence of these documentation.
discussions for his or her records, and your agency
must do the same. These discussions need to be While quality, detailed and timely documentation
thorough and promptly documented, in the agency might not prevent an E&O claim from happening,
file and with a letter back to the customer detailing there is nothing more important that will determine
the conversation and what was resolved. the direction the claim goes. Don’t wait for a claim
7.5 x 4.625 to develop to find out a file’s documentation was
Additional tips not what you thought it was. Have your staff be-
Any agency staff member engaging with the cus- come documentation fanatics – you’ll be glad you
tomer outside of the office via cell phone must be did. n
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May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 23
Photo Credit: Stan Honda/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Big Bank Failure
JP Morgan, Dodd-Frank, FDIC
Last week’s mess at JPMorgan Chase — $2 billion have largely been successful.”
in bad trading losses — have brought the Dodd-
Frank Act, too-big-to-fail and what to do when a He and others want a tougher version of the Vol-
worst case scenario hits a big financial institution cker Rule which prevents banks from making risky
to national attention — again. trades for their own profit. It will be finalized in the
next few months.
The Frank half of Dodd-Frank, Rep. Barney Frank
(D-Mass.) said the bad news just gave the under FDIC Acting Chairman Martin Gruenberg said
attack and on its way down Act a reprieve. “It con- Dodd-Frank gives the FDIC the authority to seize
firms our view that there needs to be regulation. It the assets of failing financial firms and dismantle
shows that if it can happen to them, it can happen them if they pose a threat to the entire financial
to anybody.” system.
Vermont Democrat Rep. Peter Welch agrees. The Meanwhile, heads are rolling at JPMorgan Chase
$2 billion loss in six-weeks for JPMorgan Chase and the firm’s CEO Jamie Dimon said those in
is a wake-up call that we ought not to be listening charge of the investments were “stupid” and “slop-
to banks asking for softer rules. “How many times py.” He said the company is totally open to an audit
do we have to be hit in the head with a financial by regulators.
sledgehammer to wake up and realize we’ve got
to take action? The big banks have been fighting Fears are that the $2 billion will turn into $3 billion
Dodd-Frank tooth and nail. Regrettably, the banks by the time the smoke clears. n
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 24
AROUND THE PIA WESTERN ALLIANCE
The PIA has you covered!
Have you thought about the survival of your agency once the “end of the world”
happens this December? The PIA has you covered! Join the PIA and we will
give you our Disaster Planning Manual for free so you’ll know how to handle any
disaster situation. Membership starts around $420 per year. Sign up today and
we’ll give you $700 in free gifts AND two coupons to attend our new Webinar
Program FOR FREE* n
Call Ricky Ulloa today to learn more 888-246-4466 ext. 116 or head to our web-
*excludes David Connolly’s “Street Smart Selling” Webinar Series.
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 25
AROUND THE PIA WESTERN ALLIANCE
Arizona CA — Commissioner Jones on
AZ — Fire Bans Wildfires
Fire danger in Pima, Pinal, Cochise, Santa California Insurance Commissioner Dave
Cruz, Graham, Greenlee, Apache, and Na- Jones is warning Californians to be ready for
vajo counties, and parts of Gila County have wildfires. “Californian’s need to be both aware
the federal government and the state ban- and prepared for the threat that a devastating
ning open fires for the foreseeable future. wildfire might strike. Basic steps such as cre-
That means no campfires, smoking outside a ating defensible space around your property,
building or a vehicle, welding or off-road driv- clearing dry brush, and being prepared can
ing. save your home or reduce the impact of a wild-
AZ — Healthcare Panel fire on your home should one strike.”
On May 29 — and assuming the U.S. Su- He suggests doing a home survey of all valu-
preme Court does not find it unconstitutional ables and via video whenever possible.
— the Phoenix Business Journal is having
a panel discussion about the impact of the
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Idaho
businesses. Panelists include: Mark Hillard, ID — Consumer Affairs Officer
Dignity Health Arizona, Jeri Jones, United- This from the Idaho Department of Insurance.
Healthcare and Anne Kleindiensts, Polsinelli It has an opening in the Boise office for a Con-
Shughart. sumer Affairs Officer position in the Consumer
Service Bureau. Preferred candidates will have
It will run from 5:00p.m. to 7:30p.m. at J&G experience in life insurance or annuities.
Steakhouse at the Phoenician. Tickets are
$35. For more information about the position or to
California apply for the position, please visit the Idaho
Division of Human Resources’ website: https://
CA — $16 Billion Budget Gap
California Governor Jerry Brown gave the state no=08926087712
the bad news on Monday. He said California
has an unexpected deficit of $15.7 billion and If you know someone you believe may be inter-
cuts and taxes are needed to fix it. ested in this position, please feel free to pass
along this information. The position will remain
Brown wants a quarter of 1% increase in the open through 5-16-12.
sales tax and an income tax increase for those
making over $250,000 a year. He’s also look-
ing at a 4-day work week — 38 hours — for
state employees. Under Brown’s proposal sala- NM — Wildfire Warning System
ries will also be reduced 5%. A new statewide email notification system has
been set up by New Mexico Governor Su-
He’s also wanting to cut $1.2 billion from Medi- sana Martinez and the state forestry depart-
Cal and over $2 billion from education. ment. It is to warn residents of the potential
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 26
AROUND THE PIA WESTERN ALLIANCE
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri,
danger of wildfire. “Whether it’s here in the Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New
Albuquerque bosque, in rural or populated Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Okla-
areas around our state or up in the moun- homa, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennes-
tains, we all have a duty to do what we can to see, U.S. Virgin Islands and West Virginia.
inform, to help and to promote wildfire aware- Limited SBS services are also licensed by
ness,” the governor said. South Carolina and Virginia.
OR — Insurance in the
Transportation Plan WA — Take Down the Sandbags
Businesses along the Green River want the Army
Oregon agents and company personnel,
Corps of Engineers and the state to take down
please note that the Oregon Transportation
the sandbags put up when there were thoughts
Commission will be meeting May 16, 2012 at
the Howard Hanson Dam could spring a serious
the Keizer Community Center, 930 Chemawa
Rd NE, Keizer. They will be considering the
“Statewide Transportation Strategy: A Vision
There are miles of sandbags. Removal cost will
be about $7.5 million.
You can download this document at ftp://ftp.
An insurance issue is in the plan. Recom- Advertising
mendation G6: Promote Pay-As-You-Drive
Insurance (PAYD) programs that allow drivers Program
to pay per-mile premiums, encouraging less
driving through insurance savings. Special 10%
OR — SBS Online Discount
on the complete line of
The initial phase of implementing the National & Diaries
Association of Insurance Commissioner’s Offer expires 8-31-12
(NAIC) State Based Systems (SBS) has been • Wall Calendars • Envelope Size
completed. Acting administrator Lou Sav- • Desk Calendars • Calendar Cards
• Magnet Calendars • Stick-Ons
age said, “This online system enables us to • Diaries & Planners
Your Insurance Agenc
All Forms of Insurance
231 Main Street New
Phone: (212) 555-5014
York, NY 12590
more efficiently handle agent licensing while
improving customer service for the more than To order and receive your PIA Member Discount,
100,000 agents who are licensed to do busi- visit MinesPress.com. Be sure to enter
ness in our state.” Discount Code PIA12 at checkout.
Or contact The Mines Press toll-free: 800-447-6788
SBS is currently used in Alabama, Alaska,
Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida,
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 27
JUST FOR FUN
Getting the Most Out of Social
Ever wonder about the best time to use social on Friday through Monday.
media to get out whatever message it is you want
everyone to read? Of course you haven’t. Few of The reason Bit.ly gives is that people check
us do. Twitter after lunch and see what they might have
missed during the morning madness. And forget
Whether you wondered or not, there is an an- weekends. People are — like — busy.
swer. The answer comes from Bit.ly. It’s a service
whose purpose is to shorten the links you use on Facebook: The best posting time is between
social networks. 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. You have an hour longer
to post than on Twitter. The peak time is Wednes-
Like most of us knew they need to be shortened. day at 3:00 p.m. And never post on weekends.
Short. Long. Whatever. That’s a subject for an- People are — like, duh — busy.
Traffic on Facebook fades seriously after 4:00
Today’s topic from Bit.ly is when is the best time p.m. However, if you post at 7:00 p.m. you’ll get
to send those messages or post those oh-so-criti- more traffic and hits than if you post at 8:00 p.m.
cal links on Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. No real reason why. That’s just how it is.
Twitter: The afternoon hours. Most clicks are be- Social media like drugs and nuclear waste has a
tween 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. And that’s Monday half-life. Bit.ly said your post will receive half the
through Thursday. There are very, very few clicks clicks it gets in about 2.8 hours for Twitter and 3.2
on Twitter after 8:00 p.m., before 3:00 p.m. and hours for Facebook. n
May 16, 2012 | Main Street Weekly Industry News | www.piawest.com | 28
Since 1960, it has been Cochrane & Company’s commitment to provide our agents
with professional and timely underwriting service. Combined with our partnership with
the PIA and as a K-Klub member, we are prepared to respond to any service you may
We pride ourselves in service, people and technology. Our professional staff has
years of experience to help place and service your business. Our paperless system
allows us to access ﬁles at the touch of a button, enabling us to answer your
questions immediately. You will ﬁnd that you’ll get the undivided attention of each
employee you work with and will leave each conversation with the peace of mind that
we are working with you and for you.
Our company has a variety of markets that work in conjunction with our 7 underwriting
Commercial Property & Casualty
We are appointed with many different markets, both admitted and non-admitted, and
can place risks from a small beauty shop business owners policy to a large
commercial transportation ﬂeet. We have staff dedicated to each department, allowing
specialized underwriting for those hard to place risks.
We welcome any opportunity to be of service to your agency.
“K-Klub Spotlight” a K-Klub membership benefit featuring K-Klub
“K-Klub Spotlight” isisa K-Klub membership benefit featuring
weekly. Clark Sitzes at 888-246-4466 ext. 114 for details
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