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Procedures and Why They Really Matter
Over the years I’ve seen many agents spend thousands of dollars on a Procedures Manual,... one you’ve bought…one you’ve paid a consultant to come in and do…or one you’ve struggled for years to implement but can never quite seem to get there. And you know why…
Understanding the Statutory Requirements of Conditional Renewals
When there are changes in policy conditions related to coverage, price or other terms and conditions, most states require the insurance carrier to notify the insured a specified amount of time before renewal. These are known as conditional renewal guidelines. All but four states address this in statute.
13 Caveats in Using E&S Markets
There are some excellent excess and surplus lines markets in this industry, many providing products and services superior to those in the standard market. However, there are inherent dangers in using some E&S markets that agents should be aware of. In this article, we'll present thirteen of them.
Agency Procedures Manuals and Employee Handbooks
If you've ever attended an E&O or EPLI seminar, you've heard how important an employee handbook and agency procedures manual can be for reducing the risk of successful E&O or employment practices liability claims. Many agencies have started such projects, never to finish them. In this article, we'll suggest some tools you can use to make these important tools a reality.
Bankruptcy and Insurance
You have an insured who has declared bankruptcy. How does this affect any premiums the insured owes? How does it affect any return premiums due the insured? How does bankruptcy affect cancellation due to nonpayment of premium? Can the insurer cancel on the basis that the bankruptcy itself represents an increase in risk? While we aren't attorneys and can't give you legal opinions, we can provide some guidance on dealing with these issues.
What is Benchmarking? It is a management tool in which an independent agent can analyze the agency’s financial and operating results against other agencies within its own peer group. This article explores a FREE service where you can add your own data and see how it compared to your peers.
Brokering Business Through Other Agencies...How Much is it Worth?
You're a small agency with a lot of big business connections, but you don't have the markets or the staff to sell and service these types of major commercial accounts. One possibility is to broker them through a larger agency. While there are a number of contractual, E&O, and other issues (and pitfalls) to consider, let's focus on compensation. How much should you get for placing, referring, servicing, etc. such accounts? Let our agency management gurus give you some tips....
Just because an independent agency places more business with one company rather than another does not mean anything nefarious is occurring such as unethically steering business. Even if the insurance company benefiting the most pays the most, this does not mean anyone is doing anything wrong. But to people willing to jump to conclusions, it could appear that way.
Lost Policies...No Coverage?
The insured is sued for damages arising out of an occurrence that took place many years ago. The insured is unable to find the policy in force at that time, so the insurer says they won't respond. What do you do when a policy is lost?
Quality Control vs. Service Delays
New and renewal policies should be reviewed thoroughly for completeness and accuracy before delivery to the insured. However, at certain times of the year when there is a heavy backlog, this could mean that insureds get their policies months into the policy period. So, how do you balance quality with responsiveness, particularly given the importance of the insured reading his/her policy forms prior to loss?
The Credit Crisis, Accounting Standards, and Insurance Agencies
In the midst of the credit crisis and economic turmoil, some very important accounting standards are coming to the forefront. Accounting is almost as boring as IT for most agency principals, but it is worth paying attention because the impact on this industry and your opportunities are significant.
The Danger of Not Reporting Claims
When automobile claims come in we always talk to the insured about the benefits of self-insuring the loss if they can, but more and more we are seeing lawsuits being filed for claims sometime down the line. If the insured reports the claim to us (the agency) and we note their account, but they decide to self-insure (not report the claim to the insurer), are we in any way jeopardizing their coverage? Do you think this agency is jeopardizing someone's coverage?
The Importance of E&S Markets
Almost a year ago, we ran an article called '13 Caveats in Using E&S Markets.' While there are issues that agents should be aware of when using E&S markets, in an increasingly hard market, we think it's time we pointed out the many pluses that E&S markets bring to the table. To do that, we polled our faculty and a number of agents and risk managers from around the country and the world.
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Alexandria VA 22314
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