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Big "I" to Offer Disaster Mitigation Workshop at Convention



BIG “I” TO OFFER DISASTER MITIGATION WORKSHOP AT CONVENTION

Attendees to Receive Disaster Mitigation Certification

 

ALEXANDRIA, VA, Aug. 26—Insurance agents and brokers can become certified disaster mitigation experts by participating in the FEMA/NFIP Disaster Mitigation Certification Workshop, a course that will be offered by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) as part of its upcoming convention.

 

The workshop will be held Oct. 12 during the 2004 Big “I” Convention at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel near Orlando. The Big “I” Convention will take place from Oct. 9 through 12.

 

The disaster-mitigation workshop will provide expert instruction in areas that are critical when advising clients before and following natural and man-made disasters. Attendees will gain expertise in a variety of areas from basic mitigation techniques to complex issues such as flood-hazard mapping. Additionally, the workshop will explore safety issues such as creating and enforcing effective building codes to protect property from floods, hurricanes and other natural hazards; building safely within floodplains or removing homes altogether; and engineering buildings and infrastructures to withstand earthquakes.

 

“Mitigation is the cornerstone of an effective emergency management plan,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president of education and research. “We want to lessen the impact natural disasters like Hurricane Charley and man-made occurrences have on people’s lives and property through damage prevention and flood insurance. This informative workshop will help agents and brokers master the skills needed to help their clients before a disaster strikes and following a devastating event.”

 

The workshop will focus on making agents and brokers the “go-to” source in their communities to help consumers become better educated about the need for flood insurance. The session will cover current flood statistics, coverage forms, details about flood mapping, and will provide agents and brokers tips and techniques to sell flood policies and service the business that they write.

 

“From an E&O perspective, this is a ‘can’t-miss’ workshop for agents and brokers,” says Flannagan. “When they are asked by their clients for expert advice on complicated topics, this workshop will provide agents and brokers the skill sets they need to better respond.”

 

Many states now require that a part of an agent or broker’s continuing education (CE) units include flood mitigation training. Five hours of CE credits may be available in certain states for workshop participants. The Big “I” is working with those states to secure CE accreditation for the FEMA/NFIP Disaster Mitigation Certification Workshop.

 

Several expert instructors from the National Flood Insurance Program, the Florida Association of Insurance Agents, and other flood- and disaster-service organizations will be imparting instruction on a wide variety of disaster-preparation and response topics.

 

The workshop will take place during the 2004 Big “I” Convention, which will be held Oct. 9 through 12 at the Swan and Dolphin Hotel. The convention falls on the three-day Columbus Day holiday weekend, which allows agents and brokers with pre-school and school-aged children to mix business with a mini-vacation that offers children of all ages family fun and relaxation. The convention hotel is located on the Disney World property and is minutes from Epcot Center, the Magic Kingdom, Disney golf courses and many other fabulous family attractions in the Orlando area.

 

Convention attendees also can register for the Best Practices Business Symposium, taking place during the Big “I” convention Oct. 10 and 11. The symposium is an intensive program of group events, networking opportunities and informative workshops that will give agency owners and their management staff the tools and expertise to attain their business and sales goals.

 

Additionally, up-and coming agents and brokers can attend the Young Agents Sales & Leadership Conference. The conference, which precedes the Big “I” Convention Oct. 8 through 10, features sessions designed exclusively for young agents including sales training and leadership skills sessions.

 

For more information about the FEMA/NFIP workshop, contact Jennifer Becker, Big “I” education program manager, at (800) 221-7917 or jennifer.becker@iiaba.net. For more information about the convention, Best Practices Business Symposium and the Young Agents Sales & Leadership Conference, go to www.independentagent.com and select “Events and Conferences.”

 

Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.

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