EXPERTS ANSWER AGENTS’ TOP QUESTIONS
Seminar at Big “I” Convention examines best approaches to common queries
ORLANDO, FL, Oct. 10—Independent agents and brokers today got answers to some of the most commonly asked insurance questions during an informative seminar at the Big “I” Convention.
The seminar, titled the “VU Top 20 Countdown,” posed and answered 20 of the leading questions received through the Big “I” Virtual University’s “Ask an Expert” service. The Virtual University (VU) is a state-of-the-art, online insurance educational and informational resource program offered by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”).
Bill Wilson, VU associate vice president, and Chris Amrhein, AAI, president of Lorton, Va.,-based Amrhein & Associates Inc., conducted the three-hour seminar, which was livened up by posing the questions to the music of well-known tunes.
“Far too many folks think insurance, especially the education and continuing-education side, is beyond boring,” Amrhein says. “Bill and I wanted to provide a seminar on insurance learning that was instructive while simultaneously being dynamic, entertaining and fun. After this session, they will never look at insurance (or listen to music) quite the same way ever again.”
The seminar examined several personal-lines issues such as independent contractor exposures; insuring “21st-century gadgetry” such as in-car Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and MP3 players; and the best ways to insure teenage drivers.
“Too often, parents are told by attorneys or others that it’s best to have a teen insured on his or her own policy,” Wilson says on the issue of insuring teenage drivers. “Rarely is that the case. Having more than one auto policy in a family can result in uninsured or inadequately insured exposures.”
In commercial lines, Wilson and Amrhein extensively covered workmanship exclusions in the CGL and business, auto and garage policies. Additionally, they looked at tenant issues such as improvements and betterments, and triple-net leases, as well as what constitutes an “occurrence.”
“Most property policies do not define an ‘occurrence,’” Wilson says. “Even in multi-line policies, the ‘occurrence’ definition is normally used only in the liability section. Therefore, to determine whether an event, or series of events constitutes one or more occurrences, one must look for substantiation from other sources, particularly court cases.”
On tenant issues, Wilson notes that there are a number of pitfalls that building owners can face if they aren’t informed.
“A building owner can find himself or herself with a potentially serious coinsurance penalty if tenants install improvements and betterments,” Wilson says. “There are a number of things that property owners can do to mitigate such exposures. The same is true with triple-net leases where property owners too often give up control of their own insurance programs, and thus assets, by requiring tenants to insure the property they occupy.”
The Big “I” Convention, the Association’s showcase meeting, is taking place in Orlando through Oct. 12. The event features a compelling company CEO roundtable; several prominent guest speakers and panelists; a variety of innovative continuing-education (CE) classes and other cutting-edge workshops; the largest exhibit hall in the insurance industry; numerous networking opportunities; and many other exciting events.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” 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—employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.