Agent & Broker's Top 10 Stories of 2012

Missed these stories? Review American Agent & Broker's best stories of 2012: Hurricane Sandy, young agent insights, a surprising trend among professional athletes, strange lawsuits and more.

Count down to 2013 with American Agent & Broker's 10 most-viewed stories of 2012: Hurricane Sandy, young agent insights, a surprising trend among professional athletes, strange lawsuits and more.

10: 4 Trends That Can Put Restaurants at Risk

Bill Shea discusses innovative trends within the restaurant industry. While the point of these innovations is to draw in new customers in a recession and grow business, they also open the door to unexpected liabilites that might not be covered by traditional insurance policies. Agents can head off a loss by asking four key questions and educating restaurant clients about their unique coverage needs.

9: 9 Favorite Apps for Independent Agents

Using information from IIABA's 2010 Agency Universe Study and drawing from a conversation within the ACT (Insurance Agents Council for Technology) LinkedIn group, Laura Mazzuca Toops concludes that agencies are more concerned about technology usage rather than its cost. In this article she reviews some of the most-mentioned apps or tech tools such as Dropbox, Evernote and MarketEnsure.

8: 10 Tips When Considering Cyber Insurance

Cyber insurance policies are different from other types of insurance because they are focused on mitigating down-the-road liabilities that may result from a breach. Policies can, therefore, be prescriptive in their response. Rick Kam, co-founder of ID Experts, and Jeremy Henley, an insurance solutions manager for ID Experts, offer advice for what to consider when purchasing cyber coverage.

7: Toops Scoops: Did You Really "Build That By Yourself?"

When President Barack Obama said, "If you've got a small business--you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen," he caused a stir in the small business community. Laura Mazzuca Toops asked several LinkedIn groups what they thought about the quote, and this article cataloges their various responses, ranging in tone from angry to thankful.

6: 7 Powerful Agency Websites

AA&B editor Laura Mazzuca Toops looks at seven agency websites that go above and beyond in meeting consumer needs where they frequently look for information: the Internet. The reviews analyze why the websites work so well thanks to features like interactive content and social media connectivity.

Read on for five more of 2012's best stories.

5: Toops Scoops: Looking for Gen Y, State Farm Goes "Next Door"

In another scoop, Laura Mazzuca Toops considers a new pilot project by State Farm intended to engage Gen Y: Next Door, a coffee-house environment offering free financial education classes on subjects like writing a business plan, burglar-proofing an apartment or doing taxes. While Next Door isn't intending to be a sales location, it could be a good way to understand the needs of the next generation of insurance consumers.

4: Slideshow: 5 Bizarre Halloween Lawsuits

Shannon Frech examines five quirky lawsuits stemming from Halloween-related risks. Industry professionals can avoid court scares by understanding possible specialty risks of haunted houses, corn mazes, pesky trick-or-treaters and more.

3: Broke: 5 Financial Horror Stories of Professional Athletes -- Slideshow

Laura Mazzuca Toops and Shannon Frech look at the downfall of a league of potential high-net-worth customers: professional athletes. A disturbing trend has 60 percent of former NBA players going completely broke within 5 years of retirement; the NBA isn't the only professional sports league with similar numbers. Agents and brokers can learn a lot from the pitfalls of these clients.

2: Agent: "Sandy is the Worst Storm in Memory"

After one of the greatest natural disasters of the year, Melissa Hillebrand interviewed agents from Long Island, New Jersey and Delaware about the losses suffered due to the storm. At the time of the article's priting, estimated damages caused between $7 billion and $15 billion in insured losses.

1: Slideshow: 12 Best Young Agents for 2012

American Agent & Broker interviews young agents for each of its issues. In this slideshow, Melissa Hillebrand gathers 2012's contributors' insights on mentors, work/life balance, sales strategies, legislative issues and more.

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