American Agent & Broker

August 2013


  • 5 Steps to Mitigate Social Media Liability

    The business benefits to engaging social media are enormous—and in today’s society, expected. Main risks include employment, privacy, security, intellectual property and media risks. Learn how to manage them with a 5-point checklist.

  • Weather or Not

    Storm season is here, and according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), weather losses have been above-industry average since 2008, with more than $11.5 billion in losses in 2012 alone. When this weather volatility first entered the scene a few years ago, many carriers thought implementing rate increases...


  • Pants on Fire

    Insurance agents and brokers selling annuities to elderly clients must be careful to provide the benefits the annuitant seeks and ignore the need of the agent or broker to obtain commissions. Failure to do so can end a career. Lying to the state regulators has even more consequences.

  • Living Vicariously

    August brings the dog days of summer, often the hottest days of the year. Remove air conditioning and many of us would revert to earlier customs of simply taking this month off and heading for cooler climes, whether it’s a trip to the shore, a drive to the mountains or...

  • Bringin’ Sexy Back

    Eighteen months ago, our management team had a meeting and announced a new agency initiative. We would be rolling out our new “Embrace” initiative, designed to radically change our culture. We told the staff to expect some changes.

  • Pin It

    When it comes to technology or learning new software, I am the person who reads the manual or watches a video tutorial before attempting to do anything. More often than not, I will crack the shrink wrap when I have a specific project so that I get real-world practice and...

  • Success With Support

    Back in the 1920s, the Western Electric Co. conducted a series of experiments to determine the relationship between lighting and productivity. The expectation was that test results would encourage industries to use artificial lighting in place of natural light. Researchers were surprised to find that productivity increased in both the...

  • nGI: Joey Giangola

    Care about every person you insure as if that person is your own mother. But if you want something more tactical, every agent needs passable writing skills. Not “writing business,” but pen-to-paper or fingers-to-keyboard writing. That drives forward everything you do. Good writing is at the core of emails, blog...


  • Goodbye, Glass Ceiling

    For the last several weeks I’ve been immersed in the stories of women who have achieved enviable success in the insurance industry. Their stories, backgrounds and life situations are all very different, but all of them share great skills and a dedication to an industry that wasn’t always that conducive...

  • Technical Skills Matter

    When you signed on for your career, you may not have realized that you accepted the enormous role of spokesperson for the insurance industry.

  • Reader Letters

    Letters about Ethical Examination, More than Sex and Tailor Thoughts.

  • Moving Target

    Referrals are a great way to acquire business. Providing a monetary incentive to get those referrals can increase the number of those referrals. However, for the unsuspecting insurance agent or broker, this can be a potential minefield given that some jurisdictions have placed restrictions on who can collect these fees...

  • Excessive? Hardly

    Providing valuable advice and financial protection are the fundamental responsibilities of an insurance advisor, yet many people overlook a significant risk to their well-being.

  • Strong Pillars

    If you have visited a beach community, you probably have seen houses built atop pillars as you move closer to the shore. These pillars are one of the most easily observed forms of disaster mitigation, designed to support the home by allowing the ocean to simply pass underneath during major...

  • IQ: Court Denies Armstrong Request in $3 Million Insurance Lawsuit

    A Texas judge refused to grant Lance Armstrong’s request to dismiss a $3 million lawsuit filed by Acceptance Insurance Holdings to recover bonuses in light of the cyclist’s admission of doping. The company’s attorney stated that he will move to question the cyclist under oath.

  • IQ: Study Reveals Florida Law Reduces Use of Prescribed Opioids

    A study from the Workers Compensation Research Institute found that the Florida state law banning physicians from dispensing stronger opioids reduced the use of opioids prescribed for injured workers.

  • IQ: NFL Ordered to Resolve Brain Injury Lawsuit in Meditation

    The NFL and more than 4,000 football players who sued the league for concealing the risks of concussions and brain damage were ordered to resolve the case in meditation.

  • IQ: Farmers Names Most Secure Places to Live

    Based on a large study of metropolitan areas, Farmer’s Insurance Group of Cos. ranked Bethesda, Md., at the top of its list of the “Most Secure Places to Live in the U.S.”

  • IQ: 5 Tips to Avoid Summer Mishaps

    Although summer may seem like a time for fun and celebration, homeowners need to be aware of the risks that could result in costly financial inconveniences. Agents can assist their clients by bringing their attention to the risks associated with the season, helping clients avoid filing a common summertime claim.

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