Louie Castoria

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  • Agency Management

    How to avoid liability to third parties

    June 16, 2015

    Can agents and brokers be liable to strangers, that is, people and businesses with whom they have no relationship at all, who never paid a premium on a policy they placed, and to whom they made no promises and had no communications? Can there be a duty without any relationship,...

  • Buying Trouble

    January 01, 2015

    Insurance professionals spend time looking for ways to avoid errors and omissions exposures. They are careful to hire the right people, provide training and put management systems in place to ensure quality work. But a few overlook what is perhaps the most obvious avoidance mechanism: not taking on someone else's...

  • Relationship Wrangles

    October 01, 2014

    For insurance agents and brokers, the customer relationship is the lifeblood of the business, the quality that keeps policyholders coming back year after policy year. But the dividing line between order taker and trusted advisor can be blurry, especially when viewed through a lawsuit.

  • Fiduciary in Limbo

    July 01, 2014

    Along the continuum of ethical duties to customers, insurance professionals fall somewhere between the extremes of complete stranger and conservator. It is both a sliding scale and a slippery slope, especially when courts struggle with the decision whether to apply the broker's duty as a fiduciary one.

  • Check the Manual

    April 01, 2014

    Consumers of mass-produced products are accustomed to seeing guidance on packaging and instruction manuals. But where are the users guides to insurance policies?

  • Respond to Personality Traits, Reduce E&O Claims

    January 01, 2014

    One size does not fit alltrue when applied to shoes and also to insurance policies. We know that clients come in all shapes and sizes, but agents may neglect accounting for clients different personality types.

  • License To Bill

    August 31, 2013

    Agents for insurance companies may not be secret ones, but insurance and secret agents both take names and issue numbers. Policy numbers.

  • The “M” Word

    May 31, 2013

    Juliet had it right: Whats in a name? she rhetorically asks in Shakespeares play. Whats Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot, nor arm, nor face, nor any other part belonging to a man. O, be some other name!

  • Fun with FINRA

    February 28, 2013

    Agents must educate, be educated, when selling variable annuities under new rules.

  • Certain Uncertainty

    November 30, 2012

    NRRA gaps and inconsistent state laws leave surplus lines brokers in limbo.

  • Passing the Buck

    November 30, 2011

    In litigation, the best defense is the one someone else pays for

  • Ready for NRRA?

    May 31, 2011

    By the time this column is printed, surplus line insurers and brokers will have roughly 45 days to adjust to the biggest change to impact their business in generations. The Non-admitted and Reinsurance Reform Act (NRRA) will stand many long-held assumptions on their heads. Surplus line brokers, corporate risk managers...

  • Invited to a Lawsuit

    November 30, 2010

    Louie Castoria provides readers with steps to take when a subpoena occurs.

  • More Than Miscellaneous

    September 06, 2010

    Louie Castoria writes on how miscellaneous E&O coverage recognizes that doing business is risky, sometimes in unexpected ways.

  • Fire The Client? Sometimes It's Worth It

    February 28, 2010

    "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do," Neil Sedaka observed. It's difficult for an insurance professional to fire a client, just as it is for any other businessperson, especially in an economic downturn, when new clients may be scarce.

  • Avoiding E&O- Red flags mean danger ahead

    December 08, 2009

    Data theft is the fastest-growing crime in the United States. Law enforcement has been struggling to catch thieves who use computers to commit fraud.

  • FTC waves red flag: Are you in compliance?

    November 10, 2009

    The FTC's new red flags rule requires service providers--including insurance agencies and brokerages and many of their business customers--to develop and implement written identity theft prevention programs by Nov. 1.

  • Avoiding E&O- Agent in Blunderland

    September 07, 2009

    In the looking-glass world of professional liability claims against insurance agents and brokers, words that we take as clear can become unrecognizably twisted and fraught with ambiguity.

  • Avoiding E&O: Stay within your strengths

    March 03, 2009

    In most professions, the generalist, the so-called "jack of all trades," has become an endangered species. TV's kindly general practitioner Dr. Marcus Welby could treat everything from a hangnail to


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