Will Watt: Dec. 18, 1947 – June 7, 2019

IIAT was sad to hear of the passing of past IIAT President Will Watt on June 7, 2019. Will image001began a successful insurance career in 1973 with Penn Mutual.

Within only a few short years of beginning his career in insurance, Will spent his time serving on many boards throughout his lifetime. He served as President and CEO at Rust, Ewing, Watt & Haney, Inc. from 1975-2002 and as Vice President from 2002-2019. From 1980-1982 he served as President with Gulf Coast Independent Insurance Agents Association, in 1981 CIC with The Society of Certified Insurance Counselors, and was on the Board of Directors for the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas from 1983-1986. He went on to serve again as Vice President in 1987 for the Independent Insurance Agents of Texas, served as President of Independent Insurance Agents of Texas from 1988-1989, Chair of the Texas Association of Insurance Agents (TAIA) from 1990-1997.

In 1993 Will was named Business Person of the Year by the Texas City/La Marque Chamber of Commerce, and was also awarded the Howard O. Payne Award in 1995 for contributions to the economic growth and development of his community.

As if his accomplished success was not enough, Will couldn’t keep still, and went on to pursue a license to fly and eventually was a licensed commercial pilot. During this time he continued to serve as Chair of the TAIA Agents Agency/Services Board in 1998, and Rotary Foundation and Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow in 1999. In 2001 Will was awarded the Drex Foreman Award for exceptional contributions to the Independent Agency System, Texas Insurance Industry, and his local community. Will’s passion for serving continued through his work as he went on to teach; Taught Insurance 101, at College of the Mainland. His service continued as he served on CNA’s Pacer Board, Impact (PAC) Chairman and Board Member, Zoning Board for the City of Texas City, Chairman of Civil Services Commission for Texas City, Board of Directors of Taxpayers’ Research Council, Board of Directors Texas National Bank from 1978-1985, Board of Directors Texas First Bank from 1997-2002, and ending his service as a Board of Directors Texas Independent Bancshares from 2000-2002 and also a licensed commercial pilot.

Will is survived by his spouse, Wanda Watt; brother and sister-in-law, Tabb and Gail Watt; son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Christen Watt; son, David Watt; and two grandchildren, Taylor and Davin Watt.

Per Will’s request there will be no service.

In lieu of sending flowers please donate to the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The leading wildlife research organization in Texas and one of his favorite resources.

Link to donate: https://www.ckwri.tamuk.edu/giving

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Summer Flooding… Happens So Fast

Hurricane season officially began June 1st, but as we all well know Mother Nature does not adhere to a calendar. Hurricanes and subsequent flooding can happen any time.

IIAT Advantage flood insurance carrier partner Selective has a Hurricane Season Prep Guide to help get your clients prepared. The social media package includes content to share with your clients, including advice on what to do before, during and after a hurricane. Click here to view the free hurricane preparedness resources.

IIAT Advantage works with Selective and Assurant Flood to deliver members unparalleled flood programs. Assurant and Selective, both A.M. Best rated “A”, are among the top five WYO flood providers. Programs offered include flood insurance for business and residences, standard flood, primary flood and preferred risk policies. For complete details on program features and products, click here

For more information, contact Lisa Webb, lwebb@iiat.org



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Lisa Webb Joins IIAT as Director of IIAT Advantage Markets

IIAT is pleased to announce that Lisa Webb has joined the association as the Director oflwebb IIAT Advantage Markets. Lisa has more than 30 years of experience in personal and commercial lines sales, management, training and claims handling.

Many IIAT members know Lisa from her 12 years working at The Hartford, where she served as executive small commercial sales representative and managed the Central Texas territory, including the IIAT Advantage Hartford personal lines and small commercial lines programs. Lisa was also a district sales director and central region team lead and managed The Hartford personal lines accounts and a team of sales representatives in seven states. Before joining The Hartford, Lisa was a senior claims adjustor at State Farm for nine years.

“Not only does she have considerable market knowledge and agent-experience, but Lisa advantage-ad-gifalso comes to IIAT with extensive leadership, management, business consulting, training and technical insurance knowledge. We look forward to maximizing her talents to serve our members in the best ways possible,” said IIAT President and Executive Director Marit Peters.

Lisa is excited to jump into her new role helping IIAT members. She will join the IIAT staff at Insurcon this week, so be sure to visit with her if you’re attending.

“We feel lucky to have Lisa on our team. She knows hundreds of our agents and is passionate about IIAT’s mission to help our agents succeed,” said Marit.

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Ask Regina

Q. Is there a law in Texas that if a house is a total loss the company has to pay the full reginaamount of insurance on the policy?

A. Texas has a Valued Policy law that requires the full amount of insurance on real property be paid if there is a total loss. But it only applies to loss by fire and does not apply to personal property.

Need the answer to a tough technical or regulatory question?

Ask Regina.

IIAT is continuing the Ask Regina brand as a small way to honor the late Regina Anderson’s legacy as IIAT’s go-to guru for answering all insurance technical and regulatory questions.

So, if you don’t have the answer to a tough technical or regulatory question – go ahead and Ask Regina. It might not be exactly the same when an IIAT insurance expert like Jim Gavin calls you back, but you’ll probably get the answer you need, and maybe a joke to lighten your day.

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Big ‘I’ Applauds House Financial Services Committee for Flood Reauthorization

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) thanks the House Financial Services Committee for passing a measure to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years.

“The Big ‘I’ applauds the committee for voting to extend the NFIP for five years,” says Charles Symington, Big “I senior vice president of external, industry & government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ especially wants to thank Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-California) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) for recognizing the critical role the NFIP plays in the lives of millions of Americans. They have previously lead efforts in the House to guarantee flood insurance remains available to those who need it. Now they are now playing a critical role in reauthorizing the program on a long-term basis while making needed reforms that will increase take-up rates through the NFIP and the private market.”

Congress must periodically reauthorize the NFIP, which is currently set to expire on Sept. 30. However, Congress has yet to pass a long-term NFIP extension as debate continues regarding options for reforming the program. This has already resulted in a series of stop-gap extensions and a few brief lapses in 2017 and 2018. The committee-passed measure would extend the program for five years and make needed reforms to the program. The Big “I” strongly supports a continuous coverage reform clarifying there is no penalty if consumers leave the NFIP for the private market and then need to return to the NFIP because conditions change.

“Following the bipartisan passage out of the Financial Services Committee, the Big ‘I’ urges the U.S. House of Representatives to pass this legislation,” says Wyatt Stewart, Big “I” senior director, federal government affairs. “This legislation would provide much needed stability to the more than five million NFIP policyholders and countless others who depend on the program. The Big ‘I’ would also like to thank Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Florida) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri) for their hard work in making sure that their continuous coverage legislation was included in the five-year reauthorization.”

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Social Media Marketing Aids


When it comes to using social media to market your agency, it can be difficult. However, for those who are truly looking to implement social media marketing into their marketing plan, there are a plethora of tools that can help you. From scheduling tools to content generators, all these tools can make a difference in helping you digitally promote your agency better.

Scheduling Tools

For those that struggle to find the time to post consistently, try utilizing a scheduling tool such as Buffer or Hootsuite. These types of tools allow you to schedule your content in advance, as far back as you would like.

Using tools like this gives you the ability to stay on top of your digital marketing schedule, execute digital campaigns and maintain a proper post schedule. It also helps for planning and laying out a foundation for what to post and when to post it.

Content Tools

If keeping a constant post schedule is manageable but you struggle to produce content, consider utilizing tools to help you increase your content output.

One of the best tools you can use to help generate content is free content resources from company partnerships. Normally, you can receive free digital content pieces, such as videos and graphics to use when you partner with certain companies.

Additionally, if you are a Trusted Choice member, you have the content-to-share member resource portal at your disposal. Complete with graphics, audio ads, videos and digital campaigns, there is a plethora of digital materials already made and available for you to download and use on social media.

In addition, you can also utilize content generators to help you create different types of content. Applications such as Canva and Adobe Spark come equipped with a variety of graphic designs that you can customize and use to create visual content, while tools such as blog generators help you to create blog topics and copy that can all be posted to your website and on social media platforms.

Content Optimization Tools

Lastly, for those that struggle with optimizing the amount of people and engagement that their social content receives, utilize tools that will help to improve this.

Utilizing paid posting tools on social media can help your agency’s posts to reach a higher volume of people in more locations. Or, you can enlist the help of tools such as the app Hot Hashtags or keyword generator systems to craft social media copy that will reach a specific audience.

Together, these tools can help you to create more engaging and target content. And although it may take awhile to get into the use of utilizing these content aids and staying on track with a consistent social media marketing strategy, it will pay in the long run and serve as another great avenue for promoting your agency and the unique products you have to offer.

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ACT Launches Disaster Planning Resource

Disasters, natural or otherwise, can hit any time and without notice. The Agents Council for Technology (ACT) wants to help you prepare your employees, physical office, data and systems with procedures to implement when disaster strikes.

The new ACT disaster planning resource will help you navigate the things you need to consider before a disaster, such as steps to take during a disaster and tips for operating after disaster strikes. The resource includes a risk assessment to help you determine your agency’s definition of “disaster,” which may vary based on location.

A good disaster plan enables you to focus on recovery and service, not searching for critical data or piecing together the tools you need to work. Complete and save the PDF form and document how your agency will continue providing services without power, phone and internet connections, and even a physical office location.

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Why Hiring Older Workers is Good for Your Business

“In coming decades, many forces will shape our economy and our society, but in all likelihood, no single factor will have as pervasive an effect as the aging of our population.” – Ben Bernanke

When it comes to retirement, a significant cultural shift is well underway. More and more people are choosing to remain in the workforce beyond traditional retirement age. An entire demographic is reimagining retirement, and this change requires employers to simultaneously reshape their own notions about work, retirement and age in order to stay competitive.

A few fast facts:

  • By 2024, one in four workers in the United States will be 55 or older. By comparison, in 1994, workers over the age of 55 accounted for about one in 10 workers. (US Department of Labor)
  • In 1996, less than 46 percent of people age 60 to 64 were working. In 2016, that percentage grew to 56 percent. In 2026, it’s expected to reach almost 60 percent. (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • 85 percent of today’s baby boomers plan to continue to work into their 70s and even 80s. (Special Committee on Aging)

At WAHVE, we believe in the power and performance of experienced workers. We make it easy for you to hire work-at-home vintage professionals who are matched to the specific needs of your business. But if you’re like many employers, you might still be wondering how hiring an older work-at-home employee can benefit you:

  1. Retain valuable knowledge – This may be the most obvious benefit of hiring an older worker, whether they work remotely or not. Retiring workers have a career’s worth of institutional knowledge at their fingertips that can’t be easily, quickly or inexpensively replaced. In addition to having the knowledge and skills required to perform the job itself, they have years of experiences that have taught them how to navigate difficult situations, solve problems on their own and effectively manage relationships with colleague and clients.
  2. Fill the talent gap – As we discussed in Can Remote Work Fill the Talent Shortage, there are more than 7 million job openings in the United States, and not enough employees to fill them. Employers often can’t find the qualified workers that they need. To fill this gap, it’s inevitable that employers will need to consider hiring older remote workers. Employers benefit from their vast knowledge, while employees benefit from being able to stay employed and enjoy the work-life balance they desire.
  3. Boost work ethic – According to an article in Deloitte Insights, research shows that older workers are more likely to demonstrate positive “organizational citizenship.” This means they are more likely to work hard, show up on time, help coworkers, and go the extra mile when needed.
  4. Innovate – Innovation is an attribute usually reserved for younger workers, but research suggests that older workers can be just as creative and innovative as younger peers if given the chance. Additionally, creating a generationally diverse workforce can also spur innovation, as discussed in Why Generational Diversity Is the Ultimate Competitive Advantage.

There’s no turning back. Our population is aging. People are living longer and retiring later. And more people than ever are working from home. Older workers offer incredible value to employers who hire them. Are you ready to reap the benefits?

Your Terms. Your Time. Your Team.

IIAT Advantage business partner WAHVE is a unique contract staffing talent solution that brings companies and pretiring insurance and accounting professionals together across the country to meet their work needs.

Learn More

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Ask Regina

Q. I’m going to retire before my license renews. Do I still need to take continuing education courses?

A. Yes. The obligation to meet the requirements of licensure, including continuing education, applies as soon as you are issued the license.  That obligation exists regardless of how long you use your license, or if you use it at all. That said, when a licensee chooses to surrender their license with a substantial portion of the term remaining, TDI currently reduces the required continuing education hours for that term accordingly.

Need the answer to a tough technical or regulatory question?

Ask Regina.

reginaIIAT is continuing the Ask Regina brand as a small way to honor the late Regina Anderson’s legacy as IIAT’s go-to guru for answering all insurance technical and regulatory questions.

So, if you don’t have the answer to a tough technical or regulatory question – go ahead and Ask Regina. It might not be exactly the same when an IIAT insurance expert like Jim Gavin calls you back, but you’ll probably get the answer you need, and maybe a joke to lighten your day.

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Going to Insurcon? Make Sure You Have the IIAT Events App

Make sure to download the IIAT Events mobile app if you’re going to Insurcon! iphone-ad

  • View the complete event schedule, explore all of the offered sessions, and get detailed presenter information.
  • Keep your pulse on the most popular sessions and events by accessing the app’s Activity Feed which will highlight photos, ratings, comments, and more.
  • Receive announcements and get the most up-to-date event information.
  • Expand your professional network and have fun by interacting with other attendees in the app.

Download the IIAT Events App

If you’ve used the IIAT Events app at a previous conference, there is no need to download it again. Just log-in with the email and password you used before. Be sure to choose Insurcon as your event after you open the app.

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