ELITExas to Spread the Word about Insurance Careers at International Insurance Fraternity Conference

ELITExas is excited to take part in the Gamma Iota Sigma 48th Annual International Conference, Sept. 26-28 in Dallas. Gamma Iota Sigma is a collegiate talent pipeline for the insurance industry. The organization’s membership consists of 5,000 students who are interested in pursuing insurance careers from more than 85 campuses across the country.

IIAT’s Jill Douglas will be attending the conference with ELITExas members Casey Nelson, Agency Principal at Integrity Personal Insurance; Laura Farmer, Business Development Specialist at Service Lloyds; and Taylor Jones, a college recruiting manager with Questpro, ELITExas’ recruiting partner. The group looks forward to meeting with students and promoting the benefits of pursuing a job in the independent insurance industry.

Gamma Iota Sigma is expecting more than  650 students to attend the annual event. “We’ll have amazing diversity for companies to tap into… and the best part is that the students are already interested in all facets of insurance,” said President of the Board of Gamma Iota Sigma Wesley Griffiths.

“The GIS International Conference is like a time machine, providing ELITExas an opportunity to engage with the future leaders of the insurance industry before they even graduate,” said Casey Nelson. “Since ELITExas’ goals are centered around young professionals with the potential to grow into leadership positions in the insurance industry, this event is a perfect fit.”

Learn more about ELITExas the Gamma Iota Sigma 48th Annual International Conference.

Need help hiring new talent?


IIAT has partnered with insurance recruiting specialist Questpro to help IIAT members hire, train and retain the next generation of insurance professionals.

Get 5% Off Questpro’s Hiring Services

IIAT members get an exclusive 5% discount on Questpro’s staffing services and a portion of the fee will go to support ELITExas, IIAT’s young professionals group.
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Several Personal Umbrella Carriers to Implement Major Changes

Recent announcements from several personal umbrella carriers outline major changes in coverage that will leave agents scrambling to find new markets for their clients.

For example, one major standalone umbrella carrier will begin requiring underlying auto liability limits of at least $1 million in some states and $500,000 in all others. That carrier will also require $1-million underlying uninsured/underinsured motorist limits when excess UM/UIM is purchased.

Other carriers, meanwhile, have announced that they will be non-renewing all of their personal umbrellas nationwide.

If you’re scrambling to find coverage with a reliable carrier that offers reasonable rli-pup-headerunderlying limit requirements, look no further than RLI Insurance, the IIAT Advantage-endorsed stand-alone personal umbrella carrier.

RLI allows auto limits as low as $100,000/$300,000 for many customers—$500,000/$500,000 limits are only required if there’s a DUI in the household. Excess UM/UIM coverage is also available nationwide. Underlying UM/UIM limits simply need to match the auto liability limits.

Obtain a quote in just two minutes via RLI’s online quoter. Alternatively, log in to the RLI portal.

For more information, contact Cortney Copeland at 512.279.4711 or​ RLIsupport@iiat.org

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Big ‘I’ Virtual University Reminds Agents About ISO’s PAP Changes

The Big “I” Virtual University (VU) would like to remind members to review ISO’s personal auto policy changes. Effective Sept. 1, 2018, these changes—applicable in all states except Hawaii and North Carolina—have been adopted by most carriers and are critical for personal lines agents to understand.

To get up agents up to speed, the VU offers a variety of tools.

First, in May 2018, Chris Boggs, Big “I” Virtual University executive director, penned “A Brief Synopsis of ISO’s Coming Changes to the PAP,” which was recently updated. Second, the VU recorded a webinar detailing the nine changes that were made to the PAP form and the 21 endorsements that were either revised, removed or created. This webinar is available on-demand and accessible on any tablet or laptop with internet access.

Lastly, agents can purchase a Risk & Reality Report on the topic, which is a white paper based on the on-demand webinar. As a bonus, if you purchase the on-demand webinar, you will receive the Risk & Reality Report for free.

Risk & Reality Reports are white papers adapted from various VU workshops, webinars and articles. Check out a complete list of the VU’s Risk & Reality Reports online.

Still have questions about ISO’s PAP changes?regina
Ask Regina 

IIAT’s insurance coverage experts are on-hand to assist. 

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Trusted Choice® Seeks Feedback on Member Resources

Trusted Choice is seeking feedback on its existing member resources and is encouraging members to share their marketing challenges. Trusted Choice already offers a suite of digital marketing tools, including training modules and ready-to-use social media content, but they want to hear from you on additional resources that can help solve your marketing challenges.

Please send your comments to Joseph Cox at Trusted Choice.


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Connect with Markets & Select Vendors at the Small Agency Conference RISExpo


IIAT’s annual Small Agency Conference & RISExpo , Sept. 15-16 at the Embassy Suites San Marcos, offers agents from smaller Texas agencies an opportunity to connect with new markets.

Hospitality Suites Crawl

On Sunday, Sept. 15, 6-8 p.m., attendees can meet with representatives from IIAT Advantage Markets partners Assurant, Insurors Indemnity, Safeco and State Auto at the IIAT Advantage Marketplace Reception. Food and drinks will be served during this special networking event.

assurant-logo     261px-safeco_logo.svg_



Also, don’t miss the chance to meet with more than 70 top carriers, MGAs, select vendors and IIAT staff experts at the Expo, Monday, Sept. 16 (11 a.m.-1 p.m.). Lunch will be served during the Expo.

Get Details and Register



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Allied Trust Launches Dwelling Fire Coverage

Allied Trust recently hosted a series of “Town Hall Meetings’ throughout Texas to logoannounce their new Dwelling Fire product. A dwelling policy can provide coverage for loss of rent, liability and medical payments, and in some cases, contents of a structure. Starting Sept. 1, Dwelling Fire coverage will be added to Allied Trust’s current platform of Home, Auto, Umbrella and Flood products.

Product features include:

  • Ability to write up to 10 dwelling fire risks on one policy
  • Several optional endorsements available, including: Vacancy Extension, Seepage or Leakage coverage, Foundation/Slab Equipment Breakdown and Sewer Line coverages
  • Available discounts include: Accredited Builder, Burglar Prevention, Fire prevention, Roof type and age, Certified Property Manager and more

For more information, visit alliedtrustins.com.

allied trust

Allied Trust Central Texas Territory Manager Jennifer Gardner tells agents about the company’s new Dwelling Fire product at an Allied Trust “Town Hall Meeting” on Mon., August 26, 2019 in Austin



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Ask Regina

Q. We have hired a new employee. What can that person do without a license?

A. Some employees of an insurance agency do not need to be licensed. The licensing law reginaspecifically exempts the following employees from licensing requirements:

“A salaried employee who is not involved in solicitation or negotiation of insurance in the office of a licensed agent who devotes the employee’s full time to clerical and administrative services, including the incidental taking of information from customers and receipt of premiums in the office of a licensed agent, if the employee does not receive any commissions and the employee’s compensation is not varied by the volume of premiums taken and received.”

In IIAT’s opinion, salaried employees in the following positions (with duties typical for the job description as we understand them) do not need a license: receptionist, bookkeeper, mail handler, claims handler, x-date telemarketer, and CSRs and their assistants who take information only (no quoting). We believe that any employee who quotes premiums or discusses coverage options with customers must be licensed.

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The Future is Here: Navigating the Challenges of 21st Century Personal Auto Coverage

Personal auto insurance has always been more complicated than most policyholders realize. It has always evolved somewhat over time, but with the advent of ride-sharing services leading many individuals to use their personal automobiles for income, the insurance industry has had to react and adapt quickly. These nuances have only become more complicated as the ride-sharing concept expanded to more extensive food delivery options.
And now? Electric scooters available for rent for use on public streets create new questions about whether users are insured and by whom. With the impending transition toward self-driving cars, the questions facing the personal auto insurance industry will only become more complex.
What is an independent agent to do in this rapidly changing area of insurance? ResourceDownload_112018a
Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft have been on the scene for several years, so most agencies selling personal auto coverage should be familiar with how coverage applies when policyholders drive for these services. The ride-sharing services generally provide the drivers using their personal vehicles to transport passengers for a fee with insurance coverage when they are online using the services’ applications. The coverage type and amounts that apply vary and are limited.
When a driver is using the app while waiting for a ride request, but has not yet accepted such a request, the service provides no collision coverage and fairly limited liability coverage, typically $50,000/$100,000/$25,000. Once a ride-sharing driver has accepted a request to pick up a specific customer and while the driver is transporting that customer, the services provide greater liability coverage. Usually $1,000,000 as well as UM/UIM and contingent collision and comprehensive coverage, as long asthe driver has his or her own personal auto policy. However, when the driver is using their vehicle for their own personal use, the ride-sharing services provide no coverage and the driver needs to rely on his own personal auto policy for coverage.
In other words, ride-sharing drivers must have their own personal auto policy. But it is also important that their personal auto carrier know that they drive for a ride-sharing service. Of course, most personal auto policies define driving for hire as commercial use and therefore exclude it. Personal auto carriers are also likely to cancel an insured’s policy if they learn after an accident that the insured had been performing ride-sharing services but did not disclose it during the application process. Getting cancelled can cause problems for the policyholder, including higher premiums when securing replacement coverage.
Some personal auto carriers will refuse to provide a policy to a driver who works for a ride-sharing service and it is important to know that before any accidents occur. Some carriers provide rideshare insurance, typically as an endorsement to a personal auto policy, but sometimes as a replacement hybrid policy. Hybrid policies provide coverage for the driver’s personal use as well as the period when the driver is using the app looking for a passenger. If such a hybrid policy is unavailable, a commercial policy may be necessary.
Ride-sharing is not the only recent change in how people use their personal vehicles. Food delivery services like Uber Eats and Postmates are expanding the number of people using their personal vehicles to deliver food well beyond traditional pizza delivery. Even online retailers like Amazon are hiring people to deliver packages in their own vehicles. Similar to ride-sharing, this use of a personal vehicle for commercial purposes is likely excluded under a personal auto policy. While these services often provide some coverage to their drivers while using their app or while making deliveries, coverage may only be on an excess basis and there may be gaps in coverage. There is also the issue of the personal auto insurer cancelling the policy if it learns after an accident that the policyholder was making deliveries.
Most recently, dockless electric scooters have popped up in many cities. The scooters can be parked just about anywhere and riders can unlock them using an app, pay for their ride, and leave them at their destination. They are to be driven on streets, often at speeds up to 15 miles per hour, so riders on these scooters can cause accidents with vehicles. When such accidents occur, does the rider have liability coverage? The scooter companies do not appear to be providing liability coverage to users, though some cities are looking to require that they do. This is likely because most personal auto policies exclude two-wheel vehicles. But do many of the people using these scooters realize that they may have no liability coverage if they cause an accident?
As complicated as some of these questions are, they may pale in comparison to the ones that may be coming. Who is liable if a self-driving car causes an accident? Widespread use of fully autonomous vehicles is years away, but it is coming. Perhaps liability for motor vehicle accidents will shift primarily to self-driving car manufacturers for technical failures, but if the individual user has some autonomy, such as choosing to use the vehicle in unsafe weather conditions, will they still have some liability? How will the personal auto industry handle those issues?
We may not need to provide answers for several years but such questions are already upon us. Personal auto use is changing rapidly and independent insurance agents need to stay up to date and discuss these changes with their customers. Perhaps the most important consideration is to ask customers whether they use their vehicles for anything other than personal use and inform them of potential gaps in coverage. While agents in most states do not have a duty to recommend coverage types or limits, many customers may not be sophisticated enough to know that performing commercial work with their personal vehicles can expose them to coverage gaps. Addressing these questions and reviewing possible gaps could prevent bigger problems down the road.
The good news?  Well, at least flying cars are not here. Not yet.
About the Author
John Nesbitt is an assistant vice president, claims specialist with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and works out of the office in Kansas City, Missouri. Insurance products underwritten by Westport Insurance Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri, a member of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions.
This article is intended to be used for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose.  Swiss Re shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained or referenced in this article.  The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, accounting or professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice.
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The Rise of Ransomware: Attack Hits Local Governments In Texas

The Texas Department of Information Resources recently announced that a coordinated ransomware attack has affected at least 23 local government entities in Texas. The TDIR said it is continuing to investigate the origin of the attack, but at the moment believes it came from a “single threat actor.” The agency said State of Texas systems and networks have not been affected.

The recent attacks underscore the importance of cyber liability coverage to protect businesses from ransomware and other cybercrime.

One of the unique aspects and challenges of cyber liability is the rapid evolution of the risk and coverage required. Above all else, it’s vitally important to regularly check in and follow trends in cybercrime, coverage and industries affected. Read more.

wingman cyber

Cyber liability coverage for you and your clients.
Learn more.

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TDI: Reminder to Insurance Agents on Laws Related to Unauthorized Insurance

The Texas Department of Insurance has issued a bulletin reminding insurance agents and third-party administrators that they are strictly liable for assisting in the practice of unauthorized insurance.

Under state law, an agent or TPA who assists a company engaging in the unauthorized business of insurance may risk losing their license and may be subject to substantial civil penalties. An agent may also be strictly liable for the full amount of a claim or loss under an insurance contract they sold if the claim or loss is unpaid by the unauthorized insurer.

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