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

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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?


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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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Big ‘I’ Statement on NFIP Reauthorization

Last week, The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) released the following statement by Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external, industry & government affairs, on the Congressional reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before the May 31 deadline:

“The Big ‘I’ is relieved that Congress was finally able to extend the NFIP before the program expires on May 31. However, we are disappointed that the extension is only for two weeks. Both chambers of Congress had previously passed legislation that would extend the NFIP through Sept. 30 in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion. Yet, brinksmanship from a few members of Congress brought us to the eve of an expiration and left more than five million policyholders and countless others who depend on the program with only a two-week extension of the NFIP. With historic flooding in the Midwest and hurricane season upon us, it is vital that Congress passes a longer-term extension of the program when it returns to session next week to provide more certainty for consumers.”

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Leverage New Trusted Choice® Content-to-Share Materials

​It’s​ sunny, warm, and the start of an eventful time of year. If you’re looking for a way to raise awareness about seasonal exposures, utilize the new summer-themed Trusted Choice® content-to-share materials from the member resource website.

As spring transitions into summer, new personal and commercial liabilities emerge. From pool and boat safety to summer camp business liabilities, consumers need to be aware of the tailored that only an independent agent can provide.

The Trusted Choice content-to-share materials helps you reinforce your brand and partnership with Trusted Choice, while demonstrating how you offer a unique solution to protect consumers.

To access and download all new and existing Trusted Choice content, members can log in with their Big “I” credentials  (Your Big “I” Trusted Choice sign-in information is not the same as your IIAT log-in. If you do not know your Trusted Choice sign-in info, click here.Direct any questions to Aaliyah Cuthrell.

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Prepare Now for Hurricane Season

June 1 is the start of the hurricane season and the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT) urges Texas coastal residents to start preparing now and take time to review their homeowner and auto insurance protection, update their evacuation plans, and make an inventory of their property.  Once a hurricane is approaching the Texas coast, it may be too late to take needed actions.

“Take care of your insurance needs today rather than risk a storm forming in the gulf and trying to scramble for coverage. You cannot purchase a windstorm policy once a named storm is in the gulf and a flood insurance policy takes effect 30 days after purchase,” said Mark Hanna, an ICT spokesperson.  

Hurricanes can cause the most widespread damage of any weather event in Texas.  Check with your agent or insurance company for advice on the right amount of coverage for your home and property.

In addition, ICT strongly encourages anyone living near the Texas coast, who is not already required to do so, to consider purchasing flood insurance. Homeowners can purchase flood insurance from any insurance agent.  Generally, a homeowners’ insurance policy does not provide protection from floodwaters. Most flood insurance policies come from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  For more information on flood insurance, click here floodsmart.gov/.

The last two hurricanes to hit Texas, Hurricanes Harvey and Ike, in 2017 and 2008, respectively, caused billions of dollars in auto, home, and flood losses.  Hurricane Ike had a 22-foot storm surge sending floodwaters several miles inland all along the upper Texas coast and caused $12 billion in insured losses.  Hurricane Harvey caused more than 717,000 claims with $19 billion in insured property losses. Harvey’s record rainfall flooded homes, vehicles, and businesses in more than 50 Texas counties, leaving thousands of Texans homeless, businesses closed, and flooding an estimated 250,000 vehicles with auto insured losses of $3.5 billion.  Overall, insured flood losses from Hurricane Harvey totaled approximately $10 billion, but the losses suffered from uninsured homeowners may have topped $100 billion.

Historically, for Texas, the peak of the hurricane season is in September, but hurricanes can and do form earlier.  In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison came ashore and stalled over Houston, dropping 40 inches of rain resulting floodwaters that submerged thousands of homes and caused major damage to the Texas Medical Center and downtown businesses.

Homeowners should act now and take steps to protect their lives and property by preparing an evacuation plan, having an emergency safety kit, and conducting a home inventory.

  • An evacuation plan is a life-saving action that allows family members to know what role they play in getting out of harm’s way.  If advised to evacuate, every plan includes how you will leave and where you will go.
  • An emergency safety kit is an essential item with every evacuation plan.  This kit contains non-perishable food, water, prescriptions, important documents including your insurance, cell phones and chargers, cash, toiletries and clothing.  Pets require a similar kit.
  • Recording all of your personal property with photos or video and securing this information away from your home becomes invaluable when filing a claim.

In August, ICT representatives and other insurance and weather experts will be visiting Texas coastal counties to help educate local media and consumers about hurricane preparedness and insurance coverages. We will have more information on the August “ICT Hurricane Tour” later this summer.

For more information on the upcoming hurricane season, visit here insurancecouncil.org/hurricane-central/.

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