The Benefits of Creating Internal Revenue for Your Agency

In a recent article for Independent Agent, InsurBanc’s Robert Pettinicchi discusses misconceptions about perpetuation and the benefits of investing in your own agency. He writes that owners can realize greater value over time by retaining and investing in their own firm. What does it take to create internal revenue?

Click here to read the full article.

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Ask Regina: Central Texas Flooding

Q. For our insureds who have flooded autos, is there any loss-of-use coverage under reginacomprehensive coverage on their PAP?

A. The PAP provides Transportation Expenses, but the Texas TDI PAP only applies to a total theft of the covered auto. You would need endorsement 523 (Rental Coverage).

The ISO PAP provides temporary transportation expenses not exceeding $20 per day up to a maximum of $600 in the event of a loss to your covered auto for collision and other than collision losses if you have those coverages on your vehicle. There is a waiting period of  48 hours after a theft and for other than theft expenses beginning when the auto is withdrawn from use for more than 24 hours. Endorsement PP 03 02 (Optional Limits Transportation Expenses Coverage) is available for an additional premium to provide a higher limit per day and maximum.

Q. If homes flood due to release of water from the opening of floodgates on Central Texas dams, does that change anything in regard to coverage on the homeowners policy?

A. No, that doesn’t change anything in the homeowners policy. The water exclusion in the homeowners policy applies to all of the following water damage:

Flood, surface water, waves, including tidal wave and tsunami, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind, including storm surge;

The exclusion applies regardless of whether the damage is caused by an act of nature or is otherwise caused.

The exclusion applies but is not limited to, escape, overflow or discharge, for any reason, of water or waterborne material from a dam, levee, seawall or any other boundary or containment system.

Q. How does the vacancy clause apply on a homeowner policy when our insured’s move out of their severely damaged home while repairs are being made?

A. IIAT’s InfoCentral has a report which can be found here. In addition, the Texas Department of Insurance issued a Commissioner’s Bulletin during Hurricane Harvey encouraging insurers to provide relief to policyholders including the suspension of any vacancy provision in the policy, to allow continuing insurance coverage, providing the policyholder has not moved permanently from their home.

Q. Will carriers be able to re-rate, cancel, non-renew, or refuse to provide coverage because our insured has damage due to the Central Texas flooding?

A. A bulletin was issued during Hurricane Harvey flooding which, in our opinion, would still apply to the current Central Texas flooding. Commissioner’s Bulletin B-0015-17  states that it is the opinion of the Texas Department of Insurance that it is inappropriate for insurers to re-rate, cancel, non-renew, or refuse to provide coverage due solely to a policyholder’s status as a victim or evacuee of Hurricane Harvey. Further, it is not reasonable to change a policyholder’s rating classifications or increase their insurance rates solely because they are a victim or evacuee of Hurricane Harvey.

In addition, for admitted carriers (not surplus lines) there are already statutes regarding non-renewal because of losses caused by natural causes and weather-related claims.  View a complete list of the statutory policy cancellation and non-renewal provisions.

Other related technical reports:

Q. Some of our insureds in Central Texas have not sustained damage to their building, but due to impassable roads, the insured cannot access their business to operate. Is there any potential business interruption coverage applicable such as via Civil Authority on their commercial property or flood policy?

A. The loss has to be a covered cause of loss under the insured’s commercial property policy and flood is not a covered cause of loss and authorities have to prohibit access not just because there isn’t access.

If property within one mile of the described premises is damaged by a covered cause of loss and the authorities prohibit access to the area, the insured is covered for the business income loss after a 72-hour waiting period even though the insured’s property is undamaged. Coverage applies for up to four weeks. The waiting period can be reduced or eliminated by attaching endorsement CP 15 56 or eliminated altogether by attaching endorsement CP 15 56 (Business Income Changes – Beginning of the Period of Restoration). Extra expense coverage under the Extension is not subject to the 72-hour waiting period. The four week period of coverage can be extended, and/or the one mile radius can be increased, by attaching endorsement CP 15 32 (Civil Authority Changes).

The General Property Form for the National Flood Insurance Program exclusion V. 4.  Excludes loss from interruption of business or production.

For this type of coverage Difference in Conditions policies cover flood and earthquake and often business interruption losses resulting from floods.

Q. Many of our insured’s are unable to return home at this time from the Central Texas flooding due to damage to neighboring premises and the local authorities are prohibiting access to certain neighborhoods. Will their homeowner policy provide coverage under civil authority for additional living expense?

A. No, the civil authority only applies as a result of direct damage to neighboring premises by an insured peril and flood is not a covered peril in the homeowner policy.

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Message from FEMA on the Coastal Barrier Resources System:

Beginning in late 2018, Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) boundaries will no longer be depicted on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS) issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) are working together to update how customers access the most up-to-date information on CBRS boundaries.

The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) was passed by Congress in 1982 to encourage conservation of hurricane-prone, biologically rich coastal barriers. CBRA prohibits most new federal expenditures that encourage development or modification of coastal barriers. Therefore, most new or substantially improved residences, businesses, or other developments in the CBRS are not eligible for certain federal funding and financial assistance, including coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Development can still occur within the CBRS, as long as private developers or other non–federal parties bear the full cost.

CBRS boundaries are shown on maps that were originally adopted by Congress, and with few exceptions, only Congress can change the CBRS boundaries. The official CBRS maps are maintained by the USFWS.

FEMA has historically shown CBRS boundaries on coastal FIRMs as a courtesy to FIRM users. Many coastal communities use the FIRM to locate CBRS boundaries in addition to understanding information about food zones.  However, FEMA does not maintain the official CBRS maps and is not the most up-to-date source of information about them. Using out-of-date information to find out whether a property is eligible for flood insurance under the NFIP can have serious financial impacts.


  • The official CBRS maps may be downloaded on the USFWS website.
  • The most up-to-date CBRS boundaries can be found via the USFWS’s online CBRS Mapper tool.
  • Although CBRS boundaries will be removed from the National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL), the CBRS live map service from the USFWS will be delivered along with the NFHL map service on the NFHL viewer.
  • Section 19 of FEMA’s Flood Insurance Manual contains information to help determine whether a building is eligible for NFIP coverage. Park-related structures within OPAs and structures that existed prior to the food insurance prohibition date for any given area may be eligible. The manual is available here.

Property owners are generally made aware of the CBRS designation affecting their property when they obtain a mortgage that requires food insurance. However, there is no federal mandate for the disclosure of a CBRS designation by state and/or local officials or realtors at the time of purchase or construction. FEMA and USFWS encourage federal, state, and local officials to integrate CBRS data (available at maps/boundaries.html) into their GIS platforms and other information systems so it is readily available to community officials, developers, property owners, prospective buyers, and others.

State and local officials are also considered to consider including CBRS information in building permit forms, planning documents, and outreach materials. Such voluntary actions can help to increase awareness of the CBRS and the associated prohibitions on federal expenditures, which will help stakeholders make informed decisions about areas affected by the CBRA.

For more information on the CBRS, please visit the USFWS website. Additional information can also be found on the FEMA website.

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Learn Sales Secrets to Shift Your Production into Overdrive

Echo GRoup

If you want to be a more aggressive and productive producer you should hire a sales coach. IIAT has partnered with Chuck Bauer to make investing in a sales coach affordable. Chuck has helped well over 50 C-Level executives, hundreds of business owners, and thousands of individual salespeople work smarter, close sales, and make more money.

The IIAT (E) Delta Mastermind Group will give 18 participants a direct connection to 18 cb_2016_(2)sessions for 900 minutes of collaborative sales training where you and your peers will learn to work smarter, close sales, and make more money. All you need to do is bring your tenacity, discipline, and desire to implement advanced sales strategies. Your MasterMind group will become your accountability team and help you navigate through turbulent sales times.

Topics Cover a Variety of Sales Solutions Including:

  • How To Create & Maintain a Systematized Marketing Campaign
  • Utilizing the Latest Technology to Gain a Competitive Sales Edge
  • Developing High-Level Negotiation & Sales Closing Skills
  • Increasing Conversion Rates From Presentation to Close
  • Building a Referral-Based Business
  • Imposing Deadlines on Quotes
  • Plus 100s of Other Revenue-Producing Topics!

Begins Wednesday, Nov 7, 2018 • 1pm CST
Don’t Delay! Enrollment Ends as Soon as the 18th Spot is Filled.

Click Here to Reserve Your Spot Today!

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Joe Vincent Management Seminar Preview: The SECRET to “Show Business” Success for YOUR Business!


A good movie has the power to make us laugh, cry, angry, hungry, or even want to quit our job, unplug, and live in the wilderness for the rest of our natural life.

A lot goes into a movie to make us feel so emotionally invested that we’ll want to tell our friends about our experience immediately.

  • We’ll tweet about it…
  • Share our critiques on Facebook…
  • Or, go straight to Instagram Live
    • …with a face still glowing from all the excitement!

For this reason, the entertainment industry spends more time studying one aspect even more than the most advanced visual effects or new camera angles:

Human emotion!


It’s because an emotional connection is the most potent and influential connection possible.

To make 1997’s Titanic, it cost a staggering $200 million. (In 1997 dollars!)

However, not very many people stepped out of the theatre marveling over the fact that a special Russian submarine was used or every detail on the ship matched the original Titanic down to the doorknob. The audience walked out in a trance, swooning over Jack and Rose’s romance, saddened by the massive loss of life — or enraged that Jack’s death could have been prevented had Rose just shared the door she was floating on!

  • The fact is, people rarely remember the details.
  • But they will remember how something made them feel.
    • And that’s why ALL business is “show business.”

It has come to the point where we have created a culture of customers who demand compelling experiences whenever they do business.

Regardless of your industry, what your product or service is, you’re selling an experience.

The entertainment business has already unlocked this secret and recognize that the more powerful the connection, the greater the success. Ultimately, to succeed individually and organizationally, you need to change the way you relate to customers and employees.

And I’m not saying that you should be more entertaining. Entertainment, after all, isn’t all song and dance, explosions or slapstick. A CEO isn’t expected to be a stand-up comedian at corporate meetings, and a barista isn’t supposed to break out in song the next time someone orders a latte.

However, there are industries such as retail or hospitality who will find that by increasing humor and fun, they’re creating and enhancing their connection with customers and employees. And a B2B organization or an insurance firm may find that by showing genuine care, concern, and empathy, an emotional bond is formed because the clients feel their unique challenges are understood and being taken care of.

To approach your business as “show business” is not to be confused with putting on an act, being overly dramatic, or being fake.

  • It’s about differentiating yourself from the competition by understanding your clients in the same way that show business understands their audience.
  • It’s about creating specific strategies based on your customer’s distinct preference in order to deliver experiences that are compelling and engaging.

It’s about taking what we can learn from the entertainment business and leverage that insight into building strong and lasting emotional connections with our clients and colleagues.

About the Authormckain-scott-hr-photo

Scott McKain has designed and delivered high impact keynotes for the world’s most dynamic brands and has helped companies enhance profitability and loyalty by teaching how to sell uniquely and serve remarkably.

See Scott at the Joe Vincent Management Seminar. Get more details and register.

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Ethics for Agents and Other InfoCentral CE Webcasts Coming Soon — Register Now

Each month IIAT’s Jim Gavin presents two 1-hour webcasts covering personal lines and commercial lines issues. Register for the next IIAT InfoCentral CE webcasts. Each hour-long webcast costs $25 for members and is approved for 1 CE credit.

Ethics for Agents

Thursday, Oct. 25 | 10-11 a.m. | 1 CE Credit | $25wc_icon

Whether you need that random hour of Ethics for licensing purposes or if you want to learn more about the Ethical challenges facing insurance agents, this session is for you. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Coming Soon!

November 29, 2018

The ISO Cyber Liability Policy
It seems like every company is trying to get into the Cyber game. The ISO policy will make it easier for those that don’t have the capabilities to create their own form. Learn how it works, and see how it can be endorsed to include coverage that was previously found in Crime policies. Register

Water Damage Coverage Gaps in the Homeowners Policy
Water Damage coverage is more confusing than it needs to be. Learn what the basic policy covers and how the various optional endorsements expand coverage. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Register

December 20, 2018

Non-Subscribers in Texas
Workers Compensation is not mandatory in Texas but there are still reporting requirements for those who choose not to carry Workers Comp. Learn what is required and see how to evaluate occupational accident forms. Register

Trying to Make a Living from Home
The number of your customers working from home or running their own business out of their homes is increasing. Learn the coverage problems associated with the Homeowners policy and alternate methods of handling the exposure. Register

You must be logged in to to register for these webcasts. If you have trouble registering, please call member services at 800.880.7428.

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Register for Big “I” Legislative Day

On Tuesday, January 29, the final day of the Joe Vincent Management Seminar, IIAT members are invited to join IIAT’s Governmental Affairs Team for Big “I” Legislative Day

Following the final session of the Joe Vincent Management Seminar, on Tuesday, Jan. 29, buses to the State Capitol will depart from the Renaissance Hotel. Big “I” Day will kick off with an hour-long legislative briefing session at the Capitol starting at 10:30 a.m., followed by an opportunity to visit your hometown legislators’ offices. Additionally, IIAT will host a Legislative BBQ Lunch in the IIAT offices where you may continue the conversation with legislators and fellow agents. View the Big I Legislative Day schedule.

Attendance for Big “I” Day is complimentary but you must register online.

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Most Common Errors Attorneys See When Defending Agents

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions panel counsel attorneys average almost 25 years of eo-2018-we-got-your-back_400x400experience in defending insurance agent’s E&O claims.  They have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly.  We asked them to provide their thoughts on the common errors they see agents make, causing them to be involved in an E&O claim. Review the items listed below and take stock of your agency’s performance and if there are areas of improvement needed to prevent these errors.  Share these common errors with agency staff to get them thinking about how they are the first line of defense to avoiding E&O claims.

Most Common Errors Attorneys See When Defending Agents

  • Attempts to negotiate with the carrier on behalf of the customer after the denial of a claim
  • Failing to document coverage discussions where the customer declined to purchase coverage, including higher limits
  • Lack of timeliness in delivering the policy to the customer
  • Failing to comprehensively document telephone conversations with customers
  • Lack of compliance with carrier requirements in placing coverage
  • Failing to follow internal steps outlined in the agency’s procedures manual
  • Lack of communication in understanding the customer operation or coverage needs
  • Failure to respond in a timely fashion to customer inquiries and questions
  • Dabbling – getting outside of the agent’s expertise
  • Not identifying differences in coverage when renewing a policy on a different policy form
  • Making coverage determinations on behalf of the carrier
  • Failing to discuss updating coverage as their customer grows
  • Not getting signed applications from their customers
  • Holding yourself to be an expert or risk manager when you are not
  • Lack of knowledge of the product they are selling
  • Overstating or misrepresenting the products coverage

Copyright © 2018, Big “I” Advantage, Inc. and Westport Insurance Corporation. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be used or reproduced in any manner without the prior written permission from Big “I” Advantage. For permission or further information, contact Agency E&O Risk Manager, 127 South Peyton Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 or email at


Have questions about your E&O or need a quote? 
Contact IIAT Advantage E&O’s Cari Senefsky or Gunnar Kephart at 800.880.7428.

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Don’t Miss New Resources in the Trusted Choice® Content-to-Share Library

Promote your agency with new Trusted Choice® digital marketing and advertising myth-bap-imgmaterials.

The new graphics, videos and articles are available for direct download via the website, where members can easily filter content by topic to find what they are looking for.

The new Content-to-Share material aims to:

  • Provide engaging and action driving content for agents to utilize on their social channels and websites.
  • Assist independent agents in branding themselves and reinforce their partnership with Trusted Choice.
  • Communicate the only most relevant material geared toward promoting specific types of insurance.

Access all existing and new content by logging in to the Trusted Choice website with your Big “I” credentials.

Trusted Choice will continue to build this section of the website throughout the remainder of the year and is open to new content ideas.

For more information or to make a suggestion, contact Madeleine Stern.

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Ask Regina

Q. Does the BAP or PAP cover personal items like a computer or guns, or other equipment etc., in the vehicle for loss?

A. For both policies, the insuring agreement for physical damage covers the loss to the reginacovered auto or its equipment, but equipment is limited.  For more information, see the Personal Auto Electronic Equipment technical report and the Business Auto Electronic Equipment technical report on IIAT’s InfoCentral. You must be logged into to view InfoCentral articles.

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