Member Services for IIAG

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  • DRONES WEBINAR TAKES FLIGHT JUNE 22nd – Learn about insurance issues involving drones May 31, 2016
    Drones AKA Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Presented by John Eubank, CPCU, ARM and Bill Wilson, CPCU, ARM Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET One of the fastest evolving insurance issues in recent years involves drones. From a non-issue to the presence of millions of hobby and commercial drones, this exposure has taken … Continue reading →
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  • New Resource Area Now Available in the Virtual University May 25, 2016
    Earlier this year, the Big I board approved development of a new area in the Big IVirtual University (VU) to provide members with information about finding, hiring and developing new talent for their agencies. This area is now live in the VU and will continue to expand as we curate more resources. We invite you … Continue reading →
    amcelhannoniiag
  • How to be A Superhero for Personal Lines Clients May 25, 2016
    Most of your personal lines clients don’t need you to be faster than a speeding bullet or to leap tall buildings in a single bound. However, they do need smart insurance protection, and there’s one area in which they are particularly vulnerable: JEWELRY. If you’re protecting your clients’ jewelry collections with their HO/renters insurance policies, … Contin […]
    amcelhannoniiag
  • Close More Sales with MiddleOak Coverage Checklists May 25, 2016
    Getting clients to think about comparing things other than coverage limits and price is difficult. Even when it seems like they are taking everything into account, you often are not sure that they even “get it.” Since making the intangible tangible is what we do all the time, we offer two checklists to help your … Continue reading →
    amcelhannoniiag
  • Turning Your Retirement Questions Into Answers May 12, 2016
    Having trouble deciding which retirement plan is right for you or your agency? Big “I” Retirement Services is here to help you choose which plan best meets your circumstances. We’ve worked with more than 1,000 agencies to help them achieve their retirement goals.   IIABA Support   With over 25 years in the retirement business, … Continue reading → […]
    amcelhannoniiag
  • 3 Ways to Compensate Personal Lines Producers May 6, 2016
    Contributed Article by Jacquelyn Connelly, Senior Editor of IA Magazine. If you’re like most independent agencies, you’ve got commercial lines producer compensation down to a science. But chances are you can’t say the same about personal lines. Al Diamond, president of Agency Consulting Group, Inc., works with myriad agencies on the issue of personal lines … […]
    amcelhannoniiag
  • How to Build a Relationship with an Online Buyer Through TrustedChoice.com April 19, 2016
    Category: Trusted Choice® ​ goo·gle – /’goog(Ə)l/ verb – google; 3rd person present: googles; past tense: googled; past participle: googled; gerund or present participle: googling search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google. “I recently googled my 7th grade teacher and found his current e-mail address”   […]
    amcelhannoniiag
  • Big “I” Markets – An Inside Look at April 2015 NFIP Changes March 11, 2015
    By Cassie Masone – Selective Insurance Company, Vice President of Flood Operations Selective Flood Releases Bulletin on HFIAA Changes The tides are changing. Due to increasing catastrophic events and resultant rising expenses, Congress has passed numerous updates to help stabilize the National Flood Insurance Program over the last several years, including re […]
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  • Big “I” Markets – Webinars February 25, 2015
    Competing with Direct Sales & Captive Agency Insurers in Personal (and Commercial) Lines March 25, 2015; 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time $79 – Click here to register. Are you tired of all the insurance commercials that shout “Price! Price! Price!”? Are you sick of the silly claim that someone’s exposures to loss can be … Continue reading →
    amcelhannoniiag
  • Big “I” Markets – Hot and Cold HomeScanSM February 25, 2015
    The sound of water running all the time or a sudden increase in the water bill can indicate a plumbing leak. Signs of mold or mildew smell in an area that doesn’t get wet, spongy floors or walls, a sagging roof or cracked foundations can be plumbing or exterior water getting in where it’s not … Continue reading →
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DRONES WEBINAR TAKES FLIGHT JUNE 22nd – Learn about insurance issues involving drones

VU.logo

Drones AKA Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Presented by John Eubank, CPCU, ARM and Bill Wilson, CPCU, ARM
Wednesday, June 22, 2016 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. ET

One of the fastest evolving insurance issues in recent years involves drones. From a non-issue to the presence of millions of hobby and commercial drones, this exposure has taken off (no pun intended). So, what are the exposures, what are the governing regulations, and how can these exposures be insured for hobby and commercial use?

For more information and to register, click here.

 

Andrew McElhannon is the Member Services Coordinator for the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia www.iiag.org, and can be contacted at: amcelhannon@iiag.org or b y phone at 770-458-0093, x.110, or 800-878-6487.GAlogoleft

New Resource Area Now Available in the Virtual University

Earlier this year, the Big I board approved development of a new area in the Big IVirtual University (VU) to provide members with information about finding, hiring and developing new talent for their agencies. This area is now live in the VU and will continue to expand as we curate more resources.

We invite you to join this initiative by helping the VU populate the pages with links and information that will provide your members with strategies for effective recruitment, human resources, staff development and other related topics. The Resources page features a state map for your members to easily navigate to your information about finding, hiring and developing new talent. Until you provide that specific information, the site will direct readers to the homepage of your state association site.

The VU’s goal is to make this an area that guides important discussions and helps members maintain fully staffed and successful independent agencies. As part of the process, national has created a private online portal for state association staff to share information and conduct peer conversations related to these topics. All state staffs have permission to join the site. If you know of any tools that can help agents recruit and retain talent, or want to have related discussions, this is the place for you to share your insights.

Upcoming additions will include a series of talent and recruitment how-to videos for quick tips and best practices, a column contribution in the VUpoint e-newsletter from industry experts and HR consultants, and a platform for reaching out to carriers to access their tools and resources for talent recruitment.

For more information about this new area of the VU, contact Jennifer Becker or Madelyn Flannagan.

How to be A Superhero for Personal Lines Clients

Most of your personal lines clients don’t need you to be faster than a speeding bullet or to leap tall buildings in a single bound. However, they do need smart insurance protection, and there’s one area in which they are particularly vulnerable: JEWELRY.

If you’re protecting your clients’ jewelry collections with their HO/renters insurance policies, you may be doing them a disservice – even if you’ve scheduled their most important pieces.

Below are 10 reasons a stand-alone jewelry insurance policy may provide more agile and powerful protection for your clients:

Stand-alone policies may be less expensive, with a $50 minimum premium

Stand-alone jewelry coverage protects your HO/renters rates/coverages

Many HO/renters carriers are not willing to write high valued schedules

HO/renters policies typically require both domestic partners to be listed as insureds

Adult children who live with parents should have coverage for their own jewelry

Those who are between homes (buying/selling/building) may have unanticipated coverage gaps

HO/renters policies may not include coverage for mysterious disappearance losses

HO/renters policies may have strict documentation requirements to replace custom pieces

HO/renters policies may not extend coverage for losses while travelling out of the country

Stand-alone jewelry policies offer low or zero deductibles

Ready to deploy your secret insurance power, otherwise known as RLI Jewelry Insurance?

We’re ready to help with competitive pricing, convenient online quotes, direct billing and comprehensive coverage with no minimum policy limits. You already know and love our PUP program. Now, see how well our jewelry insurance program can also provide value-added service your clients.

To learn more about how to provide quick jewelry insurance quotes and earn competitive jewelry insurance commissions, contact Mike Maley at RLI at mike.maley@rlicorp.com.

Close More Sales with MiddleOak Coverage Checklists

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Getting clients to think about comparing things other than coverage limits and price is difficult. Even when it seems like they are taking everything into account, you often are not sure that they even “get it.” Since making the intangible tangible is what we do all the time, we offer two checklists to help your potential clients see the value of your MiddleOak proposal more than ever before.

Here is how it works: The checklists take the customer through our unique coverages by asking a series of questions. These questions force the customer to consider and actively check yes or no as to whether they will have these coverages or consciously have to go without each one as they check no to them. Now they are looking at more than just the limit of coverage and the price – which is all most of them (understandably) really would know. Even though you tell them, the process of taking themselves actively through a checklist process is a powerful exercise.

You can email these, put them in with proposals already filled out to reinforce what they are getting, fill them out with the client – however you wish! As Atul Gawande’s bestselling book “The Checklist Manifesto” has proven, checklists are powerful tools indeed. Now you have your own MiddleOak checklists to present!

Email rick.cote@middleoak.com to get your copy of the checklists:

8 Questions to ask when insuring your residential rental properties

6 Questions to ask when insuring your community association

 

Andrew McElhannon is the Member Services Coordinator for the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia www.iiag.org, and can be contacted at: amcelhannon@iiag.org or b y phone at 770-458-0093, x.110, or 800-878-6487.GAlogoleft

Turning Your Retirement Questions Into Answers

Having trouble deciding which retirement plan is right for you or your agency? Big “I” Retirement Services is here to help you choose which plan best meets your circumstances. We’ve worked with more than 1,000 agencies to help them achieve their retirement goals.

 

IIABA Support

 

With over 25 years in the retirement business, the Big “I” serves as a strong advocate for participating agencies. Whether it concerns a complicated transition from another provider, or perhaps a sale of the agency, we know your business, understand your market, and can grasp your needs.

 

Roll Over Your Plan and Save

 

Our advisers are available to all IIABA members to provide consultation on existing and new plans alike at no cost or obligation. At Big “I” Retirement Services, we consider you a member first, and a client second. Whether we’re building a new plan for your agency from the ground up or simply rolling over your existing plan in order to save you money with our low administrative fees, we strive to make your experience with us pleasant, professional, and hassle-free.

 

A Plan for Every Need

 

Whether your goal is to maximize owners’ contributions, lower your agency’s tax burden, or retain key employees, our retirement professionals can tailor and customize a plan to fit your needs.

 

For any information (e.g., plan design, provisions, etc.), please contact Christine Munoz, Director, Employee Benefits at

(800) 848-4401 or christine.munoz@iiaba.net.

Summary of Plans

Plan Options

Retirement Calculators

Have A Plan

With over 25 years in the retirement business, the Big “I” serves as a strong advocate for participating agencies. Whether it concerns a complicated transition from another provider, or perhaps a sale of the agency, we know your business, understand your market, and can grasp your needs.

 

Andrew McElhannon is the Member Services Coordinator for the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia www.iiag.org, and can be contacted at: amcelhannon@iiag.org or b y phone at 770-458-0093, x.110, or 800-878-6487.GAlogoleft

3 Ways to Compensate Personal Lines Producers

Contributed Article by Jacquelyn Connelly, Senior Editor of IA Magazine.

If you’re like most independent agencies, you’ve got commercial lines producer compensation down to a science. But chances are you can’t say the same about personal lines.

Al Diamond, president of Agency Consulting Group, Inc., works with myriad agencies on the issue of personal lines producer compensation. “Every place I go, they’re sort of mystified and stumped,” he says. “They have no idea how to pay personal lines producers.”

Wondering what your options are for developing a successful personal lines producer comp plan—and sticking to it? Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Pick Your Poison

Typical payroll for personal lines producers amounts to about 30% of their book regardless of agency size, according to the 2014 Best Practices Study. But firms arrive at that 30% in a variety of ways. The Reagan Producer Recruiting & Development Study outlines three examples:

COMMISSION WITH DRAW BASED ON PERCENT OF PRIOR YEAR’S PAY

Diamond suggests paying validated personal lines producers 30% commission on the retained book of business for which they are the producer at the end of the previous year, plus a benefit in the form of increased compensation of 40-45% of growth beyond what they did last year. “If they lose business because people drop off, they may not get a raise next year,” he points out.

York International Agency, LLC in Harrison, New York grows personal lines at a minimum of 15% a year by focusing exclusively on high net-worth clientele, refusing to write mono-line policies or work with clients who have not been formally referred, and treating personal lines like commercial lines.

As a result, the agency doesn’t have any purely personal lines producers—all salespeople produce all lines of business. “Why not incentivize the producer to completely round out the account and get all lines of coverage?” says Justin Moundas, executive vice president and principal.

That “ability to pivot” is crucial for York’s validated producers, who receive commission based on a business percentage and a set renewal percentage, regardless of line of business. “We’ve had plenty of times where someone goes out and they think they’re going out with the commercial, but they come home with the personal policy, and that’s how we win the account,” Moundas says.

Five personal lines producers work with entrepreneurs and affluent families at Swingle, Collins & Associates in Dallas, where personal lines makes up about 15% of business. The personal lines comp model is simple: draw vs. commission, same as commercial lines.

Although the margins are different, “the producers love it,” says Frank Swingle, founder & CEO. “Before we hire somebody, we make sure they’re on board with that type of structure. We’ve lost candidates to people that are offering salaries, and that’s fine. When you’re in the commission business, commission’s ultimately how you get rewarded. If you’re on a salary and you don’t sell anything, you’re not going to have a salary very long.”

The same holds true for Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners in Tampa, Florida, which employs a pre-specialized private client group consisting of niche “advisors” (the firm’s nomenclature for “producer”) that focus exclusively on assisting high net-worth individuals and families with their personal insurance and risk management needs.

Inside that group, 12 advisors receive either a draw with pure commission or a base salary plus commission. They also receive renewal commission on their book, because “they’re expected to be involved in the renewals and work with the clients on an ongoing basis,” explains Trevor Baldwin, partner.

BASE SALARY PLUS INCENTIVE FOR NEW BUSINESS WRITTEN

Personal lines makes up about 18% of the agency book at PayneWest Insurance, a $100 million-revenue agency with about 30 locations throughout Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. The agency divides 111 personal lines producers into two roles: sales executives, who are responsible for bringing in new relationships, and account specialists, who focus on proactively nurturing and developing client relationships.

For a validated producer, PayneWest’s personal lines compensation plan includes a base salary plus 40% new business incentive. The benefit? “Instead of having people plateau and limiting the new business they could write or limiting the amount of business they could grow, we have personal lines producers that will produce north of $100,000 of commission revenue in a given year,” explains Stephen Smelley, COO. “You can’t do that if you’re focused on trying to personally service everything you’ve built over the last three or four or five years.”

By the same token, “when you’ve got somebody assigned to a client and the client knows that’s who’s going to be handling their business, that specialist is going to be very proactive,” Smelley explains.

SALARY PLUS DISCRETIONARY BONUS BASED ON ACHIEVEMENT

Baldwin Risk Partners has multiple subsidiaries that operate as standalone insurance agencies, including The Villages Insurance—a predominantly Main Street personal lines agency in The Villages, Florida that employs about 75 staff members, 24 of whom are advisors.

There, the agency pays a base salary based on licensure level, experience and skillset and utilizes a bonus program based on number of new sales and type of new sales by policy type. Producers in this model do not receive renewal compensation.

Baldwin says the differing comp plans make sense since the two types of insurance require a different sales skillset. “At the end of the day, we’re trying to design a compensation plan that motivates and incentivizes our advisors to source and generate new business in the areas we’re focused on,” he explains. For the private client group, that means personal lines accounts that generate north of $1,000 of commission revenue. For Main Street business, it’s about cross-selling and upselling mono-line policies.

In addition to the base salary and new business incentive, PayneWest also offers its personal lines producers a 10% bonus. “We’ll give them 50% new business basically back to dollar one if they produce more than $50,000 in new business in a given year,” Smelley explains. Account specialists, who are required to manage a book of business, enjoy additional incentives for retention and account rounding, while sales executives have more incentives for pursuing new relationships.

Although some of PayneWest’s personal lines producers would prefer a comp plan that more closely mirrors that of commercial lines—commission based on a percentage of the book, plus commission for new business—the agency created alignment to focus on the client by creating even more incentives within the two specialized tracks.

“If you’ve got somebody who’s comped on new-new sales, and they’re very good at it, we need people to mentor other people to be very good at that,” Smelley explains. “We can add on additional comp for mentoring, being team leads and focusing on new client acquisition and/or client retention specifically, so they can increase their compensation by doing what they do the best and sharing that with others.”

Falling Short?

But how can you hold producers accountable for getting the job done? “What I count on is some competitive pressures between producers, and what I measure is sales activity,” Diamond says. “I want to know how many times these producers are swinging the bat.”

Measuring sales activity works for PayneWest, where each salesperson has a personal business plan and specific monetary- and activity-based goals and adheres to a “5×5 for prospecting,” which requires creating five new relationships, five days a week for a total of 25 new personal lines relationships each week.

The agency measures progress through both management and reporting details as well as peer accountability, including regular calls with the personal lines teams and personal lines-specific management staff that Smelley says “gets right into the mix of things and helps out.”

But York doesn’t rely on quantifiable measurements of any kind. “We tried it in the past, but we find that when someone’s getting compensated just because they scheduled appointments, it doesn’t drive the right behavior that’s necessarily producing good results,” Moundas says. “Sometimes people are making appointments just to make an appointment.”

Instead, the agency holds weekly sales meetings and utilizes a mentoring program that matches each new producer with a senior-level individual “who has a vested interest in seeing that person succeed,” Moundas says.

Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners distinguishes accountability processes between new and veteran producers. “Before an advisor’s considered to be validated, where their book of business justifies the compensation we’re paying them, then we have more qualitative measurements around prospecting, activity, center of influence meetings, things of that nature,” Baldwin says.

But post-validation, “accountability really becomes focused on sales outcome results,” Baldwin says. Every advisor puts together a yearly business plan including set new business and retention goals, “so we measure both pure new business and what we call net new business on a monthly basis, and then compare that to goals for every advisor.”

The most important driver of accountability? “Hiring the right people—the right people are going to look at their reports and they’re going to be self-motivated to get the job done,” Swingle says. “If we hire people that require constant management, we’ve hired the wrong people under our system.”

Jacquelyn Connelly is IA senior editor.

– See more at: http://www.iamagazine.com/magazine/read/2016/04/01/payment-plans-compensating-your-personal-lines-producers#sthash.Z1hgBDLl.dpuf

How to Build a Relationship with an Online Buyer Through TrustedChoice.com

Category: Trusted Choice®

goo·gle – /’goog(Ə)l/

verb – google; 3rd person present: googles; past tense: googled; past participle: googled; gerund or present participle: googling

  1. search for information about (someone or something) on the Internet using the search engine Google.

“I recently googled my 7th grade teacher and found his current e-mail address”

 

Google is a verb, and consumers are shopping online for everything from groceries to life insurance. Even though we have a plethora of information at our fingertips, we still want and need that one-on-one connection agents have been building their businesses on for years.

If you think all online buyers are simply price shopping, you’re mistaken! Online buyers are also educating themselves, and thanks to TrustedChoice.com they now have a one-stop-shop for everything they need to know about buying insurance.

More importantly, they’re connecting with independent insurance agents in their area who are experts in providing personalized service.

It’s key that you treat your online prospects the same way you would treat a neighbor stopping by to ask for help with an insurance question. After all, people still buy from people, and ultimately it’s up to you to build a relationship.

Part of building that relationship involves careful management of your online presence and brand, including your TrustedChoice.com profile. Adding a personal touch will encourage shoppers to choose your agency over another that may not have a logo or positioning statement.

The Online Buyer is a Real Customer

By changing the way we view online insurance shoppers, we can change our relationship with them. Respond to your TrustedChoice.com referrals immediately, and treat them as if they just walked in the front door.

The online buyer expects fast response, and waiting 24-48 hours to respond to an email may mean that they’ve already moved on to the next agency. I suggest setting a two-hour response time goal for all online prospects.

In addition, assume nothing! If you think they’re simply shopping around, chances are you won’t be focused on building rapport and trust, and you run the risk of losing that online buyer to an agent who does want to develop a long-term relationship with them.

TrustedChoice.com is committed to educating individuals and business owners on the advantages of choosing an Independent Insurance Agent. As an agent, you are in the relationship-building business and that hasn’t changed despite the digital revolution.

What has changed is the way people are finding you. Grab your piece of the pie by claiming your TrustedChoice.com advantage profile, if you haven’t done so already, and make sure you treat the online leads that come your way with the same care that you would an in-person customer.

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