Agents Confidential #11, 2/16/17

linkedin twitter facebook youtube
for your eyes only
Agency News | Industry News | New Members | Calendar | Events | Classes


Demotech to downgrade several carrier ratings in coming weeks
Worsening assignment of benefits trends, Matthew claims, and recent court cases have led Florida's primary property market rating agency to announce it will downgrade several carriers in March. Demotech’s announcement is historic, writes Jeff Grady, but also perplexing. Read his blog for commentary.
Legislative Session activity heating up
Associated Industries of Florida this week released its draft workers’ compensation bill, one developed in partnership with business leaders and groups including FAIA. Read Laura’s Legal Brief of the Week for a summary of the proposal. Also this week, the Florida Justice Reform Institute issued an updated report on assignment of benefits abuse and its correlation with one-way attorney’s fees. Both issues are among those covered during FAIA’s Capitol Days, March 14–15 in Tallahassee. It’s not too late to register!

If you can’t make it to Capitol Days (and even if you can), remember to register for this week’s Friday Morning Live Legislative Preview show, which starts at 10:00 a.m. EST.
Surplus lines export questions answered
Thanks to everyone who tuned in for last week’s surplus lines webinar. Because of the size of the audience, we were unable to answer all the questions on-air. David Thompson compiled all the questions and provides answers in The Community. If you weren’t able to attend, you can listen to the recorded version.
CFO Atwater to resign after 2017 Legislative Session
In case you missed it…Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater surprised even insiders last Friday when he announced he is stepping down from his position to become vice president of Strategic Initiatives and chief financial officer of Florida Atlantic University. Read Kyle Ulrich’s blog for a list of possible replacements.
Broward College insurance grads will soon be looking for jobs
Dozens of Broward College students have run through the Risk Management and Insurance associate degree program and will soon graduate. Learn how to get your job openings in front of these students, who will graduate with 2-15, 4-40, and 20-44 licenses in hand.
February is Insurance Careers Month: Share your story
February is Insurance Careers Month, and InVEST is asking FAIA members (especially young agents!) to share their career stories. Join the Insurance Careers Movement to learn how you can help spread the message that insurance is stable, rewarding, and limitless—the career trifecta.
Multi-jurisdictional work comp risks are greater than you know
Most agents haven’t experienced a claim denied because an injury occurred out of state, but the risk is very real and worthy of your attention. Frank Pennachio clears up some misconceptions surrounding multi-jurisdictional risk in his latest blog.
Do your customers drive for Uber? You better find out
Under a standard ISO personal auto policy, writes David Thompson, coverage for liability, med-pay, uninsured motorist, and physical damage disappears the moment Uber drivers activate the app. Unfortunately, this fact may be lost on many of your customers. Read more.
AM Best 2016 third quarter financials are posted
Given Florida’s two-storm hurricane season and financial pressures caused by skyrocketing AOB claims, agencies that don’t already have a plan in place to monitor the financial strength of their carriers should consider establishing one. Company financials for more than 50 carriers are updated quarterly in FAIA’s Insurance Market’s Resource Center.
Don’t overlook Big ‘I’ Markets
With membership in FAIA comes membership in IIABA and access to Big “I” Markets. There are no access fees or minimum volume commitments, and you own your expirations. Just a few of the offerings include small commercial excess and surplus lines, event liability, and real estate agents/property manager E&O. Learn more and get started.
Virtual operators are standing by
Take advantage of FAIA’s Live Help when you have a question and need an answer quickly. Staff monitors Live Help every work day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST. Read Paul Peeples’ blog for details.
A Trusted Choice profile is probably better than your website
Mobile friendly. Packed with useful and informative content. High ranking in Google search. Those attributes likely do not apply to your agency website. But they can, and making that happen is easy and doesn’t cost a fortune. Learn how to improve your agency’s presence on the web.
Here’s why consumers should choose an independent agent
To most consumers, an insurance agent is an insurance agent. A new animated video created by Trusted Choice explains how an independent agent is different, and why consumers should choose one. The video can be customized for member agencies and then shared on agency websites or on social media. To receive yours, , Trusted Choice marketing coordinator, or call her at 703-706-5402.
Nominating Committee accepting Board nominations
Nominations are now open for individuals wishing to serve on the 2017–2018 FAIA Board of Directors. Help us achieve our mission—to serve the needs of Florida insurance agents and consumers by promoting a healthy and competitive insurance environment—and submit your application by Friday, April 21. FAIA Chairman Brian Scarborough, Steve Clein, Anthony DuBose, Bill Gunter, Alicia Rosier, Jeff Schlitt, and Doug Wiles serve on this year’s Nominating Committee.

Mitchell Stallings Memorial Award
FAIA seeks nominations for FAIA’s most prestigious honor: The Mitchell Stallings Memorial Award, which recognizes a lifetime of leadership, integrity, and service to the industry. Nominations are due by Friday, May 5. Review the guidelines, and then nominate.


Ben Brown Insurance Agency, Inc., Sarasota: was recently featured in the Gulf Coast Business Observer.

Vincent A, Zanfini, III, Brightway Insurance, Inc.: named a $1 million producer by Brightway.

P. Fudge & Associates, Inc., Winter Park: announced founder Paul Fudge is now CEO, Doug Fudge is president, and Jared Townsend is CFO.


American Integrity Insurance Group: launched a standalone golf cart insurance program.

Bill Wilson: launched, a free educational website that features a blog on P&C insurance industry issues.


Blankit Insurance Group, Inc.: Palm Beach Gardens

Helping Hand Insurance: Lehigh Acres



Many local boards hold monthly or quarterly meetings. Visit our website for a schedule.

  • IIA of Central Florida, Past Presidents BBQ: Feb. 21, 2017; Ropers Garden Ballroom, Winter Garden.
  • IIA of Northeast Florida, Reception/Networking event with guest speaker Thomas Lee: Feb. 22, 2017; BlackFinn Ameripub at St. Johns Town Center, Jacksonville.
  • Insurance Agents of Tampa Bay, CE & Lightning Game: Feb. 23, 2017; Tampa History Museum and Amalie Arena, Tampa.
  • IIA of Central Florida, InVEST Breakfast: March 8, 2017; Lakeshore Center Ocoee, Ocoee.
  • Insurance Agents of Tampa Bay, Cyber CE: March 16, 2017; Yuengling Brewery, Tampa.
  • IIA of Palm Beach County, E&O Panel Discussion: March 16, 2017; Hilton Palm Beach Airport Hotel, West Palm Beach.



PO BOX 12129 | TALLAHASSEE, FL 32317-2129
TELEPHONE: 850-893-4155 | FAX: 850-668-2852
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise-without the prior written permission of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. FAIA does not give legal advice. Agents are urged to seek the counsel of a licensed Florida attorney familiar with the Florida Insurance Code.