Agents Confidential #9, 1/13/17

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Agency News | Industry News | New Members | Calendar | Events | Classes
DFS re-interpreting requirements for surplus lines export?
Two recent opinions from the Florida Department of Financial Services suggest the department will allow agents to move commercial residential policies to the surplus lines market when desired coverage is unavailable in the admitted market, provided the agent completes a diligent effort form. Read Laura’s Legal Brief of the Week to learn more about this new consumer-friendly interpretation of the law. Confused about the difference between diligent effort and surplus lines disclosure forms? Read David Thompson’s primer in the Education Library.
AOB reform on the agenda as Legislative Committee meetings begin
Florida’s Legislative Session may not officially start until March 7, but FAIA’s work on agents’ behalf is well underway. Join FAIA’s legislative team for a special Friday Morning Live! Session Preview at 10:00 a.m. (ET) February 17. Then, take your advocacy to the next level by traveling to Tallahassee for Capitol Days, March 14–15. Learn more and register.
The independent agency system of the near future: a look at what’s in store
Technology will continue to dramatically affect and alter the insurance sales experience, writes FAIA CEO Jeff Grady. That doesn’t mean the end of the independent agency channel, but it does mean agencies—and carriers—will need to devote greater time and resources in 2017 to understanding and improving customers’ online experience.
New year, new depopulation process
Citizens’ new Policyholder Choice Program goes into effect with February’s takeout. Read Dave Newell’s CPIC blog for an overview of the changes, which are designed to improve the process for both policyholders and agents.
FSU’s 2017 Insurance Days
The Insurance Days program, which brings together employers looking for talent and students looking to start their risk management and insurance careers, will be held March 1–3 at FSU. The program covers multiple days and includes a day and a half of interviewing and a Thursday evening reception. Interview rooms are limited, so agencies and companies interested in participating should register well before the January 30 deadline. Learn more and register online.
Home sharing, drones: What coverages (and exclusions) apply?
Explosive growth in the sharing economy and drone sales provides yet another example of why it’s so important for agents to carefully read the policies they sell and renew. Read David Thompson’s blog for ways to make sure your clients are fully covered.
Keep an eye out for the CGL Designated Premises endorsement
The addition of “routine endorsements” can lead to unexpected claims denials. In this case, it’s the commercial general lines Limitation of Coverage to Designated Premises or Project endorsement, which is about to go from bad to worse, in terms of narrowing of coverage. Read more.
Don’t overlook Ordinance and Law coverage
As the commercial property market gets back to normal, many agents will be in a position to move surplus-lines insured property back to the admitted market. When that happens, Ordinance and Law coverage should be the first thing you add back—and not just for older structures. Read Keith Jones blog for analysis.
Florida ranks first for December referrals from
Increased agency Advantage subscriptions and FAIA’s support of the search engine optimization program drove total referrals to agents past 1,000 in December. When the customers show up, agents show up. And when agents show up, so, too, do carriers. Read more.
Agents Council for Technology releases new e-signature guides
The insurance industry has been slow to embrace e-signature, despite its potential for reducing E&O exposure and costs-per-policy, not to mention improved customer services. ACT is working to increase adoption with new training material and workflow guides. Read Paul Peeples’ blog to learn more.
Sales & Leadership Conference not just for young agents
It may be called the Young Agents Council Sales and Leadership Conference, but the Jan. 25–27 event has something for everyone. Read YAC Coordinator Melissa Champany’s blog for reasons you should attend, then register! (Don’t wait to register onsite if you want to save big money.)
America’s No. 1 Private Party Band to play Thursday night at Convention
If you’d like to see the band that played the president-elect’s New Year’s Eve Party at Mar-a-Lago, register for FAIA’s Convention, June 8–10 at the Gaylord Palms Resort, and you can do just that! Thursday night’s opening party will feature Party on the Moon, which has played the New Year’s gig for the past six years. Read Cindy Molnar’s blog to learn more.
Wilford W. Ghioto, Jr.
Florida’s insurance industry lost a giant Jan. 1, when Will Ghioto passed away. He was a long-time FAIA member who will be missed by his many friends in the industry. A fierce advocate for independent agents, he served on many FAIA committees and often traveled to Tallahassee to explain insurance issues to lawmakers. A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, Jan. 12, at 11:15 a.m. at the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach.

Advanced Insurance Underwriters, LLC, Hollywood: has been acquired by Risk Strategies Company.

Lanier Upshaw, Inc., Lakeland: was featured in the Winter Haven News Chief for celebrating 75 years in business. Also, promoted Betsy Ceneus, AU, AIS, ASLI, ACS, AAI, CPCU, to vice president, Marketing, and Luke A. Vaughan, WSO-CSM, to vice president, Safety and Risk Control.

The Villages Insurance Partners, The Villages: promoted Jody A. Harter to chief operating officer.


Main Street America Group: promoted Jeff Kusch to executive vice president, Insurance Operations.

MEMIC: announced founding president and CEO John T. Leonard will retire effective September 2017.

National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research: recognized Fawn Peacock of Sihle Insurance Group with a CISR scholarship, and Amy Bracken of Cypress Insurance Agency with a CIC scholarship.

Normandy Insurance Company: is expanding into Georgia.

Patriot National, Inc.: launched a program with QBE North America to write workers’ compensation and employers liability insurance policies for hospitality, health care, property management, and manufacturing accounts.

Vertus Insurance Partners: launched a supplemental insurance policy, providing complete hurricane deductible reimbursement and additional coverage, for homeowners in hurricane-prone states.

Velocity Risk Underwriters: has expanded its Florida homeowners insurance products and is writing coastal business statewide.


All Life Needs, Inc.: Altamonte Springs

CLIRC Insurance & Tax Services, LLC: Hollywood

George Wadsworth Insurance, LLC: Wauchula

Legacy Insurance Agency of South Florida: Jupiter

Pines Insurance, Inc.: Tamarac


Business Administrative Consultants, LLC: Lake Mary

Event Insurance Now: Portland, OR

Iron Oak: Dania Beach



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