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FAIA and Industry News

InVEST teacher of the year award renamed in honor of Florida educator

(InVEST) Permanent link

St. Petersburg teacher and InVEST legend Gary Preston has inspired thousands. 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., November, 2013—InVEST, the insurance industry’s premier classroom-to-career education program, is pleased to name the InVEST Teacher of the Year Award in honor of Florida educator Gary Preston. The award will bear his name for the next five years in recognition of his distinguished career teaching InVEST for more than 20 years. Preston will be retiring from St. Petersburg Catholic High School in St. Petersburg, Fla. in May 2014. 

The InVEST Teacher of the Year award is presented annually to an outstanding InVEST educator. In 2000 Preston was awarded the InVEST Teacher of the Year and his course, which gives students firsthand experience as a mock independent insurance agency, has been used as a model for dozens of other programs across the country. 

“In his InVEST class, Gary offers students realistic small business experiences in the classroom and keeps them involved and enthused about learning the skills needed to excel in everyday life and in the work place,” says Jennifer Robinson, InVEST program director. “Gary’s hands-on simulation courses not only teach financial literacy and expose students to the insurance industry, but also accounting, resume design, management skills and team work. InVEST is proud to recognize and publically thank Gary Preston for committing so much of his energy and talent to InVEST.” 

Each year many of Preston’s InVEST students are employed during the summer months at local agencies and companies. Many students continue to work part-time at their place of business upon high school graduation and are awarded scholarships through InVEST state and national scholarship program.  

“The future of the independent insurance agency system and the industry as a whole depends on attracting new talent and InVEST is a major part of this development,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “We applaud the excellent educators, like Gary Preston, who carry the InVEST torch and continue stepping up to train, inspire and teach the next generation of industry leaders.” 

Robinson presented the recognition on behalf of the InVEST board during the annual Florida InVEST teacher workshop hosted by the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA). The event was coordinated by InVEST Florida state champion Lindsey Shank. Shank, who also serves on the InVEST national board of directors, graduated from Preston’s InVEST program 15 years ago and is a successful agency professional. 

As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons. 

Trustedchoice.com targets the customers your agency wants!

(Member News, Trusted Choice) Permanent link
By Paul Peeples

Have you been to the new Trustedchoice.com lately? Or better yet, have you signed up for the Consumer Agent Portal that will drive customers to your agency? The reason you may be interested is that 55 percent of the people looking for an agent on that site are married; 60 percent are between the ages of 35 and 55; and 58 percent own vehicles that cost more than $30,000. So does this look like a quality prospect?  

Maybe you did know that over 67 percent of the auto policies written in Florida are with direct or captives, but I’ll bet you didn’t know that 47 percent of the visitors to Trustedchoice.com are currently with a direct or captive carrier, and of that group, more than 50 percent of them are choosing premium coverages; only 15 percent are choosing basic coverages. That is new business, and most of all, quality business!

Why is this important to you? Well, the Find An Agent link on www.faia.com is the fifth most clicked on link on our site, and that links the consumer directly with…you guessed it, www.trustedchoice.com, where they will search for a local agent. Will they find you there? Try this: Go to www.trustedchoice.com, type in your zip code, and see where you rank. Agents who are signed up for the portal are listed at the top, based on distance. Not to worry, all Trusted Choice agencies are listed, but with limited information and much further down the list. You just have to ask yourself, where do you want to be listed when that affluent consumer is looking for a Trusted Choice agent in your zip code? 

So, back to my second question, have you signed up for the Consumer Portal? Even though rating is not live in Florida yet, the Find a Local Agent feature will match consumers to your agency better if you have a profile on the portal.

Florida agents who sign up and publish their agency profile before November 28th will be entered into a contest for a chance to win $250.00!

This Week in Insurance: Nov. 18–22, 2013

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 

  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Actuarial and Underwriting Committee teleconference, 8:00 a.m. To participate in the call, dial 1-866-361-7525 and use conference ID: 8632017402#. 

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 

  • Florida Cabinet, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee (Cabinet Meeting Room, The Capitol). 

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013

  • Florida Workers' Compensation JUA, Investment Committee teleconference, 2:00 p.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 

Friday, Nov. 22, 2013

  • Florida Workers' Compensation JUA, Reinsurance Committee teleconference, 2:00 p.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 

This Week in Insurance: Nov. 11–15, 2013

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013 

  • Florida Health Choices, Finance & Audits Committee meeting, 3:00 p.m., Tallahassee (200 West College Ave). 

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

  • Florida Workers' Compensation JUA, Audit Committee teleconference, 9:00 a.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 
  • Florida Workers' Compensation JUA, Investment Committee teleconference, 10:00 a.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 

Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013

  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Claims Committee teleconference, 2:00 p.m. To participate in the call, dial 1-866-361-7527 and use conference ID: 5219676193#. 

This Week in Insurance: Nov. 4–8, 2013

 Permanent link

Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013 

  • Local elections. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, 1:00 p.m., Room 404 HOB (Tallahassee). 
  • Florida Senate, Banking & Insurance Committee, 1:30 p.m., Room 110S (Tallahassee).