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|Last updated Nov. 20, 2013
||Were you directed here from links in an old email? Find it in our archives (members only)
2014 Education Calendar online registration opens
First quarter posted, remaining classes to soon follow
IIABSC's first quarter 2014 continuing education courses are now available for online registration. April-December to follow soon. View them now
In addition, online registration for all 2014 CIC Institutes is available below.
Agency Management, Feb. 19–21, Greenville
Ruble Graduate Seminar A
Ruble Graduate Seminar B
April 17–18, Myrtle Beach
Personal Lines, June 18–20, Charleston
Commercial Property, Aug. 27–29, Columbia
Commercial Casualty, Sept. 24–26, Myrtle Beach
Life & Health, Nov. 5–7, Hilton Head
Also in this edition:
Palmetto Partners accepting 2014 pledges; special thanks to those who have already committed their support
Big "I" Markets: Spotlighting our affluent programs carriers
Best Practices update now available; congratulations to our 2013 Best Practices Agencies
Looking for checklists? Check Virtual Risk Consultant
SC Magazine Fall 2013 edition available online
Register your agency to show in trustedchoice.com's "Get a Quote" tool search results
Pledge to be a Palmetto Partner in 2014
Special thanks to those who have already pledged to be a high-profile sponsor providing year-round support
IIABSC's Palmetto Partners program is now accepting 2014 pledges. Pledge deadline is Dec. 1. Payment deadline is Jan. 30. Special thanks to the following who have already pledged their support for 2014:
Capitol Preferred Ins. Co., Bronze
Central Insurance Companies, Bronze
Hanover Excess & Surplus, Bronze
The Hartford, Bronze
Johnson & Johnson, Diamond
National Security Fire & Casualty, Silver
Risk Innovations, LLC, Bronze
Southern Cross Underwriters, Silver
This program, entering its fifth year, provides our top supporters with a simple way to offer year-round support at a variety of levels with some perks. Participation goes a long way to help our association continue providing quality, affordable events to enhance member professionalism.
Big "I" Markets affluent carriers overview
Few things to know about the most widely accessed products line
Big "I" Markets has partnered with ACE, AIG, Chubb and Fireman's Fund to bring you the power of choice when it comes to personal insurance for your most successful customers. The affluent program is the most widely accessed line of products on Big "I" Markets. Our agents have written over $12 million in affluent premium with our premier market carriers.
With just one policy, the ACE Platinum Portfolio can provide superior coverage for your home, vacation properties, autos, jewelry and valuable collections, watercraft, and personal liability. The portfolio approach has many advantages: It minimizes coverage gaps and wasteful duplications that can occur with a collection of standard industry policies. It earns an overall discount, so you get seamless protection as well as the most value for your premium dollar. In most instances, you will have just one policy to track and one bill to pay.
AIG Private Client Group was created to meet the needs of successful customers. But because success comes in many ways to many different people, no two customers will be the same. One might have great wealth and specialized needs (the need to cover art collections or a variety of properties, cars, and boats, for example) while another might have been steadily building wealth, focused on family and career, and is now suddenly awakening to just how much he or she has at risk. AIG PCG aims to meet the needs of these diverse populations with a promise that defines our difference: Insurance that keeps up with your success.
Chubb personal insurance is the premier insurer of high net-worth individuals in the U.S. With 30 years of experience specializing in the affluent market, they offer products and services designed to help protect the highly valued assets and peace of mind of affluent customers. Chubb offers an array of products ranging from auto to homeowners, valuable articles, liability and yacht insurance. Their mission is to continually evolve and expand the Masterpiece® suite, long considered the gold standard of affluent personal insurance, to provide new offerings that best meet the needs of high net-worth consumers in an ever-changing world.
Fireman's Fund Prestige Portfolio is a premier provider for high net-worth, affluent customers. Products include home, auto, valuables, excess liability and yacht. For high net-worth and affluent customers, they offer customized and innovative products with creative, flexible underwriting solutions for unique and complete risks.
BROKER OF RECORD
20% of our affluent new business premium came from Broker of Record submissions in 2012. We do welcome BOR requests, and have a separate product set up just for that process. Please use the Affluent Personal Lines Broker of Record Change product and submit a "quote request" to create a file on Big "I" Markets if the client has a policy in force for Chubb, Fireman's Fund, AIG or ACE. Coverage is not automatic with a broker of record submission. Each risk will be re-underwritten and accepted or declined based upon its attributes. All risks must meet the eligibility requirements of our program, as described on the Affluent Program underwriting and coverage page.
Multiple Policies/Book Roll: Contact Nancy Doherty for additional information or to discuss a large transfer. Requests involving multiple policyholders via book roll must be entered separately in Big "I" Markets. Please use the "Request a Quote" feature for each respective policyholder.
The Big "I" Markets Affluent Program is robust and popular, and the complexity can be tricky, which is why BIM has two experienced affluent underwriters dedicated to the program. If your account has features that aren't addressed above, or on the Big "I" Markets Underwriting & Coverage page, please go ahead and submit applications for consideration. It allows the underwriter to more accurately evaluate the risk by ensuring all information has been provided.
Please note the above information is intended to be a general guide and is subject to change. Each risk is considered on its individual merits and may command different requirements of eligibility.
The affluent program is the most widely accessed line of products on Big "I" Markets.
Big "I" 2013 Best Practices Study Released
Study shows agencies with specialties significantly increased
IIABA released its 2013 Best Practices Study, finding an increase in agencies with specializations, expansion of technology investment and an increase in profitability across most of the study’s six revenue groups. Learn more about the Best Practices Study.
Other findings from the 2013 Best Practices Study include:
Specialty or Niche Markets: Specialization has increased across agencies of all sizes. Developing an expertise or proficiency in a certain industry or product has shown to facilitate targeted leads and referrals, improve retention and provide a competitive edge for an agency.
Technology Investment: Many of the Best Practices agencies plan to invest in technology for the coming year. The top investment choice for agencies with revenue under $5 million will be in internet marketing and social media, while agencies with revenue over $5 million ranked investments in agency management systems first. Internet marketing and social media investments ranked fourth for the larger agencies, perhaps because many of these firms have already ventured into these fields. Across all revenue groups, the average number of agency staff members who devote time to social media activities is 1.3 employees and that accounts for approximately 10% of their time.
Growth Strategies Worked: Between 2007 and 2010, when the soft market and an extremely weak economy made positive growth nearly impossible, Best Practices agencies continued to invest in growth strategies that would allow them to achieve organic growth and obtain a competitive edge as conditions improved. The results of those strategies (which include hiring new producers and equipping them with new tools and resources, enforcing more producer accountability, focusing on specialty/niche areas and expanding marketing/advertising activities) has paid off.
Profitability: Strong revenue growth improved profitability. Although last year’s study results identified that growth was stronger than it had been in years, profit margins remained stubbornly flat thanks to waning contingent income growth. That trend has now reversed. This year’s results show that contingent income has grown an average of 21.8% for agencies with revenue totally less than $5 million, and an average of 10.7% for those with revenue of more than $5 million. At the same time, agencies did a much better job of controlling expenses so that operating profits grew faster than contingent income. The result? Smaller to mid-sized firms enjoyed an average ProForma EBITDA margin of 29.3%, while the larger firms averaged 22.7%.
Read full article
Learn more about the Best Practices Study
Congratulations to our 2013 Best Practices Agencies
Only 216 agencies were chosen to participate from 1,100 applicants.
Anderson Insurance Associates
The Bynum Company
CWS Insurance Agency
Herlong Bates Burnett
Kadi Quinn, CISR, 2013 Outstanding CSR of the Year
Read her winning essay on communications
Affordable Care Act Update
By Jerry Rhinehart, CIC, CLU, ChFC, RHU
When is a Producer Required to be Appointed by a Carrier?
By Becky, McCormack, CPCU, CIC, AAI, IIABSC Vice President
E&O Advice when Buying, Selling and Merging Agencies
By Swiss Re Claims Team
ACT: Becoming a Social Business
By Rick Morgan, ACT Social Web Working Group Chairman
Young Agents Conference & Education Awards Luncheon photo recaps
Read now online
Check out the Virtual Risk Consultant
One of the recurring top search terms on the Big "I" national homepage is "checklists." Search no further! We've got your checklists and much, much more right at your fingertips and at very steep discount from similar products in the marketplace.
The Big I Advantage® Virtual Risk Consultant powered by Rough Notes ("VRC") is a powerful online client service resource tool that no Big "I" member should be without. VRC has useful information for all positions in the agency from the agency principal to the CSR and will increase the professionalism of the agency, leading to increased sales. Agency staff will be more knowledgeable about client/prospect operations and the VRC's commercial and personal lines risk exposure analysis process offers a systemic approach to:
- Understanding the client's operation with overviews for more than 650 business classes and personal lines risks
- Indentifying client exposures with customizable client surveys/questionnaires
- Creating thorough customer proposals with information pertinent to their operation and a glossary of insurance terms
- Prudently documenting customer files with signed coverage checklists
Project CAP is finally here
Get a Quote tool on consumer website works, does your agency show in its results?
The wait is finally over! Project CAP’s online rating portal is finally live in South Carolina. What that means is that consumers can go to the TrustedChoice consumer website, trustedchoice.com, and use the "Get a Quote” tool to be quoted on coverage through participating carriers. The transaction ends by selecting a local Trusted Choice® agency to finish the process.
But only those agencies that have signed up to participate at the Project CAP website, projectcapmarketing.com, will show up in the agency list generated by the Get a Quote tool. Less than half of our membership so far would be included in any consumer search performed today.
Follow these steps to register your agency:
- Go to projectcapmarketing.com and choose “Login as an agent.” In the upper right-hand corner.
- Login with your IIABSC username and password. Use the “Forgot Username and Password?” tool on iiabsc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you don’t know yours.
- Click the “Sign Up” button on the home page and then again on the resulting Consumer Portal page.
- Verify or update your agency name, phone number and email address for the specific agency location that you are signing up for. This should be the email address and phone number Project CAP will use to contact you.
- Agree to the Terms & Conditions and $1 charge. The charge establishes your Project CAP account and earns you four free leads.
- Complete your billing information. The only charge you will accrue until Jan. 1, 2014 is the $1 establishing charge. There is no charge for leads until the New Year, and even then you will have four free leads banked.
- Complete all agency profile fields, and regularly scroll to the bottom and click “Save Changes.” The more complete your profile is, the more likely consumers will select it.
- Once you are ready to publish it to TrustedChoice.com for consumers to see, click “Save and Publish.” Please note that your profile will not publish if you haven’t completed any of the items on the Mandatory Elements tab.
For more about this important member benefit and how it can help your agency be more competitive online, visit www.projectcapmarketing.com.