Volume 22, Issue 9 - Independent Insurance Agent


Volume 22, Issue 9 - Independent Insurance Agent

The West Virginia




Karen Bowling Named New

Secretary of WV DHHR

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin has announced

that Karen Bowling of Beckley has been

appointed Cabinet Secretary of the West

Virginia Department of Health and Human

Resources. Ms. Bowling’s appointment is

effective July 1, 2013.

According to a news release from the

Governor’s office, Bowling has been a nurse

practitioner and a health care administrator

as well as having served in leadership roles

with the West Virginia Hospital Association

and other community organizations.

She served as CEO of Raleigh General

Hospital, and in May 2012 she was named

dean of Mountain State University's School

of Health Sciences, having spent time as an

employee in MSU's nursing department.

MSU was a private university in Beckley that

lost its regional accreditation in December

2012, and several of its programs were

folded into the University of Charleston.

"Karen's commitment to the health and well

being of her community has been evident

throughout her career and her community

involvement – including her volunteer work

as a Family Nurse Practitioner for the W.Va.

Health Right Clinic."

Bowling also has served in leadership roles

with the West Virginia Hospital Association

and other community organizations,

according to Tomblin's news release.

She was born and raised in Wyoming

County and was the first person in her

family to graduate from college, according

to Tomblin's office. She received her

associate degree in nursing from Bluefield

State College in 1977, received a bachelor

of science in nursing from West Virginia

University in 1983 and a master of science

in primary health care/nursing from West

Virginia University in 1990. She currently is

working toward her Ph.D. in Education from

Capella University.

2 West Virginia Man Convicted of

Burning Duplex for Insurance

2 Report: 43 Killed on the Job in

West Virginia in 2011

3 Note from the CEO

3 Why You Need To Offer Excess


4 Homeowners Confused About

Insurance Coverage: Survey

6 Three Insurance Companies

Placed in Liquidation in Illinois

7 5 Ways Agency Principals Can

Seize the Future

8 50 Top Apps for Independent


Volume XXII | Issue IX

May 31, 2013

A Publication of

Independent Insurance

Agents of West Virginia

Gray Marion, CAE, Publisher

"I'm pleased Karen has accepted this

opportunity to serve the people of our

state," Tomblin said in a news release.

West Virginia Man Convicted of Burning Duplex

for Insurance

A federal jury in West Virginia has convicted a Logan County

man of burning his duplex to collect insurance money.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said on that 58-year-old Michael

L. White of Chapmanville, W. Va., was found guilty of conspiracy

to commit arson, arson and accessory after the fact. White

faces a maximum of 271/2 years in prison when he is sentenced

in August.

White was accused of conspiring with Kimberly Dawn Kinder and

her now-deceased husband to set fire to a rental unit he owned

in Boone County. Evidence showed that after the October 2009

fire, White collected more than $80,000 in insurance claims and

paid the Kinder about $2,000.

The 46-year-old Kimberly Kinder, also from Chapmanville, has

pleaded guilty to her role in the conspiracy and faces up to five

years in prison.

Report: 43 Killed on the Job in West Virginia in 2011

127 Killed on the Job in Virginia in 2011, 20 More Than Previous Year

A new labor union report says 43 workers were

killed on the job in 2011 in West Virginia, down

from 95 the previous year that included a mine

blast that killed 29.

The report also notes that more than

3.8 million workers across all industries

experienced work-related illnesses and


A new labor union report says 127 workers

were killed on the job in 2011 in Virginia, 20

more than the previous year.

According to the report by the AFL-CIO, there

were 4,693 workplace deaths nationwide in

2011, down by only three from the year earlier.

The union says that after years of steady

declines, rates have been essentially

unchanged. They say that means greater

efforts are needed to reduce job injuries and


Do you have

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West Virginia


page 2

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

Why You Need To Offer



We’ve all heard the stories. A family of five is burdened with

horrific medical bills because of an accident caused by a drunk

driver who couldn’t afford insurance due to his bad driving

record. A child walking to school faces a lifetime of difficulty after

being struck by a texting driver—a struggling college student

with state minimum auto limits. A pair of retired sweethearts fall

victim to a hit-and-run driver.

As an insurance agent, you can’t physically protect your clients

from heartbreaking situations like these…but they do rely on you

to protect them financially when tragedy strikes. This is where

excess Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage enters the


Most People Would Buy It If They Understood It

How effectively can you explain UM/UIM coverage to a client who

doesn’t know much about insurance? In layman’s terms, UM/

UIM coverage is insurance that pays for the client’s injuries from

an accident caused by the owner or operator of an uninsured or

underinsured vehicle. Excess UM/UIM from a personal umbrella

policy pays after the auto policy’s UM/UIM limits have been


It’s important for a client to understand that UM/UIM coverage

comes into play when an insured is involved in an accident and

the person who caused it either doesn't have any insurance or

doesn't have enough insurance to pay for your client's injuries.

It would also come into play if they were the victim of a hit-andrun

(in a vehicle, on a bike, or as a pedestrian), leaving them

with nobody's insurance policy to collect against...making it an

"uninsured" motorist claim.

The Prevalence of Uninsured and Underinsured Drivers

According to recent estimates by the Insurance Research

Council (IRC), roughly 1 on 7 drivers is uninsured. Add to that

the number of drivers who carry state minimum auto limits, and

it’s enough to make a person want to stay home for good.

Unfortunately, this should come as no surprise, given the type of

TV commercials we see these days from some auto insurance

companies. Too often, the emphasis is on getting a cheap rate,

and drivers are besieged with ads about that encourage them to

(continued on page 10)

Note from


Gray Marion, CAE

IIAWV Chief Executive Officer


If you do something long enough, you sometimes wonder

not only what you’re doing but why as well. After twentysix

years as CEO of the IIAWV, I cheerfully admit to

occasionally having those moments. Recently though, I

got a great reminder of why I have spent so long doing

what I do.

I get invited to functions of all kinds on a regular basis.

Not long ago, I was invited to a very special event. On

May 4th, my wife and I traveled to Morgantown be a part

of a gathering in celebration of the lives of two very special

people who have been a part of the IIAWV for more than

thirty years.

Joe Simons has been in the insurance business since 1961,

that’s 52 years. Like many of the veteran independent

agents in West Virginia, he got his start as an underwriter

for a carrier. In Joe’s case, it was Continental Insurance in

Pittsburgh and he worked for them for two decades. You

talk about doing something for a long time, that’s a whole

career right there.

In 1982, he opened his own

agency in Morgantown.

1982. That’s before most of

our current agency principal

force even got in the

business, let alone became

an agency principal. Over

the years, Joe and his wife,

Susan built a nice business

and started a family and

now their daughter, Linda, runs the agency and Joe and

Susan are beginning to sit back and try to retire. I say try

because when you have worked as long and hard as Joe

and Susan have, it’s hard to stop.

Anyway, as I said, the purpose of the evening was to

celebrate Joe and Susan. It was Joe’s 76th birthday and

Joe and Susan’s 52nd wedding anniversary. The room

was full of family and friends and photographs and food

and drink and music and let me tell you, the good times

were truly memorialized. The guest list ranged from

brothers and sisters to cousins, nieces, nephews, agency

clients and local officials. It was a beautiful thing to see

(continued on page 6)

page 3

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

Homeowners Confused About Insurance Coverage:


Many homeowners do not understand what exposures are

covered under their home insurance policy, according to a new

consumer survey.

More than two in five Americans (41 percent) believe that a

standard homeowner’s insurance policy protects against mold

damage, according to new In.suranceQuotes.com survey.

“This misconception could prove extremely costly,” said Laura

Adams, senior insurance analyst, InsuranceQuotes.com. “Mold

remediation can cost tens of thousands of dollars. It’s often not

covered by homeowner’s insurance, especially if it was caused

by neglected maintenance such as a leaky pipe.”

The survey also revealed that many homeowners are misinformed

regarding personal belongings stolen from a car (73 percent

aren’t aware that this type of theft is covered by homeowner’s

insurance) and earthquake damage (51 percent don’t know that

this is not covered by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy).

Two better understood aspects of homeowner’s insurance are

fire damage (90 percent of Americans know that homeowner’s

insurance covers this) and lawsuits from an injured visitor (72

percent know this is covered).

Just under one-quarter of homeowner’s insurance policyholders

said that they chose their current provider primarily because

of a recommendation from someone they trust (22 percent). A

similar number (21 percent) said the most important factor was

the service they received from their agent. Seventeen percent

said their decision hinged on getting the lowest price. But only

1 percent of homeowners insurance purchasers said a radio

or television commercial was the most important factor in their


The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research

Associates International (PSRAI). PSRAI obtained telephone

interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults

living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were

conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (503, including 229

without a landline phone). Interviews were done in English by

Princeton Data Source from April 4-7, 2013. Statistical results

are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The

margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data

is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.

Cover the unexpected.

You do everything you can to keep your employees safe on the job,

yet accidents can still happen when you least expect it. Make sure

your business is covered for anything that may happen - call Bloss

& Dillard today for the Workers Compensation coverage you need.

• We offer coverage through three major carriers

• All policies are direct billed with multiple payment

options available

Smartphones: scan and

link directly to BDI!

• Waivers of subrogation and alternate employer

endorsements are available when required by contract

• We offer coverage for coal mining, oil and gas

industry, home health care, excavation, lumber

industry, contractors and many other difficult

to place occupations

(304) 429-6961 • (800) 624-3422 • f:(304) 429-7248 • submissions: submissions@bloss-dillard.com

page 4

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

E&O Loss Prevention Tip:

ALWAYS advise your clients of the inherent risks

of coverage through a non-admitted carrier.


Many states have passed statutes that

hold the insurance professional strictly

liable for any unpaid claims arising out

of the insolvency of a non-admitted

company. This is true regardless of the

carrier being solvent when coverage is

placed and even renewed several times.

Route this to your team roster!


The client leased a commercial building for his restaurant and

named the owner of the building as an additional insured on the

CGL coverage. Following an injury to a patron of the restaurant, both

the client and the owner of the building were sued. The carrier

became insolvent and could no longer defend the lawsuit. After the

agent was sued for placing coverage with an insolvent non-admitted

carrier, the client learned that the agent had brokered coverage

through a surplus lines broker, and made no effort to locate an

admitted market. Given the agent’s liability for failing to follow

statuatory procedure, over $300,000 was paid out against the agent’s

E&O policy to settle the claim plus the deductible.*

For more information about the Big “I” Professional Liability program, your

trusted source for insurance agents and brokers E&O coverage, contact your

state association or visit www.independentagent.com/EO.

*This claims scenario is fictional. Westport employees created it based on experience and knowledge of case law using relatively common facts, allegations,

defenses and amounts. Do not rely upon such scenarios to predict an outcome, or to make claim and litigation decisions.

Insurance underwritten by

Westport Insurance Corporation.

page 5

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

Three Insurance Companies Placed in

Liquidation in Illinois

Lumbermens Mutual Casualty, American

Manufacturers Mutual Insurance, and

American Motorists Insurance Companies

have been placed in liquidation in Illinois,

according to the state insurance department.

State insurance guaranty associations will

pay the companies’ claims, the department


Illinois Department of Insurance Director

Andrew Boron has been serving as statutory

rehabilitator of the companies since July


“Liquidation was the next step in this process” said Director

Boron. “Department of Insurance staff has worked diligently

during this transition with interest to the companies’ creditors

and customers.”

The court entered an order granting a motion for Substantive

Consolidation of the liabilities and assets of the liquidation

estates of Lumbermens, American Manufacturers and American

Motorists. This order will allow for the equitable distribution of

assets on the claims arising in the liquidation proceedings of

these three companies, the department said.

The Orders of Liquidation have triggered the obligations of the

Note from the ceo


state insurance guaranty associations to

begin paying covered claims obligations

of the companies. In preparation for the

liquidation of the companies, Director

Boron has been working with the National

Organization of Life and Health Guaranty

Associations and the National Conference

of Insurance Guaranty Funds to plan the

orderly transition of claim administration

responsibilities to the state insurance

guaranty associations.

Lumbermens is a mutual property and

casualty insurer organized in 1912, and held licenses in 49

states and the District of Columbia.

American Manufacturers is a mutual property and casualty

insurer organized in 1837, and held licenses in 49 states and

the District of Columbia. American Manufacturers is a member

of LMG.

American Motorists also held licenses in 49 states and was

organized in 1926.

Lumbermens, American Manufacturers, and American Motorists

commenced a voluntary run-off in 2003 and have been operating

under a run-off plan filed with and approved by DOI in 2004.

two extremely nice people like Joe and Susan be recognized so

warmly by so many people who have known them so well and

for so long.

Not long before my wife and I took our leave, Joe’s good friend

the Monongalia County Sheriff asked me why I would come so

far for such a gathering. I told him that people like Joe and Susan

have always been and still are the very soul of our association.

They never brag or demand special consideration. They attend

events and use products and services and try as best they can

to do their part as members of the organization. I told the Sheriff

that I wished I had three dozen more members just like Joe

and Susan and Linda. The Sheriff told me that I am not the

only person who feels that way about the Simons. Watching

the crowd in that room that night shower Joe and Susan with

affection and respect told me the Sheriff knows his County.

thank them for their years of loyal service to our industry and

membership in the IIAWV. I am pleased to do so again here

and now before our entire membership. When any of you see

either of them or Linda, I encourage each and every one of you

to do the same. They are great people and they and thousands

of others like them over the years are why the IIAWV exists and

has been able to survive.

Yes folks, a wonderful time was had by all that night in

Morgantown, especially by me. I got reminded of what I do

and why.

I was honored that night to have the opportunity to extend

our membership’s congratulations to Joe and Susan and to

page 6

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

5 Ways Agency Principals Can Seize the


It’s been about a year since ACT’s Agency of the Future Work

Group produced a couple of thought pieces on the emerging

consumer and how we believe agents should respond.

Now we’re excited to release a video series to supplement our

written work. The first video is entitled “Agency Perspectives

on the Future” and focuses on leadership, the changing

consumer and agency, and the outlook for the future. (Thank

you Applied Systems for assisting ACT in producing the video.)

can go beyond clients to raving fans.

Thus, it is important for the agency to go through the process

of defining and codifying the agency’s brand attributes and

personality. What are they today? What should they be? What

could they be? More important, with the proper strategy and

investment, what will they be? Agency owners must clearly

understand, embrace and communicate a direction for their


Couple of points on the video:

• Watch it at least twice; you’ll pick up new ideas each time.

Our industry is blessed to have some incredibly bright,

talented and expressive people.

• Show it at agency staff meetings to encourage fresh thinking.

• Carriers, associations and user groups can show it at

employee and agency meetings.

Our work group plans a second video, “Agency Strategies

for Growth,” that will focus on using marketing, social media,

metrics and automation for future success.

It’s been a year of excellent conversation. And, of course, it’s a

cool topic—who doesn’t like envisioning such a bright future?

In the original 2012 reports, we explored what we considered

to be attributes of a successful agency of the future—the

foreseeable future, to be specific. I’d like to comment on a few

of these I find critical for principals to consider:

1. Brand

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m biased here. But a strong brand is the

difference between winning and falling behind, period.

Remember that the agency brand isn’t tangible; it is a set of

expectations and memories that reside in the minds of your

stakeholders (owners, employees, customers, prospects,

business partners and opinion leaders). The objective is a clear/

consistent 360-degree understanding of the brand among all

stakeholders. This will take a while if you haven’t started the


The insurance industry creates products and services, but

people buy brands. Thus, your agency’s brand is the most

valuable asset. From the owner’s perspective, it will guide

employee behavior. From the consumer perspective, the brand

will help them decide where to buy. That won’t change for the

agency of the future.

Strong brands build loyalty—reducing turnover and increasing

revenue per customer. You attract talented people to work for

you. You attract the best carriers. Your referrals increase. You

can talk more about value than price with prospects. And you

A strong brand is something you earn, not something you

receive. Smart firms realize that customer and prospect

communications are an investment, not an expense, and they

will build agency value. Best Practices agencies consistently are

spending 1% to 3% of annual revenue on these activities (the

larger the agency, the percentage typically drops). Some firms

are redirecting more of the annual spend towards younger talent

to handle social media initiatives; where in the past they might

have directed more to paid media, for example. Refer to the

Websites & Social Media page of the ACT website for more


Are you just an agency name? Or a brand name? Could it be

more crisp, clear, consistent and visible?

2. Leadership

Our work group has talked a lot about leadership—specifically,

the value of transformational vs. transactional leadership.

Organizations need both to succeed, but agencies typically are

lacking in transformational leadership. Such a leader:

• Always seeks improvement and is more willing to shake

things up.

• Realizes that the world is dynamic and sees change as an

opportunity, not a threat.

• Builds a culture that drives customer and employee


• Develops employees, at the right levels and in the right

places, and allows them ability to grow.

• Has effective listening and communications skills.

• Inspires staff to work as a team toward a common goal—

and inspires the team to take its own initiative to accomplish

goals without management’s handholding.

For an agency, leadership means managing a business, not just

being an insurance technician.

Smart agency principals never seem satisfied—they always

strive to get better. They have a voracious appetite to learn.

Leaders are willing to gain new information and insights from

any source—employees, clients, other industries and industry

meetings. To that point, “Leaders are readers,” according

to author/speaker David Nour. Improving just 1% per day in

(continued on page 10)

page 7

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

50 Top Apps for Independent Agents

Mobility technology is changing the way the insurance industry

operates. But when it comes to working on the go, nothing

is as important as mobile device applications. But what apps

do independent agents use most? What apps are the most

useful in business and personal life? Insurance Journal asked

these questions to several industry experts and polled readers

via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to find the top apps for

independent agents today. This report is a small glimpse at the

apps used on an independent agent’s mobile device.


A special thank you to those who responded to Insurance

Journal’s query including: Steve Anderson, Chris Burand,

Jason Cass, Stuart S. Durland, Claudia McClain, Joyce E Sigler,

Angelyn S Treutel, Jeff Yates and the countless number of

readers of Insurance Journal.


This app provides access to the most commonly used ACORD

(Agency Company Organization for Research and Development)

forms. Launched in 2012, the ACORD ONE service allows users

to complete forms on mobile devices, sign forms using the

touch screen, save and retrieve forms, and email completed and

signed forms. The app is available for Android and Apple tablets

and phones. Cost: All current users of Cap Dat ACORD have

free access to the ACORD ONE mobile app. Cost: All current

users of Cap Dat ACORD have free access to the ACORD ONE

mobile app.

Don’t get caught - Big “I” Flood can help!


ADR (American Driving Records) has developed an alternative

data source to the traditional motor vehicle record (MVR). Called

ALT MVR, this app contains the same information as traditional

driving records but at considerably less cost, ADR says. The

company says this affordability allows agents to run a record on

more quotes — thus helping to more accurately calculate risk

and properly quote new businesses and renewals. It will soon

be integrated to select comparative raters. Cost: Contact ADR

for pricing details.


Buffer promises users a more personal and efficient method

to handling sharing on social media. Buffer allows its users to

schedule the social media content in advance. A user can fill up

their Buffer at one time in the day and Buffer automatically posts

new social media content for them throughout the day. Simply

keep that Buffer topped up to have a consistent social media

presence all day round, all week long. Cost: $10 per month.


The CamScanner app turns smartphones into a portable

document scanner using the camera on a smartphone to capture

documents like articles, agreements, sketches, business cards

and coupons. The app can use the smartphone’s flash to boost

(continued on page 12)

page 8

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV



See how you can write more business with an admitted, secure, A+ rated carrier

A smart choice for your customer

Today’s legal environment calls for extra protection for almost all your clients. Ask every new and current

customer about Personal Umbrella and Home Business Insurance coverage.

The RLI Personal Umbrella Policy …

Financial stability and responsible underwriting are the foundations of this program that has been

consistently available for over 25 years.

• Up to $5 million in additional insurance

• $1 million Excess UM/UIM available

• Expanded underwriting – more acceptability

• No underlying carrier information required

• Immediate availability & very affordable

The RLI Home Business Insurance Policy …

Homeowner’s policies, even with home business endorsements, don’t adequately cover home businesses.

They need RLI’s Home Business Insurance.

• True BOP coverage for home businesses

• Full year of coverage – includes events, fairs & shows

• Coverage applies on and off premises

• Very low premiums

A smart choice for your agency

By making customers aware of these important extra layers of protection, you won’t have to answer

the E & O question - “If extra coverage was available, why didn’t you offer it to your client before this


Contact us today:

Valerie Toney, IIAWV Business Manager | 800-274-4298 | vtoney@iiawv.org

page 9

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

Why You Need To Offer Excess UM/UIM To

EVERY Client


buy “state minimum” auto limits in order to save money. There’s

no denying that it can be a temptation in a struggling economy.

All the more reason to make sure your clients are protected from

the drivers around them, with UM/UIM coverage on both their

auto and personal umbrella policies.

their auto policy limits, they need excess UM/UIM coverage

above their auto policy UM/UIM limits. While many home

and auto carriers offer a personal umbrella, they may but not

offer excess UM/UIM coverage. Always offer an umbrella that

includes that coverage.

It’s About The Coverage, Not The Cost

There's no way around admitting that UM/UIM coverage can

be expensive, and a tough sell if a client is trying to keep their

premium down. One wise agent explains it to his personal

umbrella clients this way. If you're buying an umbrella so that

you can cover the injuries of strangers, wouldn't you want to

do the same for your own family, instead of blindly relying on

someone else to cover your injuries...someone who might not

have insurance at all, let alone enough insurance if you or your

family members have serious injuries or need hospitalization? It

certainly makes a lot of sense.

When working up an auto or umbrella quote, do you merely

ask “Do you want to add Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist

Coverage”, and then wait for the simple “Yes” or a “No”? If so,

try explaining what the coverage is first, and THEN ask if they

want it. That way, the focus is on the value of the coverage, as

opposed to its cost.

Protect Yourself From “Failure To Offer”

and Other E&O Claims

If your client is injured by an uninsured or underinsured driver and

doesn’t have basic or excess UM/UIM limits of their own, you

can bet that they’ll be asking (quite possibly through an attorney)

why you didn’t offer them this coverage. Protect your client…

and protect yourself and your agency from a ‘failure to offer’

E&O claim by always explaining and offering UM/UIM coverage.

Consider documenting a client’s refusal of this coverage as well.

This applies not only to auto policies, but also to personal

umbrella policies. Just as a client needs excess liability above

Hopefully this article will be a help to you as you quote and

discuss excess UM/UIM with your clients. Keep in mind that

the Big “I” offers your agency access to two umbrella carriers,

including our endorsed market through RLI. Below are some of

the distinctions between those two markets:

Preferred Market with RLI

A+ rated and admitted nationwide

Limits up to $5 million available

Excess UM/UIM available nationwide

Stand-alone coverage - no need to switch home or auto carriers

New drivers accepted and no age limit on older drivers

DUI/DWI permitted

Low maintenance – No need to report new exposures mid-term

if required underlying limits are maintained.

Simple, self-underwriting application

E-signature and credit card payment options

Alternative Market with Anderson & Murison

Written on A rated Scottsdale paper

Limits up to $10 million available

Will consider high-profile personalities, such as athletes and


Will consider risks with prior liability losses exceeding $25,000

Driver exclusion endorsement available

To learn more about these products, visit www.iiaba.net/

umbrella or www.bigimarkets.com or contact Valerie Toney at


5 Ways Agency Principals Can Seize the



knowledge and skill means that in 70 days you’re twice as good

as today, he says.

Does your firm have a good dose of transformational leadership?

3. Staffing

Over the next 10 years, 50% of current agency workers will

have retired. But the next generation of leaders are ready to get

involved now—don’t stand in their way.

Smart agency owners invest in people and training. Some of your

new hires may come from outside the industry—a great way to

generate new ideas and also get strategic help, which agencies

often lack. Many firms have a couple of family generations on

board. But now these successful owners are handing over the

reins to professional managers who are not part of the family.

And if you’re looking for the best talent, be prepared to pay the

best salaries—but it’s an investment in your future.

Another trend of which to be very aware: Who works at your

(continued on page 11)

page 10

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

5 Ways Agency Principals Can Seize the Future


firm, what is work, where we work,

when we work, how we work—even

why we work—is all evolving. It’s an

exciting time. Be flexible. Some of your

best talent of the future won’t commute

to the office 9 to 5 every day. Some

will be consultants, some employees;

some will work full time, and some

part time, and some remotely. And

some of those highly talented wouldbe

retirees I mention above might

continue to contribute to the firm under

alternative circumstances. Flexible

work arrangements backed up by slick,

enabling technology—such as Internet

phone systems—are becoming more

prevalent at agencies.

Do you offer a place where insurance professionals want to

work? What’s your story to a new recruit? Will you earn your fair

share of tomorrow’s talent?

4. Social

The successful agency of the foreseeable future isn’t going to

dabble in social media marketing—it will be a social business.

platforms—Twitter, Facebook, and

more—that you use to communicate

will be a secondary consideration.

Are you building relationships online?

Do you allow your employees to use

these tools as well?

5. Metrics

Agencies that measure effectiveness

of marketing and sales efforts tend to

be much stronger, period. Knowing

your numbers is a key differentiator

between the growing agency and

the one that is not. Key metrics to

understand include new business,

retention and revenue per client;

number of policies per client, and from where the business


For more on 12 key metrics, see this excellent article by Chuck

Blondino, Safeco Insurance.

Are you measuring your success? If you’re falling short in some

areas, how soon will you know?

Sitting on the sidelines of this incredible consumer revolution

isn’t going to cut it. Nor is looking at customer and prospect

marketing as a series of projects.

The future agency will be fully engaged, year round, in online and

social networking activity. Social is not just an isolated initiative.

It must be an integrated piece of your agency’s personality. It

defines how the firm communicates and engages with customers

and prospects.

Agents say they struggle with creating (a) the time it takes to

be a social business, and (b) ideas for content—the “what” and

the “how” to do this. It’s easier than you think if you approach

it from an honest and authentic standpoint. For example, I find

it interesting how every day agents literally “speak” dozens of

potential blog entries when they help explain a coverage or

handle a claim. Write them down! Or use voice-to-text software.

You don’t have to make this up on your own. For good material

on developing and implementing an online, mobile and social

policy, go to the ACT website. The reports will help you guide

employee behavior. Once you have a system in place to interact

and respond to consumers, the rest will be easier.

Relationships are key to the future of consumers and agencies.

Everything you do should be about building relationships with

employees, business partners, prospects and customers.

Software and hardware and cloud technology and social media

platforms can be distracting. Put your work into a strategy,

setting goals and building relationships. The social media

In summary, these five areas should be at the top of your list to

create or improve your agency of the foreseeable future. What’s

your plan? What’s your dream for the future? In the words of the

late Walt Disney, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Our work group will continue to explore this fertile area—

considering both consumer expectations and agency responses.

Stay tuned. We hope to see you at the IIABA Special Event &

ACT meeting in San Antonio on September 27, when we will

explore further effective agency strategies for the future.

By Peter van Aartrijk

Peter van Aartrijk is CEO of Aartrijk, a marketing-communications

firm specializing in insurance. He chairs ACT’s Agencies of the

Future Work Group. Peter produced this article for ACT; it reflects

his views and should not be construed as an official statement

of ACT.

Independent Insurance Agents

of West Virginia, Inc.

page 11

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

50 Top Apps for Independent Agents


lighting, and CamScanner allows the user to zero in on scans

with zoom functions. If users sign up with CamScanner they

can backup, sync, edit and share documents on the go across

smartphones, tablets, PCs and the Cloud. Cost: Free.


CardMunch is a mobile business card transcription service that

helps to digitize contact information. Users can take pictures

of business cards with their smartphones and the app then

transcribes information and imports the data to the users’ mobile

Rolodex. There are many similar apps out there but CardMunch

says it’s different in a number of ways. First, it says every

business card submitted is transcribed, edited and reviewed by

the company’s human workforce to ensure complete accuracy.

And as a business unit of LinkedIn, the app makes it easy to

connect with new contacts via the LinkedIn network after

uploading business cards. Cost: Free


The CARFAX app enables users to scan or enter Vehicle

Identification Numbers (VIN) and get CARFAX reports instantly,

view recently purchased CARFAX reports. The version for dealers

does a few more thans than the version for the general public.

A new barcode scanner has been added to the app, which now

can scan ADESA window stickers and standard VIN barcodes.

Cost: Free.

Claims Journal

The makers of the Claims Journal App can lay claim to it being

the only app that delivers content from Claims Journal magazine

and ClaimsJournal.com to handheld devices. The app offers

breaking news related to the insurance claims industry, videos

and informative podcasts. Cost: Free


CloudOn delivers Microsoft Office files and applications to

tablets by linking to Box, Dropbox, Google Drive and SkiyDrive

accounts. The app enables tablet users to open up and utilize

programs like Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint to create,

review and edit files. Cost: Free


The makers of connectmogul say it helps agents leverage their

book of business and connect via text messaging with their

prospects and customers. Additionally, agents using the system

wrote more policies and increased efficiency in 10 beginningof

day-processes, the makers say. The cloud-based tool helps

automate daily activities and producers can upload their book

of business and work off of pre-set templates that go out to

their customer base. The app sends out automatic birthday

messages and reviews messages, and it helps automate the

cross-selling factor by automatically promoting bundling to their

customers 30 days before renewal dates. Cost: $99/month

Dragon Dictation

With Dragon Dictation, agents on the go can stop typing and

start speaking. This mobile voice-to-text transcriptions app from

Nuance Communications is available through Apple’s iTunes

store. Users can dictate personal notes and reminders. Powered

by the Dragon NaturallySpeaking software, this app lets users

speak and instantly see their text content for everything from

email messages to blog posts. Users can also dictate status

updates directly to their social networking applications including

Facebook and Twitter. Cost: Free


Dropbox is a file sharing system that allows users to access

photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily.

Through the Dropbox free app users are able to access any

saved file via Dropbox from all computers, iPhone, iPad and

even the Dropbox website. The cost to open an account is free

for up to 2 GB of space. Additional storage space costs more.

Cost: Depends on account size.


This widely used app allows independent agents to make notes

on the go and keep their work ideas stored for later use. With

Evernote, agents can take notes, capture photos, create todo

lists and record voice reminders — and makes these notes

searchable, whether at home, at work, or on the go. Evernote

can also search for specific texts inside photos and business

card images taken with smartphone or tablet cameras. Users

can save, sync and share files across computers and mobile

devices. The basic free account includes a 40MB monthly

upload allowance. The business account starts at $10.00 per

user per month. Cost: Depends on account size.


On the road often? This app can help road warriors simplify their

expense receipt-keeping. Expensify lets users track expenses,

snap pictures of receipts and create expense reports, all on the

go. The app can even read receipt images and automatically fill

out details in the expense report. The app also tracks mileage

expenses via GPS or odometer entry, and add time or other

billable expenses. Users can also sync their credit cards and

bank accounts with Expensify to track expenses as they happen,

without filling out information manually. This app is available for

Apple and Android mobile devices. Cost: It’s free for individual

users. “Team Plan” accounts start at $5 per month per user.


Feeder is food for your brain, according to an Apple iTunes Store

review, where the app can be purchased for the iPhone, iPod

or iPad. Feeder brings the latest news from all over the web,

enabling users to swipe through a list of the latest articles and

read each one with a tap. The latest version of the app boasts

a redesigned interface, article sharing over browsers including

(continued on page 13)

page 12

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

50 Top Apps for Independent Agents


Google Chrome, Instapaper and Safari

and performance enhancements. Cost:

99 cents.


Ghostwriter Notes lets users take notes

and store information on the go. The app

offers a digital documentation platform,

allowing users to create and save as many

virtual notebooks as needed. Users can

name specific pages, choose from various

“paper” backgrounds, and even choose

unique page backgrounds by importing

images or photos stored on their devices.

To write down notes, users can simply

take their finger and write by hand, and the

zoom ratio feature can control the font size

down to a tee. Cost: $4.99 at Apple’s App Store.


Weather Decision Technologies launched a new mobile product

designed to track and report hail fall sizes. HailSpot is available

on smartphones designed to obtain accurate, immediate data

regarding size and date of hail fall for an exact address from

the weather database maintained by WDT in Norman, Okla.

The product utilizes built-in smartphone location services to

automatically geo-locate the device and indicate with a pin, an

exact location or address. The app is available from the App

Store on iPhone at imap.tv/hailspot. Cost: Free


HootSuite is a social media management tool with millions of

users. Its dashboard interface lets users keep track of all their

social networking status from a single page. Social media

managers can view and manage multiple social media accounts

with online support for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google + and

Foursquare plus many other social networks. It allows users to

instantly message followers on Twitter, check in on Foursquare,

view LinkedIn connections, and comment on Facebook posts.

It also offers post scheduling and statistics reports. Cost: Basic

individual accounts are free. “Pro” accounts start at $9.99 per

month for two users, with additional costs for more users.

iAnnotate PDF

The app allows users to read and annotate PDF documents on

the go. Users can choose from more than 80 annotating tools to

highlight, underline, bookmark, write on, and edit pages in PDF

documents. Branchfire, the maker of iAnnotate PDF, says more

than half a million people are now using the app for reading,

marking up, and sharing PDF documents, Word/PowerPoint

files and images. Cost: The full version for iPad is available for

$9.99. The basic version for Android is available free for a limited



iCloud is Apple’s popular cloud storage and cloud computing

service. The service currently has some

250 million users around the globe.

An Insurance Journal reader said

his agency utilizes iCloud to handle

individual and team calendars over

both PC and Apple platforms. Cost:

Users receive 5GB of free storage, and

prices for additional storage start at $20

per year for 10GB.

Insurance Journal

Insurance Journal news app allows

readers to access the latest property/

casualty news from their iPhone/iPad,

Android or Kindle Fire mobile device.

Follow national and regional insurance

news 24/7, and stream Insurance

Journal’s library of videos and podcasts — all from a single

interface. Cost: Free

JotNot Scanner

JotNot converts iPhone into a portable multipage scanner.

The app allows users to scan multi-page documents, receipts,

whiteboards, business cards and notes into an electronic format.

Users can take a picture to scan and choose exactly what part

of the photo should be scanned and converted into PDFs,

JPEGs, or PNGs. Files can be directly uploaded to Dropbox,

iDisk/WebDAV, Evernote, Box.net or Google Docs where they

can be shared with others. Cost: 99 cents at Apple’s App Store.


The Kayak travel app includes flight and car search, hotel search

and booking, a flight tracker and “My Trips.” The app enables

tracking of flight status, looking up baggage fees, access to

airline numbers and airport information. Cost: Free

Kelly Blue Book

This app can be a useful tool for agents when advising clients

on auto insurance coverage. It quickly provides users with Kelley

Blue Book valuations on specific vehicles. With this app, agents

can read about car prices and used car values, browse car

photos and videos and compare multiple cars side-by-side — all

from their smartphones and mobile devices. Cost: Free for Apple

and Android mobile devices.


One independent agent described this app as “an awesome

floor-plan app that lets you document a building while walking

through.” This app measures rooms and draws the floor plan

just by taking pictures. The floor plan can be sent to anyone or

even be stored in the app’s cloud storage. Cost: Available at

Apple’s App Store starting at $2.99 for each floor plan.

(continued on page 14)

page 13

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

50 Top Apps for Independent Agents


Mobile Banking

Mobile banking has grown by leaps

and bounds just in past few years. For

people on the go, mobile banking can

be a valuable tool that lets them check

account balances, transfer funds,

pay bills and even deposit checks

remotely by simply taking pictures

of the checks. A significant number

of smartphone and mobile device

users are already logging onto mobile

banking services every day. Forrester

Research forecasts that nearly half of

all U.S. bank account holders would

utilize mobile banking by 2017. Cost:



Applied System’s MobileProducer

app has a lot of useful tie-ins to the

company’s management systems.

The app integrates with Epic, Applied

Systems’ agency management

software which handles both benefits

and property/casualty insurance.

MobileProducer also works with

Applied’s The Agency Manager (TAM),

designed for brokers and agents,

which lets users view customers’ files

with all policies and carriers. The app’s

interface offers producers personalized on-demand access to

their client data on the go. Producers can also leverage GPS

technology to map accounts and coordinate daily schedules.

Cost: Free for users.


The NeoReader app transforms mobile devices into a barcode

scanner. It makes web content easily accessible by scanning

codes from print ads, publications, packaging, billboards, retail

displays, broadcast media or any mediums. The NeoReader

scans standard code types including Data Matrix, QR codes,

Aztec Codes, EAN, UPC, and Code 128. Cost: Free


This app by Ginger Labs integrates handwriting, PDF annotation,

typing, recording and organizing. Users can handwrite, type,

and record their annotation into PDF documents and then share

these annotations through email or a cloud service. Notability

makes it a cinch to fill in applications, take notes, record voice

and send it back to the office. Ginger Labs says Notability was

a top selling note-taking apps for Apple in 2012. Cost: $1.99 at

the Apple App Store.


Noteshelf is an app designed to take written notes on an iPad.

The app offers a variety of paper types — legal pad, checked

paper, plain white — and different writing

utensils in various colors and thicknesses.

It also offers camera integration, so user

can import an image right onto the page

and draw directly on the photo. Cost:



ONE is workers’ compensation agent/

agency tool that calculates and predicts

workers’ comp experience mods and

provides an analysis encompassing

everything from experience mods to

premiums to rates to payroll. The app

can predict future experience mods and

premiums up to four years into the future.

ONE also prints proposals and letters with

agents’ as well as clients’ logos and colors.

Cost: $49/month


Penultimate app offers the experience

of pen and paper and it enables syncing

with the Evernote app, made by the same

company. Cost: Free

Photo Measures

This app provides an easy way to draw

and save measures on photos on via a

handheld device. Take some photos and

note the dimensions on the photos to remember an exact

layout on the screen. The app also enables users to add text

comments, measure in imperial or metric units and export

dimensions in high resolution via email. Cost: $2.99

PocketCloud Remote Desktop

PocketCloud is a secure and fast way to remotely connect to

Mac or Windows desktop with iPad, iPhone, iPod touch or

Android devices. With PocketCloud, agents can access their

files, pictures and applications like Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook,

Word, Photoshop, games or any other programs. Cost: Basic

accounts are free and “Pro” accounts with additional features

cost a one-time fee of $14.99.


PODS is a performance management app from Interactive

Performance Solutions. It lets agencies set goals and plan out

activities. Agencies can set up daily tasks for each employee

in their business. Each day, everyone logs onto their PODS

app to see the tasks assigned to them. And employees mark

them off as they complete those tasks, which increases visibility

into the progress of each team member. With this mobile app,

agency owners can effectively monitor the performance of their

employees. Cost: The price is $299, followed by $75 monthly

(continued on page 15)

page 14

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

50 Top Apps for Independent Agents


fees, for agencies.


The Priceline App offers a simple way to book hotels and rental

cars on the go backed by Priceline’s “best price guarantee.”

Choose the exact hotel or rental car for any travel date, including

last minute and same-day reservations. Cost: Free


Pulse displays news from multiple RSS feeds in a single page

using a tile based interface. The app also enables users to

save stories for later reading, or share stories with friends and

colleagues. Cost: Free

QQ Mobile

The mobile app provides remote access to the QQ Evolution

agency management system for independent insurance

agencies. It allows users who already have QQ Evolution

accounts to securely access from their mobile devices a wide

range of client data, including client details, policies, notes, files

and reports. QQ Evolution features include cross-selling reports

to discover sales opportunities and customized marketing letters

and emails for clients and prospects. The carrier downloads

feature imports clients’ transactions directly from participating

carriers. Cost: Free to users


This app lets users get the latest information on earthquakes from

around the world. Using feeds from multiple sources including

the U.S. Geological Survey and the European-Mediterranean

Seismological Centre, it displays data on earthquakes with

magnitude 1.0 and greater that have occurred over the past

week. Users can pan and zoom online maps to focus on hot

spots around the globe and see detailed quake reports. Cost:

99 cents at the Apple App Store.


Redfin’s Multiple Listing Service-powered app includes complete

home details, full-screen photos, property history and agent

notes, all updated every 15 to 30 minutes. Cost: Free

(continued on page 16)

page 15

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

50 Top Apps for Independent Agents



SendPepper, from OfficeAutopilot.com, integrates online and

offline marketing. SendPepper gives small business marketers

the tools to automate both email and personalized direct mail

in a single interface. Additional features include personal URLs

and custom-built, personalized landing pages for each potential

customer. Cost: Prices start at $29.95 per month.


SignNow is an app for iOS and Android devices that enables

users to digitally sign and notarize documents, and send to

others for their signature. Users can create their own signature

for reuse, and the app keeps files secure but remotely accessible.

Cost: Free


Skitch is part of the Evernote family of apps. This free app lets

users add sketches and text annotation to photos, screenshots,

maps, and web pages — and then share them with colleagues

on the go. Users can brainstorm design ideas with their team

members, annotate screenshots and pictures, add scribbles to

explain ideas, and identify points of interest on maps. The Skitch

annotation can help colleagues see and share ideas and get

everyone on the same page. Cost: Free

Trip Advisor

Plan a trip with the TripAdvisor app, which gives access to

more than 75 million candid reviews and opinions by travelers.

The app also enables users to find the hotels, restaurants and

things to do. The app’s flight search helps find and book airfare

deals. Users can also book options for hotels and restaurants.

Cost: Free


For many insurance agents, Twitter has become an integral part

of their digital marketing effort to promote their business and

connect with clients and prospects in their local communities.

Twitter also makes it easy to follow colleagues and keep up with

latest industry developments. Cost: Free

Vertafore Producer Advantage

An app for iPhone and iPad due out soon from agency

software producer Vertafore integrates Pipeline Manager,

ReferenceConnect, and AMS360 helping producers manage

prospects, opportunities and activities. The app allows mobile

users to access current client policy information, and provide

accurate forecasts. Cost: Free for paid clients


“Waze is the world’s fastest-growing community-based traffic

and navigation app,” its makers say. Social types can see

what other friends are also driving to their destination when

connected on Facebook, and the app helps drivers navigate

to the cheapest station on their route thanks to gas prices

shared by other Waze drivers, or “Wazers,” who can also share

real-time traffic information and other road alerts, hands free of

course. Cost: Free


Yelp is a local business directory service and review site with

social media features. Users can check or submit reviews for

local shops and businesses. Small business owners could set

up their own profile to create a business owner account. Yelp

may also be a good way for small businesses to reach out to

younger demographics who often use the app on the go, but

some businesses have expressed worries about unflattering

customer reviews that can appear online. Cost: Free


For those looking for quick information on home property

data, Zillow Real Estate may be the perfect app. Drawing on

Zillow’s vast database, the mobile app shows estimated home

values, property records, photos and more. It lets users find and

compare real estate prices and home property details on the

go. The app is available for Apple and Android mobile devices.

Cost: Free


“Discover your Interesting.” No, in this case that’s not the

incorrect use of “your,” it’s the slogan for Zite, a smart news

aggregator that enables people to create their own personal

magazine with thousands of topics from which to choose. The

CNN-owned personalized news app sifts through “millions

of new stories every day” to match stories to your personal

interests and then delivers them automatically to your handheld

device. Cost: Free

By Young Ha, Don Jergler and Andrea Wells

Insurance Journal

Independent Insurance Agents

of West Virginia, Inc.

Independent Insurance Agents

of West Virginia, Inc.

P.O. Box 1226 | Charleston, WV | 25324

P: (304) 342-2440| TF: (800) 274-4298 | F: (304) 344-4492

page 16

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV


Your IIAWV and Big “I”

Member benefits

What will your email address

and password help you access

to on the Big “I” Web site?

Your IIAWV username and password are the keys to a

host of online resources available exclusively to IIAWV

members. Visit www.iiawv.org to explore the program

offerings or use the direct addresses below to log in

and see what treasures you may find.



The West Virginia Insuror

Legislative Updates


Virtual University


Research Library

Ask the Expert

Register for on-line CE classes and webinars

Sign-up for the free newsle er

IA magazine


Access online ar cles from the monthly print publica on

and read your weekly Insurance News & Views newsle er.

Legal Advocacy

www.iiaba.net (Click on “Legal Advocacy”)

Carrier Contract Reviews

Hot topics on Capitol Hill

Informa on on insurance related Federal court cases

Industry Legal Issues

Big “I” Markets


Access commercial and personal lines products such as

affluent homeowners and commercial package products

from top carriers, with no fees and no produc on minimums.

Member Marke ng Ac vity Center


Access a suite of marke ng resources including leads,

postcards and email campaign ideas.

Big “I” Professional Liability Virtual Risk Consultant


Use your login creden als to purchase the on-line underwri

ng and sales reference library.

Big “I” Professional Liability Risk management Website

“E&O Happens”


Dive into a wealth of risk management resources available

to Swiss Re policyholders.

Trusted Choice®


Access logos, adver sing material, branding guidelines plus

your agency’s profile and account informa on.

It is important that names and email addresses for each

agency employee be listed in our member database. Many

of our website pages are proprietary and may only be

accessed with your user ID and password. Your email

address is your user ID. If you don’t know your password

select the “Forgot username or password?” op on listed on

any page of the IIAWV website (www.iiawv.org) and it will be

sent to you.

Feel free to contact us at (800) 274-4298 with ques ons on

these resources or other member benefits.

page 17

A Publication of Independent Insurance Agents of WV

The mission of the Independent Insurance Agents of West Virginia is to

be the unrelenting advocate for independent insurance agents and to

fulfill member needs while serving the public’s best interest.

www.iiawv.org | (304) 342-2440

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