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Renewal Questionnaires: Right for Your Clients?

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Sep 19, 2012 10:42:00 AM

One of the issues many of you face as a personal lines insurance agent is keeping up with changes to your insureds policies.  Unfortunately, not every insured is aware that they need to alert their insurance agents when they make a major purchase or change in their life.  For example, if your insured buys a new tractor or an engagement ring, do they immediately let you know so you can amend their existing policy to reflect the purchase?  Probably not.  If you run into this problem, don’t worry, you are not alone. 

freedigitalphotos.net

The good news, however, is that, in the majority of cases, you are not at risk.  In a recent court case in California, a judge decided that personal lines insurance agents are NOT responsible for reminding clients to make monthly payments, renew, or add coverage for a new item not previously insured unless the agent has done so in the past.  This case was more focused on the renewal of coverage and whether or not the agent is responsible for making sure the insured is aware of coverage cancellation if the insured has been alerted by other sources (for example, the carrier).  In the end, you, the agent, are not liable but that doesn’t stop people from holding you at fault.  That is why you should take as many steps as possible to protect yourself.

Insurance Agent Errors & Omissions

First, you need professional liability insurance (also known as errors & omissions coverage).  YOU need it, not just your clients.  According to My New Markets, the general understanding in the industry is that 1 in 7 insurance agents will be sued sometime in their careers, and the average settlement of those lawsuits is approximately $16,000.  Whoa.  That is why professional liability insurance with First Dollar Defense is so important for you.

Renewal Questionnaires

So, how else can you protect yourself?  One great way is to institute a policy where you send out a questionnaire EVERY renewal period.  We recommend sending the questionnaire out approximately 1 and ½ months before the renewal date.  That gives your insureds plenty of time to answer.  Another way to get more responses is to pitch in for a self-addressed, stamped envelope to go with the questionnaire.  That makes it incredibly easy for your insureds to get it back to you.  Many of the carriers we work with already have really detailed renewal questionnaires.  You can either use one of those or make your own.

Here is a great example SafeCo questionnaire that will give you an idea of direction in case you want to write your own version.  You can also check out this Travelers checkup for more ideas.

 

 

Topics: personal lines insurance, Stuckey & Co., high value homes insurance

SafetyTek Incentive Program Winner

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Jun 15, 2012 10:12:00 AM

Congratulations to Prem Sunder, the winner of Stuckey & Company's SafetyTek Incentive Program!

Mr. Sunder will receive a new iPad as a "thank you" from Stuckey & Company for all his hard work.

We received this wonderful note from Prem:

“I received my iPad today. I thank Stuckey and Co. for this wonderful gift. Can you please convey my thanks all my Underwriters at Stuckey who are always very helpful at all times.

I spend a lot of time on the road traveling and meeting clients and I am sure this iPad will keep me well connected with my clients.

Looking forward to doing more business with Stuckey & Co.

Sincerely,

Prem Sunder”

SafteyTek Incentive Winner

DON'T FORGET: The MPL Incentive Program is running in May and June so get your bind orders in NOW.

Topics: Stuckey & Company, Stuckey & Co.

Best's Review Feature on Stuckey & Company

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: May 4, 2012 2:30:00 PM

Stuckey & Company was featured in the May issue of Best's Review.  The article provided a history of the company as well as an overview of the current business, including our specialty products HarborGuard and SafetyTek. ______________________________________________________________________________________

Water Lines

by Dennis Gorski

Inland marina coverage launched Stucky & Co. 20 years ago and continues to produce for the firm.

For specialty-risk broker Stuckey & Co., what's old is new again, thanks to a hardening market in marina and boat dealer insurance.

The Lake Saint Louis, Mo.-based firm sees the sector turning around after last years' string of severe-weather losses.  The rebound has blown new wind into the sails of the program upon which Stuckey was founded 20 years ago when it dealt exclusively with the marina and marine dealers' market.

Known as HarborGuard since 1994, the program is a suite of products under Stuckey's commercial general liability offering.  It's available in 46 states -- only Alaska, Hawaii, Florida and New Hampshire aren't included -- and protects "inland" marinas against both floating and onshore risks.

"In the marina market, there's probably $500 million of premium written, and we hold probably 1% of that," according to Jerry Lovin, general manager and chief underwriter for HarborGuard.

Read the rest of the Best's Review article here. 

Topics: specialty insurance, safetytek, harborguard, Stuckey & Co.

Tips on Selling Accountant Professional Liability

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Mar 8, 2012 9:17:00 AM

Uh-Oh!  Tax Season is upon us. 

Are your accountant and bookkeeper clients covered?

The holiday season ended a few months ago, and now Americans are heading into a new season – one that can be just as stressful and potentially more costly – yes that’s right, welcome to tax season.  Now is the time we push our burdensome taxes off on others to process, fully expecting them to do an accurate and thorough job while we *hopefully* reap the benefits of a nice tax return.  But .. what if they make a mistake?  What if we forget to give them some vital information and receive an audit that costs a substantial amount of money? 

The truth is that while we expect everything to go smoothly when using the services of an accountant, it is important to remember that we are all human, and we all make mistakes.  Accountants are not exempt from fallibility and it is vital to their professional survival that the proper coverage is in place to ensure not only their protection, but that of their clients.

There are literally thousands of suits brought every year against tax preparers and bookkeepers.  While this may seem ‘normal’ in today’s litigious society, and compared to other Stuckey Accounting Insuranceprofessions it is not an extremely high number, you need to keep in mind that the tax audit standards are CONSTANTLY changing.  Sure we all rely on ‘our people’ but even the most knowledgeable person is fallible and mistakes will happen.

The staggering number of suits each year serves to validate that accountants have a lot to worry about.  They can be held responsible for any miscalculation which was the result of a client’s audit.  What if the tax preparer accidentally overlooked some financial information? – They would be at fault! – How would a mistake like this impact their operation?  These are some scary thoughts to both the accountant and the client, and that’s why a quality professional liability policy is a great solution.

So why buy a professional liability policy?  Generally speaking, most errors & omissions policies will cover a judgment, settlement and defense costs (even the frivolous ones).  Stuckey & Company has access to carriers with ‘admitted’ products in most of the continental United States.  These quality products, from reputable carriers in good standings, may include coverage enhancements such as: pre-claim assistance, broad definitions of services, expense reimbursements, settlement provisions, spousal and domestic partner coverage – and much much more!

Let us help you cover your clients!  We will make it happen! 

Email Chris@stuckey.com for more information or download our app here: Accountant Professional Liability Insurance Application.

“DID YOU KNOW??” A tax professional can be held responsible for any IRS-assessed penalties and interest the client was charged during an audit!!

“REMEMBER” Even if a client neglects to give all vital information to the accountant, and files a frivolous suit, the accountant could rack up some serious legal costs just to fight or defend it!!

Key Point : A minor mistake by an accountant can lead to huge problems and financial burdens on the client.  Knowing that just one claim against an insufficiently insured professional could ruin them, it is vital to address their coverage needs.

 

 

Topics: Stuckey & Company, mga, Miscellaneous Professional Liability, Stuckey & Co., mga insurance, MPL

MGA Market Strong, According to Guy Carpenter Survey

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Mar 6, 2012 8:26:00 AM

Guy Carpenter released the results from their Seventh Annual Specialty Program Issuing Carrier Survey (2011) and the news was positive.  The MGA market is still strong and the majority of insurers in the space believe the segment will continue to grow over the next few years.

According to the survey, "Fifty-one percent of respondents believe this segment will grow, while only 8 percent see it shrinking. These perceptions may be a result of the fact that 36 percent of the respondents are experiencing a greater number of new business opportunities in their pipelines, while 43 percent are holding steady year over year."

In addition, the survey presented some clear findings about the changing appetites in the market.  Specifically, the personal lines insurance market appetite has remained about the same while the commercial lines insurance market appetite is steadily growing.

To read the press release about the survey, visit Guy Carpenter's Press Room.

 

Topics: speciality insurance, Stuckey & Company, mga, specialty insurance, Stuckey & Co., mga insurance, professional liability, insurance wholesaler

Insurance Journal Features Stuckey & Co. HarborGuard

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Feb 27, 2012 4:13:00 PM

The Insurance Journal featured Stuckey & Company's HarborGuard program in an article about the marina insurance market.  You can read an excerpt from the article below and find the rest on the Insurance Journal site at:

http://www.insurancejournal.com/magazines/features/2012/02/20/235813.htm

Insurance Journal Features Stuckey & Co.

 

Marina Market Tightens Up in the Wake of Catastrophe-Ridden 2011

The marina insurance market seems to be heading for some changes, thanks to the stormy losses of 2011.

While the hard/soft market cycle has been a fact of life for the insurance industry almost since its inception, it is beginning to morph into a more individual pattern, which could be termed “cycle specific.” Essentially, the cycle is affected by regional events. The Japan earthquake and tsunami raised rates in that country, as did the earthquakes in New Zealand and the floods in Australia. But these events had a far lesser effect on the overall cycle, which is still generally a soft market.

"Disasters have pushed rates for marina coverage up by nearly 25 percent."

Marina coverage is no exception. “Generally it’s still a soft market,” said Kerry Stuckey, COO and co-founder of Stuckey and Co., a St. Louis-based wholesale agent that specializes in marinas, as well as other specialty lines. However, the high number of tornadoes that struck the South and Midwest, particularly the massive destruction in Joplin, Mo., as well as the floods in Tennessee, have raised exposure levels and have pushed rates for marina coverage up by nearly 25 percent.

More...

Topics: Stuckey & Company, marina insurance, harborguard, Stuckey & Co., boatyard insurance

How to Sell Miscellaneous Professional Liability

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Feb 16, 2012 3:22:00 PM

Miscellaneous Professional Liability (MPL) insurance offers protection for the errors and omissions (E&O) committed by professional service providers while delivering fee-based professional services.  Different than general liability (GL) policies, MPL covers the professional services rendered as well as the actual business. 

Almost every professional service provider, from dog groomers to court reporters to CAD designers, needs MPL coverage.  There are more than 350 hazard classes currently offered under the miscellaneous professional liability insurance umbrella.  As an agent, it can be difficult to properly focus marketing and sales efforts on professional liability as a whole.  That is why we recommend segmenting your activities monthly by specific classes. 

Professional Liability Insurance

For example, tax season is right around the corner.  Did you know that a tax professional can be held responsible for any IRS-assessed penalties and interest the client was charged during an audit?  In March and April, that professional liability message is particularly effective with your CPA and tax professional clients.  June is wedding season.  Did you know that the cost of weddings has risen by 22% annually for the last two years?  People are spending $25,000 on average for a wedding.  As the amount of money spent increases so does the number of wedding planners targeted for lawsuits.

Below is a suggested calendar for marketing miscellaneous professional liability to your clients.  We will be sending out information every month on the spotlight class to help you better sell to those clients.

MARCH: Accountants (CPAs, Bookkeepers, etc.)

APRIL: Marketing / Advertising

MAY: Event Planners

JUNE: Travel Agents

JULY: Real Estate Agents

AUGUST: Technology Professionals (IT Consultants, Software Designers, etc.)

SEPTEMBER: Medical Risk Professionals (Nurse Staffing, Labs, Imaging Facilities, etc.)

OCTOBER: Architects & Engineers

NOVEMBER: Animal Services (Kennels, Groomers, Dog Sitters, etc.)

DECEMBER: Legal Professionals (Lawyers, Paralegals, etc.)

 

Topics: safetytek, Miscellaneous Professional Liability, Management Liability, employers liability insurance, technology E&O, Stuckey & Co., technology insurance, professional E&O, professional liability, MPL

January 2012 Agent Alert - Stuckey & Company

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Jan 31, 2012 10:10:00 AM
Stuckey Agent Alert
Safety TekAspire A&EHarbor GuardMPLElementServicerProPersonalCommercial
 

Improve Your SEO: Write a Blog

As you know, improving your SEO is important for every business.  Visilibity is the key to increasing sales and growing your agency's reputation.  Writing a blog and gaining new inbound links to your site can make a huge difference to your overall SEO.

Meanwhile, Stuckey & Company is interested in helping educate the market and needs experts to write about agency issues, demands and experiences.  That is why we would like to invite you, our agents, to contribute to our blog.  For every article you write, we will post to our blog and provide a direct link to your website.  Likewise, we would love for you to link to our blog and our corporate site.

Here's the kicker: we'll pay you a modest marketing fee for each article we use! Contact Elizabeth Sedlock to get started today.


New People to Help You in 2012  

Andrew Wischmeyer

Position: MPL Underwriter  

Andrew Wischmeyer - MPL UnderwriterResponsibilities: Quote and underwrite MPL lines of business

Joined Stuckey & Co.: January 2012

Interesting Fact: Holds both private and instrument pilots licenses

Contact Information: andrew@stuckey.com, (800) 828-3452 *28

April Moore

Position: Endorsements

Responsibilities: Policy service to include endorsement processing

April Moore - EndorsementsJoined Stuckey & Co.: December 2011

Previous Experience: Marketing Coordinator from 2007-2011. @ KnowledgeLake, Inc. Specialized in Enterprise Content Management (Document Imaging & Capture)

Interesting Fact: Shoots competitively with a .45 ACP hand gun. (sport)

Contact Information: april@stuckey.com, (800) 828-3452 *19


SafetyTek Accepts Credit Cards

Offer Your Insureds Easy, Free Credit Card Payment Option!

We know that our success depends on yours. That is why we continue to offer you new ways to service your insureds, like the SafetyTek technology E&O liability insurance program's new credit card payment option.

There are no fees and credit cards are processed electronically using the authorize.net payment processing system.

To customize the payment page for your agency, email Maggie Hammett the following:

  • A copy of your agency logo.
  • Your customer service phone number.
  • Your customer service email address.

Find out more about the SafetyTek credit card page.

START QUOTING NOW! For applications and forms, click here.


What is Data Breach?

Now Offer Your Small Business Customers This Specialized Coverage

What is data breach?  According to GAO, "data breach generally refers to an organization’s unauthorized or unintentional exposure, disclosure, or loss of sensitive personal information, which can include personally identifiable information (PII) such as Social Security numbers (SSN) or financial information such as credit card numbers"

Today, more and more businesses are storing and electronically sending sensitive data about their customers and employees.  In additon, there are more and more regulations requiring businesses to advise customers and employees if personal information has been revealed.  That makes data breach a serious issue for small businesses, where the majority of breaches have been reported.

Data breach can occur as simply as an employee losing a laptop.  Depending on the amount of PII on the laptop, a small accident can cost a business more than $20,000 in data breach alone.  Just last week, Zappos announced that personal information for close to 24 million customers might ahve been compromised by a hacker.  Imagine the cost of the same breach to a small business!

Find out more about helping protect your small business clients from data breach exposure and other cyberliablity risks.

 Contact Kyle Dallavis to learn more.

 
Inside This Issue
 

Improve Your SEO: Write a Blogdiv
New People to Help Youdiv
SafetyTek Accepts Credit Cards
div  What is Data Breach?div

 
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NeedHelp
 

Top Tips

Did you know?

1. Commercial general liability does NOT cover technology E&O libability.  Your clients in the technology industry need both.  SafetyTek is a great option to examine.

2. The average homeowner's policy liability limit is $500,000.  Is that enough to cover major accidents for your high net worth clients?  Probably not.  Look into umbrella policies as a way to offer higher limits (up to $50 million in some cases).

3. There are more than 300 hazard classes covered under miscellaneous professional liability (MPL).  The top 5 most requested classes are:

-Mgmt. Consultants

-Marketing/Advertising

-Medical Billing, Coding, Transcription

-Translators/Interpreters

-Animal Services (training, kenneling, grooming, etc.)

 


Kudos
 

"Thank you for the fine, fast work you did on this new account, I can always count on Stuckey to do a good job for me."

-- Jerry Freis, Hatcher Insurance Inc.

 
 


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Topics: affinity insurance program, Stuckey & Company, stuckey and company, mga, it insurance, Miscellaneous Professional Liability, Management Liability, TECHNOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY, technology E&O, Stuckey, Stuckey & Co., stuckey and company, Stuckey and Co., mga insurance, IT E&O, technology insurance, agent alert

SafetyTek Technology E&O Liability Program Accepts Credit Cards

By: dwight stuckey | Posten on: Jan 20, 2012 10:53:00 AM

We know that our success depends on yours. That is why we continue to offer you new ways to service your insureds.  For example, this week, we announced that the SafetyTek technology E&O liability insurance program is now accepting credit card payments. 

The new credit card payment option is FREE and customizable so you can make a payment page that looks like it comes directly from your agency/brokerage instead of from a third-party partner. There are no fees and the payments are processed electronically using the authorize.net payment processing system.  Find out more about the SafetyTek credit card page.

Stuckey Credit Card Page

To learn even more the new SafetyTek credit card payment option, you can read the press release on PRWeb.


 

Topics: speciality insurance, Stuckey & Company, stuckey and company, specialty insurance, safetytek, it insurance, TECHNOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY, technology E&O, Stuckey, Stuckey & Co., stuckey and company, Stuckey and Co., data loss insurance, data loss risk, IT E&O, technology insurance

January Specialty Insurance Webinars -- Stuckey & Co.

By: Elizabeth Sedlock | Posten on: Jan 17, 2012 1:30:00 PM

Please join us for our upcoming January webinars.

January 19: New Agent Webinar

We like to welcome all our new agents to Stuckey & Company.  Every six months, we host a New Agent Webinar to help our new agents and brokers learn about our easy quoting and application systems as well as information on coverage options.  If you are not registered as a Stuckey agent, you can register at our Agent Registration page.

Register here.

January 26: SafetyTek Technology E&O Webinar

Did you know that Technology Errors and Omissions insurance coverage is NOT provided by a Commercial General Liability policy?  Learn all you need to know to grow your existing technology E&O business or jumpstart a new program.  This webinar will focus on the types of coverage offered by SafetyTek Technology E&O and the reasons your clients might need this type of specialized liability coverage.

Register here.

Topics: speciality insurance, Stuckey & Company, stuckey and company, specialty insurance, safetytek, it insurance, EPL, TECHNOLOGY, TECHNOLOGY, technology E&O, Stuckey, Stuckey & Co., stuckey and company, Stuckey and Co., data loss insurance, data loss risk, IT E&O, technology insurance

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