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Agency Management

My recent article on the hard market in Agent for the Future

The insurance industry has always been cyclical, going through periods of “soft” and “hard” market conditions that can last several years. Today’s agents have been thrust into what the insurance industry has historically called a “hard market.” However, this market cycle seems a bit different than those in the past and perhaps may not soften as quickly as we’ve seen in some cycles.

Colby Allen

Colby Allen is a consultant with AgencyFocus who has over 10 years of industry experience in finance, operations, analytics, and project management. During that time he has worked with regional agencies, national agencies, and a regional carrier. Notable projects include refinement of agency finance and operational reporting processes as well as assist in acquisitions to…

Subtle Problems with Extended Reporting Coverage — and Creative Solutions- Part 3 of 3

“Overall, many of the more common issues were explored in previous articles. That is not to say, however, that these are complete solutions. I have long been of the belief that extended reporting provisions, when invoked, are an incomplete solution for long-term protection. That is because one is taking a limit of liability and stretching it across at least one year and sometimes six years or more. The limits, thus, are never refreshed. So, if there are any claims during the extended reporting term, policy limits are being eroded. This could mean that policy limits could be extinguished by claim frequency, and the benefit of runoff would be lost when that happens before the term had even run out.”

It’s Just a Name Change and Other ‘ERPS’- Part 2

“There are inherent dangers when a company is acquired, not only for the selling company, but for the acquiring company. It is not uncommon for the buyer to require the seller purchase several years of extended reporting coverage. This is because the buyer, when either acquiring the assets or the stock transaction, wants no exposure to any known or unknow liabilities created by activities before the acquisition.
We’ve all seen companies get acquired, with the seller invoking whatever extended reporting coverage they can acquire, sometimes at a significant price. But that is not the only problem, and this is where the approach and analysis become important. Asking the right questions is thus necessary to provide the appropriate financial protection to those involved, with the avoidance of any error and omission claim that might be made against the broker, despite whether they are simply following an “order take” standard or not.”

It’s Just a Name Change and Other ‘ERPS’- Part 1

“laims made insurance policies have existed for a long time. For specialty line insurance policies, such as directors and officers liability, professional liability, cyber liability etc., they are the most common type of policy issued.
They are complex, and depending on the definition of claim, as well as whether or not it’s a claims made and reported form, the policies can be extremely dangerous.
What follows is the first installment of a three-part series on the complexities involved in securing extended reporting coverage in conjunction with claims made policies. I have written numerous articles on claims made trigger problems, prior act problems, prior pending claim exclusions, etc. These only make the problems more dangerous for insureds and for insurance producers. However, and unfortunately, one important aspect of the policy that I’ve somewhat been lax to review in depth is the complexity of the extended reporting provision (ERP) and the ability to buy optional extended reporting period coverage, also known as runoff coverage and/or retirement coverage. Even my own article, The Dangers that May Lurk in All Claims Made Policies, raises extended reporting provisions, but not in depth.”

The Conflict and Burden of Insurer Appointments for Brokers and the Need for Regulatory Reform

Brokers are supposed to be independent to represent the insured, rather than the insurer; yet, the law in many states still requires insurers to appoint a broker as an agent actually to transact insurance with the insurer. This dual agency creates well-known conflicts and burdens. We contend that the requirement that insurers appoint agents in…

Mike Stroman

R. MICHAEL STROMAN SUMMARY R. Michael Stroman has over 42 years of experience in the insurance industry. Currently serving as an industry consultant, he assists insurance purchasers, insurance companies and agents, and their attorneys, accountants, and other industry advisors, with agency management, claims consulting, underwriting practices, standard of care, and other technical assistance. Mr. Stroman…

Follow Up: Dressing Professionally

Last year I wrote a commentary, “To Dress or Not—Is Professional Attire Outdated?,” on whether or not students should be expected to dress professionally for interviews and career fairs. I asked for feedback and encouraged responses. I’m pleased to say I got a lot of thoughtful responses from a wide range of readers. Executives, claims adjusters, independent agents, corporate trainers, and many others chimed in.

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