As an insurance agent, your goal each day is to work toward producing sales and servicing any needs of existing clients. Although you have your E&O Insurance in place to protect your livelihood, once you have been given the opportunity to meet with a prospective client for the first time, it’s up to you to do more than show up—you need to shine.
Oftentimes, prospects meet with more than one agent, unless they have a solid referral from a family member or friend and find that once they meet you, they trust you. It’s important to shine regardless of whether or not you make a sale, because chances are your prospect has other family members and friends.
Although they may decide against purchasing insurance, if they like you, they will mention your name to others. And although you may not have made a sale, having someone who will pass your name along to others shows that you succeeded in making a good impression.
For many, making a good impression is a part of everyday living. For the new agent or the agent who’s feeling weary, however, it’s important to be sure that you are putting forth your best effort when you meet with professional liability coverage prospects.
Here are some suggestions to follow:
An insurance agent is always looking for ways to make their name known so that when the time comes, those looking to purchase insurance will choose that agent to assist them.
There are many ways to become remembered and respected as a professional insurance agent, but you must work at it. An agent’s profession involves so much more than selling insurance products, making sure you pay your E&O Insurance premium each year, and providing proof of E&O Insurance to your Companies. One of the most important pieces of a successful insurance agent’s career is being known and respected in the community and among colleagues.
How should an agent plan to grow their business and build their reputation in their community? Get involved! Here are a few ways to do just that:
Loss Control topics tend to advise on what an agent should be doing in order to avoid a claim. This blog focuses on five definite ways an agent can increase the potential for an errors & omissions claim being made against them.
1. Only advise your clients (and potential clients) what is covered under their policy—they don’t need to know what their policy excludes. Research has shown that clients and potential clients are more interested in what is not covered by their policy than what is. A good practice is to provide specimen policies and riders with proposals. This will help clients and potential clients have a better understanding of their policy benefits. This will also allow the client (or potential client) to identify any concerns. By furnishing this information, clients and potential clients may ask you to sell them additional protection.
Claims Made and Reported Policy Form
Experience has demonstrated there is a lot of confusion on the part of many producers and agents concerning the operation of their Claims Made and Reported Errors and Omissions coverage. This confusion can be costly, and can allow the agent to become a victim of one or more potential pitfalls. We hope the following information will be helpful.
Following are some key terms you should know:
“Occurrence” — An event or chain of events that ultimately causes a claim. Example: The sale of a disability income policy
“Claim” — An actual demand for damages (money). Most of the time, evidenced by a lawsuit, although it can be as simple as a letter from the alleged injured party or their attorney requesting reimbursement.
“Incident” — Any statement, action or AWARENESS of a situation that could be perceived as having a potential for an E&O claim being presented in the future. This could be in the form of a statement made by a client during a phone conversation, a client’s letter, or your just feeling uncomfortable about a situation.
“Prior Act” — An occurrence before the effective date of current E&O coverage. Following is a scenario showing how the Claims Made E&O coverage works:
Prequalifying Prospects for Long Term Care Insurance
Every interaction with a potential client creates the risk for a future E&O claim, especially when you do not exercise routine procedures.
If someone contacts you about Long Term Care Insurance, it is a smart practice to prequalify that person by telephone. Failing to make the time to prequalify a potential client could result in pursuing a sale that will never happen. It is in your best interest to manage your time and travel costs effectively. A prescreening phone call will also provide the opportunity to begin a professional relationship with the prospect(s).
You’ll want to ask if the person has ever been declined or rated-up for Long Term Care Insurance and the reason(s) why. All LTC Insurers do not underwrite the same, but the response to this question could present a red flag. You never want a potential client believing they are automatically eligible for a policy just because you had a conversation with them. A good E&O risk management procedure is to state, in writing, that the final decision for eligibility and premium remains with the Underwriting Department at the Insurance Company.
Insurance Specialties Services, Inc. is pleased to offer a streamlined process for Life and Health Insurance Agents to obtain affordable Errors and Omissions Insurance Coverage. Our agency is the administrator of the new A+ E&O Insurance Program, which is underwritten by Berkley Insurance Company. Berkley Insurance Company is rated A+ (Superior) by A. M. Best, W. R. Berkley Corporation was recognized as one of the 2014 Ward’s 50 Top Performing P&C Insurers.
By simply and successfully completing a 7 question enrollment questionnaire and paying the appropriate premium, life and health insurance agents have instantaneous access to an Errors and Omissions Certificate of Insurance. We currently accept Visa and MasterCard or the agents may opt to mail a check for the payment once the enrollment process has been completed. Once payment is received and processed, the enrolled agent will be sent an email to download their Certificate of Insurance. Unlike many other agents’ E&O Programs, the A+ E&O Insurance Program has no fees.
Life and Health Insurance Agents, as well as registered representatives holding a series 6 and/or 63 license, can request enrollment into the A+ Errors and Omissions Insurance Program. Currently, the A+ Errors and Omissions Insurance Program offer four levels of coverage: