Archive for November, 2017

Young Agents Assets: How to Leverage LinkedIn for Prospecting

Do you have a LinkedIn profile? If yes, great! Sixty percent of brokers named it as their social network of choice to prospect for new clients in a 2015 survey, a clear winner over Facebook — which came in second at 14 percent. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, create one.

The bigger question is, “How hard is your LinkedIn profile working for you?” LinkedIn is an incredibly powerful tool for insurance brokers, especially when it comes to prospecting for new clients. However, simply having a presence on LinkedIn is not enough. You have to actively engage with potential clients.

So whether you are new to the network or are looking for a way to improve your LinkedIn presence, here are 4 strategies to help you out:

Optimize Your Profile

If you’re new to LinkedIn or have a passive presence, your profile may not seem like a difference maker, but the opposite is true. The first thing potential clients do when they’re interested in your services is click on your profile to learn more. When that happens, you want to be sure to convey a professional and credible presence that entices them to get in touch with you.

A successful LinkedIn profile is more than just a resume. In addition to your work experience and expertise — which builds credibility — you also need an enticing summary about yourself and insurance services. Adding skills, certifications and volunteer experience helps make you more relatable in the eyes of potential clients.

Check out these insights on broker profiles, compiled by LinkedIn, to see how other insurance brokers represent themselves on the network.

Join and Engage in Groups

One of LinkedIn’s major distinguishing features is the ability to join groups and engage with like-minded professionals. For insurance brokers, this also presents an invaluable opportunity to engage with potential clients about their insurance.

You can find groups relevant to the industries of your clients by simply typing potential group names into the search box, or searching groups by industry from the Interests > Groups > Discover page. You can even create your own group, like the UIG Agent’s Assets Resource Group, and invite your current connections to join.

Once you’ve joined a few groups it’s time to start participating. It’s important to note that you should rarely, if ever, post straight sales pitches. Instead, offer your expertise related to currently discussed topics. This will allow you to build credibility, and eventually lead to potential clients clicking on your name to visit your profile.

Use Advanced Search

You can also seek out potential clients directly. Using the network’s advanced search feature, you can find members of your target industry to connect with. And then you can filter the results based on the location and industry relevant to you.

Once you’ve found potential clients, it’s time to connect. As stated earlier, many users don’t appreciate ‘cold’ connecting. Instead, seek out those users with whom you share a connection, past work history, or at least a common group. Then, see what groups they’re in.

If you belong to that group too, engage them in a conversation by commenting on a discussion they’ve started or commented on. Build a relationship from there. Don’t forget about InMail too.

Write Long Form Posts

Building credibility is not limited to participating in industry groups. On LinkedIn, you can also write long-form posts that act much like native blog posts, but with the benefit of added exposure. Not sure what kind of content to create, take a look at the UIG blog section for ideas or feel free to share.

Write several paragraphs about new developments within the insurance industry, your professional journey to this point, or even a current sales offer. Then, tag it with relevant tags, and watch it gain exposure. Publish a White Paper that’s on your website. This is a great way to develop trust and credibility and drive traffic to your website.

You can share completed posts with your followers and clients, both on and off the network. Thanks to the tags you add, they will also appear on LinkedIn’s Pulse section, where they gain exposure to professionals within your target industries. And, to bring it full circle, any post you publish will be added to your LinkedIn profile for future visitors.

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Coinsurance Part II: Business Income & Other Tools

Earlier this year, we unpacked an article written by William Austin, principal, Austin & Stanovich Risk Managers, LLC, about the importance of arriving at a fairly accurate property valuation in order to avoid a coinsurance penalty. We’re resuming our conversation to examine coinsurance as it relates to business income commercial insurance and a couple of other specialty areas including coinsurance tools.

The process to establish the coinsurance minimum limit for business income is more complicated than that used for building and contents direct damage. The reason is that the insured must determine net income and operating expense expected for the policy year and then deduct operating expenses that would not be expected to continue during the period of interruption (prepaid freight for outgoing shipments, cost of materials that would otherwise be consumed during the manufacturing process, power that is not consumed, ordinary payroll if it is not to be continued, etc.).

Extra expense coverage is not subject to a coinsurance clause. The insured can ask the insurer to quote any limit that is deemed appropriate. Extra expense coverage, when offered as coverage separate from business income, may contain certain percentages such as 40/80/100. These percentages are not coinsurance, but a means to limit the payout of the coverage: up to 40 percent for the first month of recovery; up to 80 percent for the next month of recovery; and no more than 100 percent for the final month of recovery. It is important for the risk management professional to review any percentage used in extra expense coverage to ensure that the coverage provided meets the extra expense needs of the insured.

Example: Business Income

A manufacturer completed a business income worksheet for the recent policy period based on operating 240 days per year (after plant summer shutdown and usual employee paid holidays). The annual business income value is $8 million with an 80 percent coinsurance clause. The insured limit is $6.4 million, excludes ordinary payroll, and is subject to a one daily average value (ADV) deductible.

Scenario 1

A fire occurs and damages key equipment, and the plant must shut down for three months. A business income claim of $2.7 million is filed with the property insurer. What is the net insurance recovery after the deductible?

Scenario 2

Three months after renewal, the company lands three large contracts, and net income surges to an additional $3 million in five months. A fire occurs and damages key equipment, and the plant must shut down for 3 months. A business income claim of $2.7 million is filed with the property insurer. What is the net insurance recovery after the deductible?

Coinsurance issues can occur quickly if an organization experiences net profit growth that had not been expected at the time the business income worksheet was completed. This is what happened in Scenario 2. The risk management professional should compare actual net income to that forecast for the policy year on a regular basis.

Commercial Insurance Coinsurance Tools

A property insurer may waive the coinsurance requirements of the policy if requested by the insured and if the insurer believes the limit to be purchased is sufficient. This is often done by use of an agreed amount endorsement where the insurer will waive coinsurance for the policy coverage period. Sometimes insurers will provide an inflation guard endorsement to the policy in which the building and/or contents limit is increased a certain percentage at each renewal. Educating an insured on how coinsurance works may result in better selection of insured limits and lessen the potential for errors and omissions claim against the agent or broker.

Homeowners Insurance (HO 2 and HO 3)

Some insureds may be surprised to learn that a homeowners policy, especially if based on ISO policy forms, has a coinsurance clause that can impact coverage. In ISO forms, if the damaged home is 80 percent or more of the full replacement cost, then replacement cost valuation will be used subject to the lesser of policy limit or repair or replacement cost. If the insured home fails the 80 percent coinsurance requirement, then loss is settled on actual cash value.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The NFIP Dwelling Form (ed. 5/08) provides replacement cost valuation if the dwelling is the insured’s principal residence and either the amount of insurance is at least 80 percent of the actual replacement cost value prior to loss, or the coverage limit is the maximum amount available from the NFIP.

The risk management professional needs to understand and point out to insureds that even an HO form and NFIP dwelling form have coinsurance requirements that can affect coverage.


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