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    FEBRUARY 4, 2016 | VOLUME LXV, ISSUE 11
    PAST ISSUES
    ADVOCACY
    Condo agents: Here’s how you can help pass the ‘diligent effort’ bill
    The old adage goes, “it’s a lot harder to pass a bill in Tallahassee than it is to kill one.” That’s definitely the case for HB 651, FAIA-supported legislation that would eliminate the agent’s diligent effort requirement for commercial residential insurance. This antiquated regulation, which was removed for practically all other commercial lines five years ago, is costly to the industry and impractical in today’s marketplace. The operational burden for independent agents is significant and the cost of non-compliance can be very steep. The bill is opposed by a small number of domestic property insurers currently writing master condominium policies. FAIA CEO Jeff Grady is calling on agencies that sell commercial residential insurance to make their position known to their appointed carriers. Read more.
    Finding a new insurance commissioner
    The state of Florida is on the hunt for a new insurance commissioner to replace Kevin McCarty, who recently announced plans to leave at the end of May. The search is a national one and the new commissioner must be approved by the Florida Cabinet. Who could it be…only those candidates that meet these rather stringent qualifications.
    DOL issues guidance on joint employment
    Though it stopped short of establishing a formal rule, the U.S. Department of Labor issued guidance in January about what constitutes joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This is important because if a joint employment relationship exists, both employers are liable for FLSA compliance, including payment of overtime compensation. Check out Laura’s Legal Brief of the Week to learn more.
    Anchor, Heritage insurance companies approved for April take-outs
    Up to 65,000 Citizens Property Insurance Corp. policies (personal lines/coastal account and commercial lines/coastal account) have been tagged for removal. Read the CPIC blog for details and dates.
    EDUCATION
    Late-paying customers: Should you call them? Do you call them?
    That’s the question posed by David Thompson in his latest blog. Agents seem to be of two minds about the best answer, but Swiss Re/Westport position is clear: Don’t do it. Read about the different philosophies and weigh in online.
    Medical Marijuana back on ballot; here’s what it means for agents
    If Amendment 2 passes this November, the medical use of marijuana will be legal in Florida—though it remains illegal under Federal law. Read Frank Pennachio’s blog to see what that means for employers and agents.
    MARKETING & TECHNOLOGY
    TrustedChoice.com reports 2015 close ratio over 40 percent
    Whether it’s the Appetite Engine, the digital ad campaign, or search engine optimization enhancements, whatever they are doing at TrustedChoice.com is working! In 2015, the site attracted more than 3,000,000 website visitors (68 percent growth from 2014) and connected more than 75,000 insurance buyers to independent agents—up 166 percent. See how TrustedChoice.com is taking back market share for independent agents.
    Stop using your agency website as a sales tool and start using it to educate consumers
    Agencies that focus on helping consumers understand their insurance needs will find greater success in the digital space, yet most agency websites are focused on selling consumers insurance instead. Visit Agency Nation to learn why your agency’s website should be 85 percent focused on helping consumers assess their risk and 15 percent focused on selling them insurance.

    MEMBER AGENCY NEWS

    Laura Sherman, Baldwin Risk Partners, LLC: elected president of the 2016 Safeco Insurance Southeast Advisory Council.

    Lawrence E. Cappleman, Jr., CIC, CRM, Hillcrest Agency, Inc.: received the Sam Hovsepian Award for contributions, service and leadership to the community from the West Orange Chamber of Commerce.

    John Brabson, Jr., Lykes Insurance, Inc.: received the Parke Wright III Award from Leadership Tampa Alumni for demonstrating leadership in the Tampa Bay community.

    Bill Taulbee, Lykes Insurance, Inc.: assumed the position of president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2016.

    Jonathan Hammond, CIC, CRM, CRIS: promoted to COO of Wallace Welch & Willingham.

    INDUSTRY NEWS

    Chubb, Ltd.: named Barbara A. Wittick regional chief operating officer for the Southeast region.

    Florida Citrus, Business, and Industries Fund (FCBI): named Debra Cerre-Ruedisili CEO of the Fund effective Feb. 1, 2016. She replaces Jim Emerson, who is retiring in March.

    Main Street America Group: introduced Main Street Protection Auto in South Carolina.

    Patriot National, Inc.: acquired Mid Atlantic Insurance Services in Richmond, VA.

    Zurich Insurance Co., Ltd.: announced an unchanged financial strength rating of “A+” and issuer credit rating of “aa-” by A.M. Best.

    NEW AGENCY MEMBERS

    Harbor Insurance: Port Charlotte

    Insurance Professionals of Brevard, LLC: Melbourne

    Level 1 Insurance Services: Miami

    SeibertKeck Insurance: St. Augustine

    Sun Insurance, LLC: Coral Gables

    Way Better Insurance, Inc.: Ft. Myers

    NEW ASSOCIATE MEMBERS

    The Andy Beverly School: Tampa

    Aspera Insurance Services, Inc.: Richmond, VA

    Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Cos: Wilkes Barre, PA

    Siracusa Staffing & Leasing, LLC: Clearwater

    GeoVera Specialty Insurance Company: Ponte Vedra

    CALENDAR OF EVENTS
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    Many local boards hold monthly or quarterly meetings. Visit our website for a schedule.

    YAC EVENTS

    INDUSTRY EVENTS

    AGENTS CONFIDENTIAL: A PUBLICATION OF THE FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF INSURANCE AGENTS
    PO BOX 12129 | TALLAHASSEE, FL 32317-2129
    TELEPHONE: 850-893-4155 | FAX: 850-668-2852
    All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means-electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise-without the prior written permission of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. FAIA does not give legal advice. Agents are urged to seek the counsel of a licensed Florida attorney familiar with the Florida Insurance Code.