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This Week in Insurance: July 28–August 1, 2014

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

  • Florida Workers' Compensation JUA, Producer Committee teleconference, 10:00 a.m. (eastern). To participate, contact Kathy Coyne at 941-378-7408. 

Help make wishes come true with a simple share

(Trusted Choice) Permanent link

Trusted Choice® will soon launch its fourth annual summer social media campaign to raise money for Make-A-Wish America. For every “share” from the Trusted Choice Facebook page during the month of August, Trusted Choice will donate $10 to Make-A-Wish. 

With the last three campaigns, Trusted Choice raised more than $320,000 for Make-A-Wish while promoting the independent insurance agency channel to consumers. This year, Trusted Choice is committed to donating a minimum of $100,000 and a maximum of $150,000, which can only happen with your help. 

To get involved, mark your calendars for Friday, Aug. 1 and share any content posted to the Trusted Choice Facebook page throughout the month. With a simple click, you can do your part to grant the wishes of children and their families in their greatest time of need.

FAIA members among Florida Trend’s best companies to work for

(Member News) Permanent link

FlaTrendBestCompaniesNine FAIA member agencies and associate members made this year’s list of  Florida’s Best Companies to Work For—three more than the previous year.

Companies that choose to participate are surveyed about company policies, practices, and demographics. After that, a randomly selected group of each firm’s employees respond to 72 statements on a five-point agreement scale. Only 100 companies make the cut. Of that 100, the firms are divided into large companies of 250 or more U.S. employees, midsized companies of 50 to 249 U.S. employees, and small companies of fewer than 50 U.S. workers

Congratulations to the following:

In the Best Large Companies category: FCCI Insurance Group, Sarasota; and American Strategic Insurance, St. Petersburg.

In the Best Midsized Companies category: Baldwin Krystyn Sherman Partners, Tampa; Bouchard Insurance, Clearwater; American Integrity Insurance Group, Tampa; and Lanier Upshaw, Lakeland.

In the Best Small Companies category: Rogers, Gunter, Vaughn Insurance, Tallahassee; Greene Hazel Insurance Group, Jacksonville; and Weston Insurance, Coral Gables.

Learn about e-signatures and more

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 InsureSign LogoWant to learn how e-signatures can streamline your agency's workflow and improve customer service?  InsureSign, an FAIA preferred provider, invites FAIA members to participate in a free webinar on Tuesday, July 22, or Thursday, July 24. During the webinar, you'll learn how you can:  

  • Do away with paper contracts altogether. No more mailing, scanning or faxing!
  • Close more policies. Now you can complete transactions in a few minutes. 
  • Set up your e-signature forms in less than one minute. 
  • Make life easy for your customers. Now they can sign any time from anywhere!
  • Rest assured that all your information is secure. 

Sign up and reserve a spot.

Co-brand with the Freedom campaign for free!

(Member News, Trusted Choice) Permanent link

Did you know that Trusted Choice will customize Freedom campaign ad materials for your agency—for free? The Freedom Campaign ads uses images of captive agents in various forms of restraints to help promote independent agents’ ability to choose the right plan for their clients. These materials include digital banners, print ads, direct mailers, billboards, and radio ads.

Simply log in to the Trusted Choice agents’ website using your Big “I” login information. Look for “Freedom Campaign 2014” and select the “READ ME FIRST” document, which provides an overview of the files and how to access them.

After you download the files, contact Kiescha Cherry to place your request. Remember, agencies that use Freedom Campaign materials can be reimbursed up to an additional $350 through tier 2 of the Marketing Reimbursement Program

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This Week in Insurance: July 21–25, 2014

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (FSLSO) Board of Governors Meeting, 1:00 p.m.; The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota.

Friday, July 25, 2014

HealthChoices Florida Board of Directors Meeting, 11:00 a.m.; GrayRobinson, Orlando.

Florida students receive more than half of the scholarships awarded by InVEST

(InVEST) Permanent link

InVESTInVEST—the insurance industry’s premier classroom to career education program—has awarded $87,000 in scholarships to 70 students representing 17 schools from eight states. Florida InVEST students accounted for 64 percent of the scholarships awarded!

InVEST contributes to the education and development of future insurance professionals through academic programs and scholarships. In high schools, the program offers students a business curriculum that teaches students about insurance agency and company dynamics. At the college level, the program develops students’ risk management and financial analysis skills. Along with direct contributions, scholarships are funded through proceeds generated by the InVEST Silent and Live auctions held in conjunction with the Big “I” Legislative Conference.

To be considered, students from across the country submitted essays describing the influence and benefits InVEST had on their educational plans. The quality of the essay, combined with the applicant’s grade-point average and extracurricular activities, were factors in selecting the recipients. Scholarship checks are mailed directly to the institute of higher learning that each student is attending and will be used exclusively for educational expenses.

Congratulations to the following Florida scholarships winners, and many thanks to the teachers and agency volunteers who helped make this opportunity possible.

Bob Betters Scholarship ($5,000) Winner 

Erin Dudley, William R. Boone High School, Orlando, Fla.

$3,000 Scholarship Winners 

Andres Alvarez, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando, Fla.
Manuel Carmona, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Gabrielle Cotilla, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Sean Coughlin, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Madeline Haller, Manatee High School, Bradenton
Tyler Moffit, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando

$2,000 Scholarship Winners 

Diana Estrada, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Jenna Renaud, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg

$1,000 Scholarship Winners 

Chloe Beemer, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Margaret Brown, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Chris Caplan, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
James Dawson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Megan DeVice, Manatee High School, Bradenton
Melanie Ferreira, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Reilly Gibbons, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Gretchen Gutierrez, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Ronald Heinkel, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Daniel Hurtado, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Tai Lam, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Montana Marshall, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Soyoung Moon, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs
Tristan Sanders, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Zachary Schaja, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland
Tess Schneeberger, Manatee High School, Bradenton
Kevin Schoeppler, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
John Slater, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Stephanie Steinhauser, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland

$500 Scholarship Award Winners 

Kristen Chucri, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Dylan Endlich, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland
Brett Fielder, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando
Ragan Hagaman, Manatee High School, Bradenton
Connor Haughey, Manatee High School, Bradenton
Jerick Johnston, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Vicki Lang, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Kamaye Nichols, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs
Shazid Rahman, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando
Maria Rangel, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Zachary Robinson, William R. Boone High School, Orlando
Pierce Smith, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando
Danielle Trinkler, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland
Joseph Uhatafe, St. Petersburg Catholic High School, St. Petersburg
Paris Williams, Lake Brantley High School, Altamonte Springs
Simon Wilson, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando
Aaron Witt, Dr. Phillips High School, Orlando

As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons. 

Travelers now live on TrustedChoice.com comparative rater in Florida

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TrustedChoice.com set its 11th consecutive record for traffic in June with 184,803 visitors, up 22 percent over May. Add to that this week’s news that Travelers is now live on the comparative rater in Florida, and July promises to be another huge month. Travelers joins Safeco and Mercury in rendering live auto quotes at TrustedChoice.com.

“We’ve gotten several leads from TrustedChoice.com so far, two were commercial prospects looking for workers’ compensation. For one, a contractor, we wrote both the comp and the GL. The commission on that one was over $1,200. That one account paid easily for our annual subscription.”
Keller-Brown Insurance Services, Shrewsbury, PA

Of the 45 states live with comparative rating, TrustedChoice.com generated 3,120 exclusive sales leads in June, with a conversation rate of 55 percent on leads delivered.

Though traffic to TrustedChoice.com from Florida slowed somewhat in June as the Freedom digital ad campaign wound down, it was still up at 11,517, with 311 leads generated. Traffic from Florida has increased every month since the site’s relaunch in July of 2013.

To date, 22,400+ independent insurance agencies participate on TrustedChoice.com, and 1,912 of those agencies have signed up and paid for an Advantage subscription. That number is growing every day because Advantage subscription offers agencies an expanded profile, enhanced positioning in search return results, and unlimited prospects.

Sign up for an Advantage subscription before the price increases from $39 to $49 a month on July 18. 

Recent improvements to TrustedChoice.com

In the digital world, nothing is more important than the user experience. CAP, the brains behind the new TrustedChoice.com, are constantly working to improve the experience for consumers, and toward that end have made the following improvements:

  • Added the 1-800 number to every page to make it easier for consumers to call with questions; inbound calls are referred to Advantage agencies for response.
  • Reduced the extra steps needed to obtain agency information upon click of “Contact Agent” button. Consumer now receives agency contact information immediately.
  • Changed workflow behind “Find an Agent” listing to return search results faster; consumers no longer need to provide additional information to find an agent, and database improvements increased server response time.

Dr. Phillips teacher named 2014 InVEST Teach of the Year

(InVEST) Permanent link

ZupkoffAdam W. Zupkoff of Dr. Phillips High School in Orlando is the 2014 InVEST Teacher of the Year.

“Great teachers like Adam Zupkoff are the backbone of the InVEST program, which provides much needed financial literacy education and is critical for the success of the industry,” said Robert G. Slocum, CPCU, CIC, InVEST board chair and president of The Slocum Agency, Inc., an independent agency in Warwick, R.I. “Mr. Zupkoff’s dedication to his students and InVEST has resulted in a wonderfully successful program at Dr. Phillips High School. We are honored to present him with this year’s InVEST Program Teacher of the Year award.”

A popular teacher and 20-year teaching vetern, Zupkoff was secretly nominated by his students. He earned a bachelor's degree at Bentley College and a master’s in education at Nova Southeastern University. Additionally, he holds the highest teacher certification level from the National Board Certified Teachers. Zupkoff, an eternal student, has also taken courses at St. Johns University’s Insurance Education Institute for Middle School and High School Teachers and all the teacher programs offered by the Foundation for Teaching Economics.

Florida has a strong InVEST presence, with programs in Orlando, Tampa, Miami, and other cities; and Florida students consistently earn the lion's share of InVEST scholarships. 

As a 501(c)(3) educational trust, InVEST benefits from the support of numerous insurance organizations, hundreds of agencies, brokers and volunteers. The program provides the insurance industry with motivated, talented and intelligent professionals through a support structure of state associations, board members, national staff, teachers and the many industry professionals who work in the field as classroom liaisons. Learn more about InVEST. 

Demystify online advertising in 30 minutes or less

(Member News, Trusted Choice) Permanent link

Are you interested in advertising your agency online—but totally overwhelmed by the process?

If so, help is on the way. Trusted Choice® will host a 30-minute webinar on the ins and outs of digital advertising and how to promote your agency in your local market. The webinar will be held July 24 at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

The webinar is offered just before the Aug. 1 deadline to reserve space for Trusted Choice’s second digital ad buy, which starts September 1 and runs through November. Ads are offered at below wholesale prices, and each participating agency is guaranteed a minimum of 800,000 impressions and 400 banner clicks over the three-month period.

For $3,000, participating agencies receive placement of customized Freedom Campaign banners, tagged with agency information, within an online network consisting of hundreds of sites that focus on life events (health care, residences, finance, family and more). Through Tier 3 of the Marketing Reimbursement Program, agencies receive a $750 discount, bringing the total cost to $2,250.

Trusted Choice will offer an additional $500 discount to three webinar attendees, with winners chosen at random. 

Space is limited, so reserve your spot today.