Stay calm, stay in the know - This could affect your E&O, but we can help.





Today Investment News released an article saying.. 

       Well, take a look.




New Jersey releases rule to impose fiduciary duty on brokers. 

Apr 15, 2019 : By Mark Schoeff Jr, Investment News

New Jersey brokers would have to meet a higher investment advice standard under a rule proposed Monday.

The measure would impose fiduciary duty on brokers, subjecting them to a higher requirement than the current suitability standard they must meet. The regulation also would codify fiduciary duty for investment advisers, who already must adhere to it.

A broker who fails to act as a fiduciary would be engaging in an "unethical or dishonest business practice," the proposal states.

Last fall, the state solicited comments on a pre-proposal. Many of those who responded urged the state to wait for the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue its own advice reform final rule, the centerpiece of which is Regulation Best Interest, to raise the broker standard.

The SEC is expected to act this summer.

But New Jersey signaled Monday that it has decided to proceed....

You can see the full article here.



  Before anyone get's too excited...

let's remember that we've seen this before.  


As the article itself alluded to, this isn't the first time our industry has confronted this bright idea. As early as 2010 & 2013 we saw proposals to hold brokers to a higher suitability standard, ultimately adding more overhead for brokers and hoops to jump through. In 2017 it was officially proposed and we in the E&O industry started feverishly making adjustments to account for the new load of government issued red-tape. We beefed up our Defender Max E&O Program to ensure that our clients would be protected against the many new pitfalls and perils the new regulation put forward. And then, nothing...

   "November 29, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) officially extended the transition period for certain portions of the “Fiduciary” rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, by 18 months, until July 1, 2019" -

The policy got put on hold, delayed until this year. With the delay coming to an end just a few months from now, of course the subject is surfacing again. New Jersey seems to be biting at the bit to get this over with, but regardless of where you live, rest assured that we're not being taken by surprise here - (or at least we're not). We'll stay on-top of the DOL's proceedings in the upcoming months and continue to inform and advise you on how this affects your E&O coverage. However, with changes already put in place throughout our key policies, it's safe to say...

We've got you covered.     

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Alternative Mutual Funds - Complexity of a Vanilla Product

Nearly 40% of advisors are using alternative investments. Alternative Mutual Funds (AMFs) are a far departure from traditional funds as they are complex, have limited liquidity and are on FINRA's radar. Tune in to learn more, including how they can be appropriate for your practice.

What people need to know about E&O insurance

Oct 17, 2017 : InterWeb Insurance

While many business owners worry about liability and property risk especially in the immediate wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. This insurance is called professional liability insurance, which is often referred to as errors and omissions or malpractice insurance, (E&O).

InterWeb Insurance is your best choice in buying insurance E&O due to its low cost and excellent customer service. Sometimes, wading through the choices is such a chore that many busy professionals are tempted to simply go without insurance. (E&O) insurance, is a special type of coverage that protects your company against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client to suffer financial harm due to mistakes on your part (errors) or because you failed to perform some service (omissions).

E&O insurance can cover the cost of defending your company in a civil lawsuit and certain damages awarded, even if the legal action turns out to be groundless. Professional liability insurance is required by law in some areas for certain kinds of professional practices, especially medical and legal, where it is more commonly called malpractice insurance. This type of protection is not part of your general liability or homeowners insurance.

Coverage does not include criminal prosecution, and there is a wide range of potential liabilities under civil laws that may not be covered unless specifically written into the policy. Common claims that professional liability insurance covers are negligence, misrepresentation, violation of good faith and fair dealing, and inaccurate advice. Some policies could also cover privacy violations.



Consumer and insurance groups disagree on advice standard for annuity sales

August 2, 2017 | By Mark Schoeff Jr.

Consumer groups and American Council of Life Insurers square off over how stringent the investment advice standard should be


An effort by state insurance regulators to raise investment-advice standards for annuity sales appears to be driving a wedge between consumer organizations and a life insurance trade association.

In light of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners established a working group in April to review its suitability standard for annuity sales.

In advance of the working group's next meeting on Sunday in Philadelphia, the NAIC has been receiving input on its review, including a proposal for a "uniform standard of care" submitted by the American Council of Life Insurers.

Under the ACLI framework, a broker or insurance representative would be making a recommendation in the best interest of a consumer when he or she makes no misleading statements, fully discloses fees and compensation and "avoids, discloses or reasonably manages material conflicts of interest."

The ACLI approach drew a rebuke from 14 consumers groups in a comment letter to the NAIC working group. The organizations, which include the AFL-CIO, Better Markets, the Center for Economic Justice and the Consumer Federation of America, said that ACLI's proposal did not restrict conflicts of interest.

"Instead, the ACLI proposal would give firms a choice of disclosing, managing or avoiding conflicts," states the letter, which also was signed by 10 individuals identified as NAIC consumer representatives. "The predictable outcome is industrywide practice of addressing conflicts through disclosure alone, despite overwhelming evidence that such an approach is ineffective in protecting consumers from the harmful impacts of conflicts."

The ACLI supports a uniform standard of care that can be enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the DOL and state regulators, said Jim Szostek, ACLI vice president, taxes and retirement security.

"The [DOL] fiduciary regulation is causing significant harm to American investors, who are losing access to advice," Mr. Szostek said in a statement. "The elements in our outline are aimed at providing a better solution that significantly enhances the current NAIC suitability standard. It works to enhance existing standards enforced by state insurance regulators, the SEC and Finra [the broker-dealer regulator], bringing to bear decades of experience in enforcing disclosure-based rules. In fact, the DOL failed to provide any meaningful evidence that these disclosure-based rules are ineffective in protecting consumers."

Inappropriate sales of variable and fixed annuities, which provide an income stream in retirement but can be complicated and costly, have been cited by DOL rule proponents as examples of why the regulation is needed.

The current NAIC model suitability regulation requires that a recommendation for an annuity purchase be suitable for a client based on his or her investment objectives, time line, net worth, liquidity needs and risk tolerance, among other criteria. Insurance is regulated at the state level, and the NAIC model rule has been adopted by 40 states.

In their letter, the consumer groups outlined seven "key principles" the NAIC should follow in reforming its annuity suitability standard, including "substantive prohibitions on conflicts of interest as opposed to 'managing' or 'disclosing'" them.

"In addition to requiring avoidance of conflicts, it must include a requirement to engage in a prudent process and document the basis on which the insurer and producer concluded the product recommended was the best of the available options for the customer," the letter states.

The ACLI model differed on that point, too.

"The uniform standard of care does not require a recommendation of the least expensive or 'best' product available," the ACLI diagram states.

The ACLI also said that its advice standard applies on a transaction basis, meaning that there is no ongoing duty of care for the adviser beyond the point of sale. It also allows the sale of proprietary products and the receipt of compensation, such as commissions, that vary according to the product. The ACLI framework closely resembles the best-interest standard outlined in recent House legislation supported by Republican lawmakers.

The DOL rule is being reviewed under a directive from President Donald J. Trump that could lead to a delay of the Jan. 1 final implementation date or other result in other changes.

Under the DOL regulation, brokers would have to adhere to a fiduciary standard, which is the standard that currently governors investment advisers. Supporters say the DOL rule mitigates broker conflicts that lead to the sales of inappropriate high-fee investment products that erode savings. Industry opponents say the regulation is too complex and costly and will force brokers to abandon savers with modest accounts.

Cold Calling Tips & Scripts for Insurance Agents

Cold Calling Tips & Scripts for Insurance Agents

August, 2017 | By PermissionGroup


First off… let’s clear the air.

Cold calling works, it still works for today’s insurance agents, and it produces tremendous results. Just because the fear of rejection might be lessened in other forms of prospecting and marketing doesn’t mean cold calling is ineffective. Not in the least.

Cold calling is not dead.


Sure, things like social media and email marketing are also good, but don’t count cold calling as dead, outdated, or something only the older insurance agents do.

Cold calling works and it works in amazing ways and can result in tens of thousands of dollars in new business commission this year. But you’ll have to make the cold calls to find out for yourself.

What to Say in a Cold Call

There’s no perfect cold-calling script, but maybe this will help you understand what works and what doesn’t, and why.

QUESTION: Which of the following two cold-calling scripts do you think works better at getting people’s attention and ultimately an appointment?

  1. “Hello, my name is Charles Specht and I’m with Permission Insurance, Inc. Our firm has been in existence since 1954 and we are experts at many types of insurance, particularly auto insurance. Our service people are truly some of the best in the industry and we represent most of the major insurance carriers writing your industry. We have very competitive rates and I’d like to meet with you for 15 minutes or so to see if I can save you any money. How does this Tuesday at 1:30pm sound?”
  2. “15 minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

Well … #2 works better because it is short, sweet, and has a juicy Carrot on the end of a stick that you want to take a bite out of. And that’s the key.

(PS: Thanks Geico, for your help on this one!)

The Cold Call Carrot

You need a C3, which stands for Cold Call Carrot.

When it comes to cold calling, you need to throw out your big Carrot in the first two or three sentences, and then STOP TALKING.

So figure out what your Carrot is.

No…seriously…figure it out BEFORE you make the calls!


It might be, for example:

  • Our workers’ compensation program is saving other box manufacturers in California, just like yours, anywhere from 33%-67% off their total annual insurance costs. Are you interested?
  • Our Social Services program will give you unlimited Defense Costs, we write 57 other adoption agencies in Florida, and we’re 27% less expensive than most other carriers. Are you interested?
  • By combining your health insurance policy and your worker’s compensation renewal with our agency, we’re often able to convince underwriters to offer you an additional credit on their quote, which you wouldn’t otherwise receive. Are you interested?

Basically, you tell the prospect who you are, throw out the major PROBLEM THEY ARE EXPERIENCING AND WHAT YOUR SOLUTION TO IT IS, ask for an appointment to see if they will qualify, and be quiet.

Don’t talk too much. Make it a few sentences, and then just be quiet and don’t break the silence. Let them be the first to speak.

But make sure your offering is a truthful, ethical, mouth-wateringly attractive Carrot……the “reason” they should be interested and will want to meet with you.

What if I Make Your Cold Calls?

Maybe I would say something like this if I was making your cold calls…

“Hello John, and thanks for taking my call. My name is Charles and I solve problems for structural steel erection contractors, just like your company. I insure 27 other such contractors around the country and my policy provides “Completed Operations” coverage to satisfy all the certificate requirements of your general contractors. My sales rate has been roughly 27% less than the other carriers writing structural steel erection contractors. Are you interested?”

Write out your Carrot, use it, memorize it…and it will become your elevator pitch!

So… what is your C3? What is your Cold Call Carrot?

PS: Good luck on the cold calls, and sell some profitable business!

Louisiana Man Sets Woman's House on Fire With Children Inside

July 13, 2017 | By The Times


A Louisiana man who authorities say set fire to his ex-girlfriend's house while her six children were inside has been arrested.

The Times-Picayune reports 41-year-old Demond Sampson was arrested July 7 and charged with violation of a protective order and aggravated arson of an inhabited dwelling. He was also booked on a separate simple battery charge.

The St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Office said in a statement Tuesday that Sampson walked into the backyard of his ex-girlfriend's house, poured gasoline on a corner of the house and ignited a fire with the children inside.

Authorities say the children range in age from one to 18 and that Sampson isn't related to the children. The state fire marshal's office is investigating the fire. It's unclear if Sampson has a lawyer.

Want more success in insurance sales? Do this

Want more success in insurance sales? Do this

July 13, 2017 | By Kevin Trokey

Merrill Lynch

Nothing will make you more attractive than confidence

Want to know what will do the most to increase the odds of success on your next sales presentation?

Do you think it's to:

  •  Research the prospect to understand their situation as completely as possible? 
  •  Make sure you have reviewed all of your solutions to ensure you can speak effectively to the needs addressed by each? 
  •  Practice your sales conversation to make sure you are on top of your game?
  •  Double check to make sure the conversation will not focus on you telling your story, but will instead focus on your ability to improve the story of the prospect?

Yeah, every one of these is critically important and will improve your odds for success; however, the one thing you can do to most improve your odds for success has nothing to do with the prospect with whom you are about to meet, or even the sales conversation you will be taking to them.

Put 5 more opportunities into your pipeline

The one thing you can do to most improve your odds for success in your next prospect meeting is to put five more opportunities into your pipeline before you go.

Having a full pipeline of prospects is one of your greatest sources of confidence, and nothing will make you more attractive to your upcoming opportunity than confidence.

We all know that the more you need something, the less likely you are to get it. Desperation is not attractive.

If your pipeline is inadequate, it leads to desperation, increases the likelihood of failure, and puts up unimaginable barriers to success for the few opportunities you do have. However, when your pipeline is full, you can focus on the positives of your circumstances instead of the negatives.

When you are focused on positives, you further increase your confidence, become more passionate, and you expect to win.

And, guess what happens when you add a positive perspective, confidence and the expectation of winning to the four bullet points listed above? Yep, you win.

Bonus idea to fill that pipeline

One of the most powerful ways to fill your pipeline with prospects and close more business is through referrals if you know how to do it.

The truth is, most referral requests fail because the work is left to the client, who's too busy to do it.

Here's how to avoid this mistake:

  •  List out the clients who love you most — your raving fans.
  •  Next, for each raving fan, make two additional lists, labeled A and B.
  •  “A” lists all the great things you’ve done for each client, which is a source of continued confidence reminding you that you’ve earned referrals.
        •  “B” is a list of other companies within their circle of influence; companies you’d like to do business with. Find these by exploring their LinkedIn connections, business neighbors, non-profit boards, customers, vendors, industry groups, etc.

With the hard work of identifying introduction opportunities already done for them, all the client needs to do is make the call.

Game on!