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2019 Issues - The E&O Report

​Issues from 2019 are listed below. Issues from previous years can be accessed in the toolbar to the left.
One of the more common questions that we receive from insurance agencies and brokerages is how to handle requests for the disclosure of information that is contained in their insured’s file. If such a request is received and handled properly, an agency or brokerage can help reduce the likelihood of becoming involved in an E&O claim or lawsuit. In this issue of The E&O Report, we will review some of the procedures that an agency or brokerage should follow if it receives a request from an insurance company, an insured, an attorney, or anyone else, to disclose information regarding that is contained in an insured’s file. [more]
In the December 2018 E&O Report, we advised you of the Article 78 legal proceeding that was filed in the Albany County Supreme Court, challenging the First Amendment to NY Insurance Regulation 187. The title of the Amended Regulation is Suitability and Best Interests in Life Insurance and Annuity Transactions. In this month’s E&O Report, we provide an update regarding the status of the Amended Regulation and the continued legal challenge to it by Big I NY. [more]
Serial entrepreneurs are some of the best customers for insurance agents and brokers. New businesses lead to new risks to be covered, which in turn leads to more work and additional commission from premiums for agents and brokers. However, sometimes these particular gift horses prove to be just as much of a headache. In this issue of The E&O Report, we discuss a case we recently handled where the conduct of this type of client created E&O issues for the broker involved. [more]
As you are probably aware from news reports and attorney advertisements, a new law takes effect in New York on August 14, 2019 that will likely result in the filing of thousands, or perhaps tens of thousands, of lawsuits by victims of child sexual abuse. The handling of these claims may be challenging to insurance agents and brokers and they should be handled with extreme care. [more]
One of the best E&O loss control practices for insurance agencies and brokerages to follow is the use of coverage checklists. This simple, but highly effective, E&O loss control practice is one that any size, or type of, agency or brokerage can easily implement and follow. In this issue of The E&O Report, we will discuss how insurance coverage checklists should be used and the many benefits that they provide when they are used on a regular basis. [more]
The current market conditions present many opportunities for insurance agencies and brokerages with regard to the acquisition of other agencies or brokerages or books of business. We have seen a big increase in this activity during the past few years. There are various issues and concerns that must always be considered by both the selling and purchasing entities before and during any acquisition process. As we regularly handle these types of matters, in this issue of The E&O Report we will review some of the issues that should be considered when an agency or brokerage is looking to acquire or sell another agency or brokerage or a book of business. [more]
New Jersey Law is some of the harshest in the country for insurance agents and brokers. As we have advised repeatedly over the years, insurance agents and brokers should be aware of the legal standard of care required in any state in which they transact business. Since many New York insurance agents and brokers also do business in the state of New Jersey, in this issue of The E&O Report, we will review the duty of care for insurance agents and brokers in New Jersey and also discuss some recent developments that have occurred in connection with that legal standard. [more]
In May and June, the Big I NY Annual Errors & Omissions Loss Control Seminars will once again be presented by the law firm of Keidel, Weldon & Cunningham, LLP. If you are interested in attending the upcoming seminars you should contact Big I NY and register as soon as possible. As usual, the seminars will provide important information regarding the trends and key issues that New York insurance agents and brokers should be aware of. The seminars can be attended by agents and brokers in several different ways. In this issue of the E&O Report we explain what will be covered during this year’s seminars and also the various ways that you can attend them. [more]
Back in 1978, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision concerning seven dirty words used by comedian George Carlin in one his monologues that if spoken on the radio would result in fines by the FCC. While we will not say those seven words here, now that we have your attention, we would like to address some of the words that insurance agents and brokers should avoid using in their communications with customers and potential customers in order to help prevent, or lessen, possible E&O claims and lawsuits. In our experience the use of certain words or phrases by insurance agents and brokers, (especially when used in your website, flyers, advertisements and marketing material, digital or otherwise), should be avoided because they can be used by insureds against the agent or broker in an E&O claim or lawsuit to create duties and responsibilities never agreed upon or intended. In this issue of “The E&O Report” we discuss some of these words and phrases and why avoiding them is the best practice to follow. [more]
Agreeing to an oppressive arbitration provision can spell doom for your agency. [more]
Each New Year, people reflect on what occurred during the prior year and they make resolutions concerning changes which are intended to improve their lives. It has been a few years since we have done so, but in the past we have suggested that insurance agencies and brokerages should do the same at the beginning of a new year. While each agency and brokerage knows the specific areas in which it may need to resolve to make changes, below are our suggested resolutions that agencies and brokerages may want to consider in the new year in order to provide better customer service, increase business and also help prevent E&O claims and lawsuits. [more]