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Jul 10
On Our Mind...What it Means to Be Independent

​By Jim Lombardo, CPCU, AAI, AIM, MBA, AVP of Learning & Development

Ahhh to be “independent." defines it as:

  1. not influenced or controlled by others in matters of opinion, conduct, etc.; thinking or acting for oneself
  2. not subject to another's authority or jurisdiction; autonomous; free
  3. not influenced by the thought or action of others
  4. not dependent; not depending or contingent upon something else for existence, operation, etc.​

You are an independent insurance agent!  You have the freedom to do what is best for your customer.  It is a tremendous benefit that comes with an equally tremendous responsibility.  Of course, price is important, but you have the opportunity to offer ANY company your agency works with.  That is a very advantageous and strategic position to be in.  So use it!!  Explain to your clients and prospects why your agency is the best place for their insurance.  Use your power of independence to paint that picture.

We all get lazy, complacent and/or stuck in routines at times.  I understand. BUT, in today's competitive and cutthroat marketplace, it is essential that you and your staff are always “on your game."

Use the different carriers you have access to.  Find out the obvious and also the not so obvious benefits of doing business with them.  Utilize all available discounts and credits.  Carriers change pricing.  They have niches and certain classifications they are priced right for.  Find out!!

How can you say you are independent if you place most of your business with one carrier?  How can you say you are independent when you don't take the time to do a thorough review and evaluation of your clients' needs and exposures?  How can you say you are independent if you don't always strive for better?  Better companies?  Better coverages?  Better experience?  Better knowledge?

Here are some upcoming webinars that will help you become more knowledgeable.  Take advantage of them.

ABEN Basics of Property Values and Coinsurance Conditions

VU 5 Contractor Coverage Concepts All Agents MUST Know

VU 3 Keys To Getting the Named Insured Correct

Big I NY 2020 Annual E&O Loss Control Seminar: Webinar​

Jul 08
Webinar: Get to Know JIBNA Personal Jewelry Insurance

​Join us for this FREE webinar featuring JIBNA Personal Jewelry Insurance. JIBNA is a unique, stand-alone personal jewelry program that can accommodate small to multi-million dollar schedules. Best of all, JIBNA does NOT require new appraisals!

Wednesday, July 22  |  2:00 pm​

​Save Your Spot​

Jul 07
Moratorium, Premium Payment Flexibility Emergency Regulation Expires

As of 12:01am on Tuesday, July 7th, emergency restrictions on insurance carriers' and premium finance agencies' ability to terminate coverage and requirements for premium flexibility are no longer in effect. The emergency regulation, first adopted on March 30th, and subsequently re-adopted with changes on June 29th, expired on July 6th, per Executive Order 202.48.

Relief granted to policyholders prior to July 6th remains in effect. For example, an insured who demonstrated hardship for a June 1 premium payment is still entitled to a 60-day deferral (until July 31), and the option to repay that premium in 12 monthly installments.

Contact Scott Hobson with questions.

More information is available from the Coronavirus Resource Page.

Jul 02
NYS DFS Delays Producer License Expirations Through Aug. 7

​The New York State Department of Financial Services today announced that it was again extending the expiration of individual insurance agent and broker licenses. These licenses will now expire on August 7. The move grants producers an additional 30 days to renew their licenses. The requirement that a monitor be present to complete producer continuing education and pre-licensing course exams online also remains suspended.

Be aware that this extention applies to individual licenses only. It does not apply to licenses issued to business entities.

On March 25, the department announced that it was suspending the expiration of producers' licenses for 60 days, through May 24, due to anticipated difficulty for producers to meet continuing education requirements during the current pandemic. All licenses with expiration dates between those dates were automatically extended to expire on May 25. The department subsequently extended the deadline to July 8. Today's announcement pushes that expiration date back to August 7. For example, a license scheduled to expire on July 2 will now expire on August 7.

Visit the Big I NY Education Calendar to find webinars that you can take to meet the continuing education credit requirements.

Jul 02
On Our Mind...Thinking Intelligently

​By Jim Lombardo, CPCU, AAI, AIM, MBA, AVP of Learning & Development

 Someone called me an intelligent thinker the other day. I had to look that up to see what it meant.  LOL!  Here is what I found at (and what I normally try to do).

1.   Learn from your mistakes
Everything we do is a matter of trial and error. A baby cannot learn to walk without falling down first, and we cannot do better at work if we don't know what to improve.

2.   Re-evaluate your views
The greatest minds of all time have re-evaluated their initial theories. When we think of intelligent, famous people, scientists usually come to mind – because scientists have to adapt to the constant stream of new discoveries influencing their life's work. Take Einstein, who altered his theory of general relativity, and famously said “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them".  Train your brain to adapt to new situations and information – you will only get smarter with time.

3.   Recover from failures
The most intelligent of people make mistakes – renowned filmmakers release box office flops, and manufactures put products on the market which fail. It may feel humiliating and unpleasant when an idea which you think is genius is unsuccessful, but this happens to the best of us.

4.   Make your own luck
Nobody achieved anything monumental just waiting for it to happen. Making smart decisions takes effort – you need to read, do your research, and work to achieve your goals.

5.   Push for what you believe in
A smart person knows when to push for what they believe in and stick to it, even if the situation takes a turn for the worst. Intelligent people are like rubber bands – anything can happen and they can adapt to the change. There is a huge difference between not doing something because you might fail, and doing something despite the risk

6.   Know that actions speak louder than words
We all know someone who likes to say how great they are. But intelligent people know that their actions speak louder than words. A study found self-evaluations to be not nearly as accurate as evaluations made by other people, who had watched the participants conduct conversations. If you want to be taken seriously and respected by coworkers and friends, let your hard work prove your worth.​

Here are some upcoming webinars to make you more intelligent, including one webinar that brings you one step closer to a designation.

ABEN Little This a Little That: New Threats & Possibilities

Insuring Condominium and Homeowner's Associations​

ACSR 7 Commercial Liability Insurance Webinar   ​ 

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