American Agent & Broker
AA&B's most popular February articles

PLGA plans to increase personal lines growth for independent agents
Although independent agents and their carriers command 80 percent of the commercial lines market, they only write 34 percent of personal lines. The newly launched Personal Lines Growth Alliance wants to change all that. Read more in this AA&B Web exclusive here.

Small businesses, big risks: Everyone needs EPLI
Workplace discrimination claims are at an all-time high and small business owners feel vulnerable. With a difficult economy and new employment laws making charges and lawsuits more likely, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) is evolving from a high-priced option to an affordable necessity for smaller companies. A recent survey of small business owners found that 66 percent were concerned their employees would file an employment-related charge against them. At the same time, a recent industry study indicated that only 1.2 percent of businesses had purchased EPL insurance. Read more about EPLI in this AA&B Web exclusive here.

Risk management love
For the month of romance, AA&B columnist Chris Amrhein takes a look at a very important but undervalued relationship: the one between insurance agents and their customers. Read more here.

What do agents want? You might be surprised
Conferences, luncheons and speaker events can be great tools for insurance agents to learn about new products, educate themselves and network with other agents. But a recent survey revealed most agents would rather stay in their offices and at their desks than attend such events. Read more here.

Destined for insurance
Can a young employee find happiness with a job in the insurance industry? For Matthew Rosenhoover, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" This month's "Last Word" by Rosenhoover, an account executive at The Barclay Group, describes how the industry can attract young workers. Read more here.

AA&B Pulse

Each week we ask our readers for input on current industry issues. This week's question:

A Towers Watson study of P-C insurers shows rising costs and fraud from claims. What claims activity has your agency experienced?

• Claims have increased
• Claims have decreased
• Levels are about the same

We want your opinion! Take AA&B's poll here.

Poll results from January

1. Insurance broker mergers and acquisitions in 2009 dropped 40% from the previous year, according to Hales & Co. What do you think will happen to M&As this year?

• The number will increase—there are some great deals out there for buyers — 21.4%
• They'll decrease—there's too much economic uncertainty — 42.9%
• The market will stay level with last year's activity — 35.7%


2. Toyota is in the news for its vehicle recall due to faulty accelerators. Which of these well-known consumer products have NOT been recalled?

• Hydroxycut nutritional product — recalled in 2009
• O.B. brand tampons — no recall—although Procter & Gamble recalled Rely brand tampons in 1980 (12.5% of respondents answered correctly)
• Sony laptop batteries — recalled in 2006 and 2008
• Famous Amos cookies — recalled in 2009
• Bridgestone/Firestone tires — recalled in 2000


3. What was your favorite commercial airing on the 2010 Super Bowl?

• Snickers' "Betty White" commercial — 23.0%
• Hyundai's "Brett Favre" commercial — 23.0%
• Budweiser's "House of Beer" — 15.4%
• Coke's Mr. Burns' Poorhouse — 30.8%
• BoostMobile "Super Bowl Shuffle" parody — 7.8%


4. Nearly half of insurers plan to add employees in 2010, according to a recent survey by Ward Group and Jacobson Group. What are your hiring plans this year?

• We will be hiring — 33.3%
• We will have layoffs — 4.8%
• We will keep our staffing levels the same — 61.9%

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