PIA North Shore Takes Disaster Response Trailer to Florida
for Recovery Efforts

A HUGE thank you to the PIA North Shore and the Disaster Response Trailer (DRT) that went on the road to Florida. They served meals and provided supplies! Thank you to all the hands involved, and thanks to those that generously donated to make this possible! Please be sure to like the PIA North Shore Facebook page and/or PIA of Louisiana Facebook page to get updates and view pictures of our volunteers in action! We are #PIAPROUD

Consumer Alert: Department of Insurance Advises Senior Citizens
to Beware of Medicare Scams

Be sure to spread the word to your customers: Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is advising senior citizens to be on the lookout for scammers attempting to retrieve personal information with fraudulent phone alerts from Medicare. Louisiana seniors have reported to the Department of Insurance that they have received automated phone calls advising that a failure to give over information will result in cancellation of Medicare benefits.

"New Medicare cards being issued this year has led to a spike in scams and attempts to steal the personal information of Medicare recipients," said Commissioner Donelon. "If someone calls and asks you for personal information or threatens to cancel your benefits, please hang up and immediately contact Medicare or the Louisiana Department of Insurance at 1-800-529-5300."

New cards are mailing to Louisiana Medicare recipients this month and October 15th marked the beginning of Medicare Open Enrollment, so this is prime season for fraud attempts.

The National Council on Aging has provided information on the following Medicare card scams.…


Google Invests in Applied Systems

Google has purchased a minority stake in Applied Systems, which provides insurance agency software, cloud based software and other tech for independent agencies. CapitalG is the growth equity investment fund at Alphabet, Google's parent company.

Reid French, chief executive officer at Applied Systems, confirmed that Google, through CapitalG, will become a minority investor in the insurance agency software company. At the same time, French added that the financial stake Google/CapitalG holds in Applied Systems is a significant one.

Jesse Wedler, a principal with CapitalG, was quoted in Insurance Journal as making supportive remarks about the independent agency channel, albeit noting at the same time he's not a spokesman for Google's insurance strategy. "Our investment is only going to do well if the agency channel goes well," Wedler said. "I am not a spokesperson for Google's insurance strategy overall, but that is 100 percent the case—we are believers in the agency channel."

READ: Why Google Couldn't 'Compare' With Local Agents

A previous attempt by Google to enter the property-casualty industry ended in failure. In 2015-2016 the company attempted to sell auto insurance through its now-defunct Google Compare site.

Hurricane Michael Losses Continue

Loss estimates from Hurricane Michael continue to come in. Catastrophe risk modeler RMS says the insurance industry losses from Hurricane Michael is estimated at $6.8 billion to $10 billion, including insured losses from wind and storm surge damage across Florida, Georgia, and other areas of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions and losses to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Hurricane force winds are estimated to have caused between $6.4 billion and $8.7 billion of insurance industry losses, while storm surge is estimated to have caused between $400 million and $1.3 billion.

This compares to the estimates from Karen Clark & Co. which said the hurricane would likely cause almost $8 billion of losses to the insurance and reinsurance sector; AIR Worldwide, which estimated between $6 billion and $10 billion; and Corelogic, which said up to $5 billion. The estimates include property damage and business interruption to residential, commercial, industrial, and automobile lines of business.

New Survey: Small Businesses Need Cyber Insurance

Small businesses know they are at cyber risk, according to a new survey by J.D. Power and the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.). The survey found that businesses said the risk of being victimized by a cyberattack is growing at an alarming rate. But only a minority have cyber insurance. Only 31 percent said they have cyber insurance — and 70 percent said they don't have plans to purchase a policy.

READ: Small Businesses Know They're At Cyber Risk

The survey found that 10 percent of respondents said they have experienced at least one cyber incident in the prior year. That's about the same rate as drivers get into auto accidents. Imagine getting into an accident and not having auto insurance. The survey found that the average small business cyber losses for the past year were $188,400. That's a lot of money for a small company.

The Omnia Profile—a PIA Member Benefit

What makes an employee unhappy at work? Lack of communication? Unclear expectations? A lack of challenge? No support? It's tough to say, since what motivates one employee may actually demotivate another! When you have unhappy employees the rest of the team begins to carry more of the workload, and active disengagement can directly lead to high turnover.

For years, PIA has recommended The Omnia Profile® behavioral assessment product. It provides managers and agency owners with incredibly accurate assessments of their producers' assets and liabilities and is a critical tool for agency owners who plan to hire new agency personnel.

The quick, online, instant report offers clear, easy-to-understand language to acquire objective insight into how compatible an existing or prospective employee is with a job, a work culture and a management approach. The more in depth custom profile can spell out what motivates each unique individual on your team, and whether you need to tweak strategies to improve the sales-to-close ratio.

When first contacting Omnia, PIA members receive a free online, instant assessment or a free custom assessment of an agency employee or prospective employee. Plus, if you buy a package of Omnia Profiles you'll receive one free.

Get started on your track to success today by calling Carletta Clyatt of The Omnia Group at 800-525-7117, x 1226 or email her at cclyatt@omniagroup.com and be sure to tell her you are a PIA member.

Or visit The Omnia Group website at www.omniagroup.com/pia-members/