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Friday, July 29, 2016

5 Surefire Tips to Reduce Employee Turnover

By Guy Weismantel, Vice President of Marketing at Vertafore

Are your employees happy with their jobs? Why should you care? Does your employees' level of job satisfaction really affect the agency as a whole? The answer lies in 5 key findings from Hanover Research's' 2016 study about why employees leave their jobs with insurance agencies. In the report, Hanover looked at agencies that had an unusually high number of employees who were either leaving, or being hired.
  1. Change Without Communication Causes Damage

    In 40 percent of those agencies in Hanover's report, the reasons had to do with changes in company culture. Something that the agency did — or failed to do — affected the company culture in a negative way and spurred people to look elsewhere for a job.

    So how can you prevent this from happening? It's important to have systems in place for gathering feedback from your employees. Let them know that you care about them and supply various avenues for them to express what they are thinking and feeling without negative repercussions. If you open the channels of communication and pay attention to what your employees say, you'll be more likely to enact positive changes—changes that make your agents want to stick around.

    Read more about mitigating communications problems.

  2. A Negative Company Culture Pushes People Away

    In one of Hanover's surveys for their report, they asked respondents to rate the level of influence that specific factors have on an employee's decision to stay or go. For 55% of respondents, company culture ranked highest on the list of factors.

    Read more about the fallout that can come from a negative company culture.

  3. Employees Value the Agency's Adaptability

    Hanover found that for a third of employees, the deciding factor for leaving a company is its openness to change.

    Read more about how status quo can lead to stagnation.

  4. The Budget Should Have Room for Upgrades

    Another third of respondents said the company budget is a powerful factor that affects whether employees stay or leave an agency. With an upgrade to modern software systems, your employees could have dozens of additional features and resources at their fingertips.

    Read more about how upgrading systems can increase productivity.

  5. The Pain of Same is Worse than the Pain of Change

    Take a moment to think about the technology and software that you and your employees use at your insurance agency. How old is it? If you don't know, shoot an email to your IT crew and find out. Perhaps it's time for a change.

    Download Vertafore's free e-book Managing Your Workforce in the Digital Era to find out how you can invest in your agency's long-term success.

Vertafore delivers cloud-based insurance software and services that transform the business of insurance. With the largest customer-base in the industry, more than 20,000 agencies and carriers leverage Vertafore’s insurance solutions that are built on today’s most advanced cloud, mobile, and information technology platforms. Learn more and contact Vertafore.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

NAIC Releases Revised Version of Market Regulation Handbook-Chapter 18

Yesterday, the NAIC Title Affiliated Business Process Review released a revised version of the Market Regulation Handbook chapter on examination of title insurance and agents. ABIA submitted a comment letter to the NAIC on July 15 suggesting they had a note and modify language in the chapter. All of ABIA's comments and suggestions were considered and incorporated in the revised version of the Market Regulation Handbook.

If you have any questions or would like to join the ABIA Title Insurance working group, please contact Sarah Ferman at

Read ABIA comment letter.

View Market Regulation Handbook- Chapter 18.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

ABIA Submits Comment Letter re Incentive-based Compensation Arrangements

In a letter to regulators yesterday, the American Bankers Insurance Association expressed its opposition the Federal Reserve Board’s proposal to apply its incentive-based compensation rule to persons providing insurance. ABIA pointed out that the proposal is “inconsistent with joint rulemaking and unenforceable,” and urged the board to exclude insurance providers from the rule.

The incentive-based compensation rule was mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, which notably leaves out any reference to insurance firms, ABIA pointed out. While the OCC’s and FDIC’s version of the proposed rule includes an exclusion for persons providing insurance, the Fed’s definition of “covered person” does not, making it contrary to the terms specified by Dodd-Frank.

The association added that the incentive-based compensation rules are to be enforced under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which explicitly states that the Fed does not have enforcement authority over insurance providers. Therefore, the Fed lacks the authority to enforce the rule, ABIA concluded. Read the letter. For more information, contact ABA's Sarah Ferman.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Court Decision in Texas case vs CFPB

On Tuesday, July 12, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. ruled in a case that questions the constitutionality of the CFPB’s structure and the authority of the CFPB’s director to act before he was confirmed by the Senate (State Nat’l Bank of Big Spring v. Lew (D.D.C. No. 12-1032)).

There were two issues before the court:

1. Whether the CFPB is constitutional as it is currently structured, which raises a separation of powers issue: The district court deferred a decision on this issue until a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C. decides the same issue in an important case pending before that court (PHH Mortgage v. CFPB).

2. Whether CFPB Director Richard Cordray’s actions taken while he was a recess appointee (before the Senate confirmed him) were valid: The district court held that Director Cordray’s actions while a recess appointee were valid, because after he was confirmed by the Senate, he ratified his earlier actions in a notice filed in the Federal Register.

While the second issue was a loss for the banking industry, the decision on the first issue is yet to be decided, which makes the PHH Mortgage vs. the CFPB case filed last October a important case to continue to monitor.

If you are interested in or have any questions about the above cases, please join the monthly ABIA CFPB Task Force call.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nichols Brings Message of Fintech Innovation, Partnership to the Hill

Banks are aggressively innovating and partnering with financial technology startups, but Congress and regulatory agencies could do more to promote “innovation-forward” policies, ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols told the House Financial Services Committee yesterday.

As the only representative of the banking industry testifying at the hearing, Nichols explained that banks continue to build on their history of technological innovation, and that many are currently partnering with nonbank fintech companies to bring their customers the latest tech through trusted and secure bank channels.

“When banks innovate and partner with startups to deliver new technologies, their customers win,” he said. “Banks have a long history of serving customers' needs and have established trusted relationships. These relationships are backed by a culture of compliance and regulatory oversight that ensures customers are protected.”

Nichols emphasized the win-win nature of fintech partnerships for banks, nonbanks and customers alike. Banks provide a trusted customer relationship, strong community presence and stable deposit funding, while customers get access to the most innovative technologies -- whether or not they emerged from a bank.

To help foster these partnerships, Nichols urged Congress and regulators to ensure that regulation is focused on activities, not charter type; to update laws and rules to reflect present-day and future technologies; and to provide a regulatory “greenhouse” for testing new fintech products.

Read the Testimony.