Do you want to work for an employer who is uninsurable? Those Errors and Omissions insurers look for agencies with solid employees, good business practices and low turnover. This is more reason to believe that the biggest pillars in being an insurance professional would be to never bad mouth the competition and always keep true to the confidentiality agreement.
For instance, in Florida P & C leader Brown and Brown won a judgement against Assured Partners to quit taking clients and employees. Yes, you read that right. The retired COO and former acquisition officer of Brown and Brown started their own business – Assured Partners – and ended up pilfering employees and clients.
Brown and Brown have levied a 1.6 million bond again Assured Partners to recoup what they have lost. Employees that moved to Assured Partners from Brown and Brown are just asked to comply with the confidentiality statement. But still, would you want to be in this awkward position? Here are some tips to stay out of it.
Bad mouthing the Competition:
Each of us has been in the conversation with the insured where they threaten the competition. You get the ‘grass is greener’ speech. They have lower prices and they have better service. Of course they do.
In responding, leave bad business practices behind. Do not refer complaining customers to a websites trashing the competition and/or share horror stories about the competition from other customers. Take the high road.
Please remember, the competition can call your business and listen to your jargon just like any other perspective insured. You do not want the competition slapping your agency or you personally with a defamation lawsuit. It becomes an Errors and Omissions exposure at best.
Keeping true to the Confidentiality Statement:
When leaving an agency and/or starting new someplace else – start fresh. Yes, there are lingering clients who like dealing with you wherever you go; however, if you have a special relationship it should not be hard for them to find you – let them.
The agreement you sign gives any employer rights to files, documents, recorded manuals, computer programs, pricing policies, correspondence, memorandums, trade secrets, know-how, software, underwriting policies, marketing techniques, inventions and improvements.
Often it sets a time limit of two or three years wherein once the agent contract is terminated that agent cannot sell products of the same nature. It might even forbid an agent from working directly with the competition.
Trust me, as an underwriter, the last thing you want to hear is from an agency principle yelling about how the company wrote this or that with a former employee. Neither does the Errors and Omissions carrier.
Bottom line, what goes around, comes around. That guy you’re talking trash about today, might be your boss tomorrow. An agent’s conduct makes all the difference and, if good conduct is adhered to, no one has cause to bad mouth your sales, your underwriting, or your claims.