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A New Business Reality — Demotion

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. A lot of companies are seeing increasing costs and decreasing profits. Since profit is the point, many executives and small business people — like many of you — are doing what they can to cut costs to thrive and stay alive. 

Many times that means changing the structure of the company and those changes often mean demotions for some employees. Demotions also come poor performance. A survey from the Robert Half Company’s OfficeTeam said 47% of human resource managers say they’ve had to demote one or more employees.

Reasons vary:

  39% of the HR managers said poor performance is the reason

  38% said the person didn’t succeed at the job once promoted into it

  16% noted the company was restructuring or eliminating the position

  6% said the demotion was voluntary

Brandi Briton is Office Teams district president. She said, “A demotion may happen for a variety of reasons, including performance issues, organizational changes and an employee requesting fewer responsibilities due to personal or career priorities”

She said demotions are a tough but a new reality. “It’s never easy to accept a lower role, but workers can show their professionalism and bounce back by keeping their emotions in check, understanding the root cause and performing at a high level to position themselves for future advancement,” Briton added.

Bouncing back includes:

  Understanding why the downgrade happened

  Seeking detailed information about the new job

  Asking how they can improve

  Asking if training is available

  Asking if the demotion can eventually be reversed

Briton said an employee needs to weigh all the options and decide whether they want to make the most of the new position or to look for work elsewhere.

Other findings:

  Men — 19% — were more likely to be demoted than women — 7%

  HR managers said 22% of employees aged 18 to 34 were more likely to be downgraded

  Just 10% of those 35 to 54 suffered downgrades

  Only 3% of people 55 and over were demoted

  One in 10 — 14% — of the work population have been demoted

  Of those demoted, 52% quit

  The other 48% tried to make a go of it

  47% of those demoted said they lost interest in work

  41% took the news well and focused on excelling in the new job

The survey was done by OfficeTeam and touched over 300 HR managers in U.S. companies with 20 or more employees. The company also talked with 1,000 workers aged 18 and over working in offices.

Source link: Carrier Management

Tags:  demotion  employment  insurance content  insurance industry  officeteam  robert half 

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Employee Violence & Homicides Increasing

Posted By Administration, Monday, June 12, 2017

Violence seems to be on the increase. U.S. Television and radio broadcasts and newspapers are packed with stories about people being assaulted or killed. The once considered fairly safe workplace is also under attack.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a report last week after the fatal shooting at a business in Orlando, Florida. It said workplace homicides rose 2% from 2012 to 2015 to 417. Shootings in the workplace jumped by 15%.

Most of the violence and deaths are because of revenge over a firing or workplace grievance or a romantic breakup or motive.

Threat assessment expert Michael Corcoran said, “It really all boils down pretty much to the same issues: A person wants to feel that they have more control, they want to have more power. What we are seeing when this happens is it gets played up more, so they say, ‘Ah OK, that’s an alternative.”’

Companies — notes Matthew Doherty of the threat and violence risk management firm Hillard Heintze — are getting better at spotting disgruntled employees and many have systems in place to monitor those who might be a threat. Tracking employees via an employee assessment team is critical for any company.

“Anybody that employs anybody in the U.S. should have one,” Doherty said. By the way, he before doing risk assessment for Hillard Heintze, he was a special agent for the Secret Service’s Threat Assessment Center.

Chris Grollnek — who is an active shooter prevention author — added that employees need to pay attention as well. “See something, say something’ is kind of tiresome. You see out-of-ordinary behavior, make a quick note. And if you’re in a bad situation, it’s get up, get out. There is no more hiding under a desk,” he said.


Source link: Insurance Journal

Tags:  Employee Violence & Homicides IncreasingWeekly Ind  Employees  Employment  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News 

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Two Things: Industry Employment Up & Insurance as a Job is 2nd Most Stressful

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, April 11, 2017

January 2017 was a good month for insurance industry employment. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said most insurance sectors saw a rise of employment in the first month of 2017.

Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) economist and senior vice president Steven Weisbart, Ph.D., CLU, analyzed the report. It’s a good news-bad news scenario. Yes, the January figures are good but they may not continue. The good news, under a Republican presidency and Congress changes may be coming for insurance that are good.

For agents and brokers January saw 11,400 jobs added to the workforce. That’s up 1.5% from January of last year and puts the employment level for agents and brokers at 781,900. The report says employment in the segment is strong and has been for the last three years. In July of 2012 there were 660,700. The rise of 121,000 is 18.3%.

Independent claims adjusters saw a rise of 4,000 to 59,600. The increase is 7.2%.

Health carriers saw gains. But year over year the jump is only 0.4% or 1,900. Health employees now sit at 470,900.

Life and annuity carriers employment is 6,400 to the good compared to 2016. That’s 1.9% and the number of employed in life and annuity is 350,600.

Reinsurance saw an employment rise of 100 over 2016 or 0.4%. Those employed in reinsurance is 24,900.

Job increases aside, the staffing firm Robert Half and Happiness Works who does analytics asked 12,000 U.S. and Canadian workers to ID their country’s most stressful jobs. By profession, insurance hit number-two and was beaten only by legal as the most stressful possible job.

Here’s the list:

1.    Legal

2.    Insurance

3.    Healthcare and wellness

4.    Hospitality and food services

5.    Financial services

6.    Education and training

7.    Administrative

8.    Manufacturing

9.    Accounting

10. Human resources

11. Marketing or creative

12. Finance

13. Technology

When it comes to how stress differs from job to job, Robert Half found:

  Semi-skilled or agricultural workers are the most stressed

  Staff level professionals are in the middle of the pack

  Senior executives — believe it or not — are the least stressed

Robert Half and Happiness Works said the things that create stress on the job are:

  Workplace culture


  Workload demands


Source links: PropertyCasualty360.com, Carrier Management

Tags:  Employees  Employment  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Some Surprises — Employees & Benefits  Two Things: Industry Employment Up & Insurance as   Weekly Industry News 

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Career Killer — The Bad Attitude

Posted By Shiela Strubel, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

John Graham is a marketing and sales strategy consultant. He also writes business pieces for various sources and publishes a monthly online bulletin called No Nonsense Marketing & Sales Ideas.


In a recent article for Insurance Journal, Graham wrote about career killing bad attitudes and stated everyday attitudes — if negative — can do us in at work. He listed a bunch of them:


For what I get paid, I do more than enough. He agrees the person saying that — in many cases — is correct. However, how it is stated is where the problem lies. Making the statement in that manner alienates co-workers and is just “not the way to move ahead — or even stay where you are.”


I’ve put in my time and paid my dues. Now, it’s my turn. He says that’s chip on your shoulder territory. And no matter whether it’s their turn or not, the attitude is unmistakable and what it tells co-workers is that they think they’re special.


Sorry, but I’m busy right now. Can’t you get someone else? If that’s a repeat excuse, then what you’re telling co-workers is you can’t be counted on when needed.


They’ll see what happens when I leave. It’ll take three people to replace me. No one, Graham noted, is irreplaceable or indispensable. “If asked, they’re quick to let it be known that they carry far more than their share of the load. Those around them often see it quite differently,” he said.


Whoa! There’s only so much I can do. Graham says this is a person that limits themselves to what’s safe. They’ll not likely accomplish much with that attitude.


With so many meetings, I can’t get my work done. We all feel this way. Graham said don’t complain, find solutions like alternatives to meetings, or agendas that limit time and that go to participants ahead of time so they can plan, have meetings standing up (there’s a fun one), and so on.


That’s not my job. No explanation needed on this one.


Unless I get paid extra, I shouldn’t have to do it. He agrees sometimes the demands of an employer goes too far. But if it happens to one person in the organization it likely happens to all. And Graham said this person is often short-sighted and misses a chance to showcase what they can do and how capable they actually are.


Sorry, but I don’t know anything about that. While many of us often don’t know anything about “that,” saying that often indicates — Graham says — that we’re not willing to put out more than what we absolutely have to do.


My ideas aren’t important. Ideas benefit a company. He notes good employees have them and share them. And an employer likely wants to hear them.


I meant to get it done. I’ll get right on it. There are times when it’s a reasonable excuse but Graham said if it’s a habit then people know they can’t count on you. And it’s especially frustrating for them when having to beg to get something done repeatedly.


I’ve been around long enough and the rules don’t apply to me. Rules apply to everybody and chances are if that’s the attitude of an employee, they won’t be around much longer.


I didn’t know you needed it so soon. Really? Graham said those using that excuse are trying to reverse polarity and be the victim in the issue. He thinks it’s the worst of all possible excuses.


Source link: Insurance Journal




Tags:  Career Killer — The Bad Attitude  Employment  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Jobs  Weekly Industry News 

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Lawsuit on a Possible Industry Problem — Overtime

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A new federal overtime rule goes into effect on December 1st. Employers will be forced to pay overtime to salaried workers making less than $47,500 a year. It’s a drastic change and close to double to today’s $23,660.


The Obama administration’s rule is not sitting well with Republicans and with business groups. All are calling it a federal overreach. Critics say it is going to force employers to put more salaried workers into hourly positions. Layoffs are a likely result because salaried executive, administrative, professional and computer employees are now eligible for overtime.


Early last week — led by Texas and Nevada and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — 21 states filed a lawsuit to stop the rule. They’re saying it is going to place a very heavy burden on state budgets for one, and business budgets for another.


Speaking for the states and the Chamber, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, Once again, President Obama is trying to unilaterally rewrite the law. And this time, it may lead to disastrous consequences for our economy.”


U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez isn’t too worried about the suit being successful. He says the government is on sound legal and policy footing. And as proof, Perez said today only 7% of full-time salaried workers are entitled to collect overtime. In 1975 that figure was 62%. “I look forward to vigorously defending our efforts to give more hardworking people a meaningful chance to get by,” Perez said.


The suit contends the U.S. Labor Department overstepped its authority and increased the salary threshold way too drastically. It also believes the department failed to account for the cost of living variables from region to region.


Source links: MSN Money, The Hill, Insurance Journal 


Tags:  Employees  Employment  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  jobs  Lawsuit on a Possible Industry Problem — Overtime  Weekly Industry News 

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Insurance Employment — Now & Soon

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) did an analysis of insurance employment and found insurance jobs up year over year from July of 2015 to the same month this year. Steven Weisbart, Ph.D is the I.I.I.’s senior vice president and chief economist. He said the only subsectors of insurance to lose jobs in that time frame is independent claims adjusting and third party administration.


Weisbart & His Organization's Findings:

Sector + or - change
Property and casualty direct carriers +2,100
Life direct carriers +400
Health/Medical direct carriers +3,400
Title and other direct carriers
Reinsurers +300
Agents/Brokers +0
Third-party administration -600
Claims adjusters -1,400

But how long will this growth last? A report from McKinsey says looming on the horizon is automation and it’s going to be a game changer. To start with, researchers Michael Chui, James Manyika, and Mehdi Miremadi found the more repetitive the task, the greater the chance it’ll be automated.


If the work someone is doing is more people-oriented, then chances are the job will remain under human control. In other words, tasks will become automated not jobs.


Here’s an example given by the McKinsey researchers. It’s insurance prospecting. Online programs can now be purchased or firms using them can be hired to do prospecting for an agency. Agents simply follow up on the leads generated.


Another example is programs that track rules. So underwriters using them don’t have to review every single aspect of a policy application.


Still another example, applications themselves have become automated and can be done online which eliminates the need for data entry. That led McKinsey’s researchers to declare that data processing activities have a 69% chance of being automated in the near future. For data collection gigs, the chances are 64%.


A number of companies now offer solutions that automate entering paper and PDF invoices into computer systems or even processing loan applications. And it’s not just entry-level workers or low-wage clerks who collect and process data; people whose annual incomes exceed $200,000 spend some 31% of their time doing those things, as well,” the report said.


The report said it’s going to be a big challenge for the industry and a big change as “about 50% of the overall time of the workforce in finance and insurance is devoted to collecting and processing data, where the technical potential for automation is high. Insurance sales agents gather customer or product information and underwriters verify the accuracy of records. Securities and financial sales agents prepare sales or other contracts. Bank tellers verify the accuracy of financial data.”


All will be subject to automation but what you won’t see automated is management and the jobs of those with specific expertise. For management the odds are something like 9% and for the experts 18%.


Source links: PropertyCasualty360.com, Insurance Networking News



Tags:  Employment  Insurance Content  Insurance Employment — Now & Soon  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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Today’s Insurance Job Market

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Jacobson Group and the Ward Group do an annual survey on jobs. It is called the U.S. Insurance Labor Outlook Study. This year’s study found 66% of insurance companies are going to hire in the next 12 months. 


That’s the highest rates the survey has seen since it began in 2009.


Jacobson Group CEO Gregory Jacobson said September’s survey last year saw a percentage of 65%. And those hiring then and in the next 12 months say they’re doing so in spite of the fact they expect business to be down. The continued focus on increasing staff paired with mass retirements and virtually non-existent industry unemployment will only further interfuse an already challenging recruiting environment,” he said.


Here’s what else the survey found:


   Just 4% will decrease staff in the next 12 months

   Technology, claims and underwriting is where hiring will take place

   The hardest jobs to fill are technology, actuarial and executive


While there are no current stats on how agencies will be hiring in the next 12 months, we do know that wages at independent insurance agencies — and captives, too — are rising at a phenomenal rate. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said the average salary of an insurance agent today is $64,790.


In 2013 that figure was just $47,450.


Of course the usual factors — geography, the employer involved and experience — set up just how much an agent is paid. Agents in the East and in New England make the most money and some hit low six-figure incomes. In the PIA Western Alliance states just agents in Oakland-Hayward-Berkley, California hit the six-figure average at $104,900.


As for the PIA Western Alliance states, here are the average incomes:


   Alaska — $31,780 - $54,340

   Arizona — $54,810 - $60,340

   California — $66,350 - $94,040

   Idaho — $60,650 - $65,320

   Montana — $54,810 - $60,340

   Nevada — $54,810 - $60,340

   New Mexico — $31,780 - $54,340

   Oregon — $60,650 - $65,320

   Washington — $54,810 - $60,340


One possible reason for rising salaries — other than desperation to replace retiring workers — is the improving economy. And a better economy means employees are looking to see where the grass is greener.


A survey from Aon Hewitt titled Workforce Mindset checked in with 2,000 employees. It found 52% of employees are wide-open to the possibility of leaving their current employment and 44% are now actively seeking.


To defend yourself — if you’re an employer — you need to offer:


   Above average pay — 62%

   Above average benefits — 61%

   A fun place to work — 58%

   A flexible work environment — 57%

   A strong values fit — 56%


Ray Baumruk is the employee research leader at Aon Hewitt. He said, To keep and attract the highest performers, employers need an authentic employee value proposition that sets them apart from competitors. Even more importantly, organizations must listen to their employees to understand and foster a culture where employees’ expectations and desires are closely aligned with the employment experience they offer.”


Employees also want to be engaged:


   They are 15% more likely to be engaged when workplace communication is open and honest

   They are 11% more likely to be engaged when they feel they are encouraged to share ideas and opinions


Source links: Insurance Journal, Insurance Business America, Carrier Management


Tags:  Employment  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Jobs  Today’s Insurance Job Market  Weekly Industry News 

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Insurance & Overtime: Department of Labor’s New Rule

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 31, 2016

It’s a concern. In December the Department of Labor is raising the overtime bar. The new threshold where a company is required to pay overtime is $913 per week or $47,476 a year.


This — of course — is for full-time workers.


Vice President Joe Biden announced the change last week and said, Companies will have a choice. Pay their workers for the extra hours they put in, or cap their hours at 40 hours a week.”


Currently the threshold for overtime pay is $455 a week or $23,600 annually. So the jump is significant. And the new rule says it will be revised ever three years and will be maintained at the 40th percentile. So by 2020, the experts predict, it will be $51,000.


The change has the insurance industry buzzing and concerned. In September of last year, PIA National filed its concerns with the department. The association said the increase — at 113% — is enormous. The comments were based on a survey of PIA members who reside in higher cost of living areas. “This considerable increase will negatively impact our member agencies' employees and put a strain on the operation of their small businesses,” the PIA said.


PIA wants the threshold paired back.


Other associations are also worried. Tom Santos of the American Insurance Association (AIA) said, The Department of Labor’s adoption of changes to the overtime rule will have negative consequences for both employees and employers in the insurance industry. Due to the diverse nature of our industry’s workforce, these changes will not be helpful.”


He continued, The rules will not provide the workplace flexibility sought by employers and employees alike.  We believe that this rule will result in a scramble to reclassify employees that will ultimately undermine job security and future opportunities for employees.”


Source link: Insurance Business America

Tags:  Employment  Insurance & Overtime: Department of Labor’s New Ru  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News  Work 

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The Workplace: Hiring & Who Wants to Quit Working Anyway?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The background checking company HireRight said a lot of potential employees — and probably employees you have on the payroll now — lied on their resumes. Only the company doesn’t peg it as lying. To placate the politically correct, the term used is “misrepresentation.”


And those “misrepresentations” — according to the 2016 HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report — are usually job history and education backgrounds. The company says of the 3,500 firms they checked in the recruiting, security and management professional arena:


  88% said of the resumes they check have misrepresentations

  84% have job history and education credential issues


These — HireRight’s Mary O’Loughlin says — would not have been found without a thorough background check. But these days with workers who are increasingly mobile and in a job market that grows more competitive by the day, background checking has become very complex.


As businesses invest in expanding their employee base, increasingly looking to non-traditional employees to do so, it is more important than ever that they institute a thorough screening process to bring in the most qualified candidates. Providing a positive candidate experience during this process has lasting implications for employee engagement, retention and, ultimately, a company’s brand,” she said.


These are the most popular and used background checks:


  89% — Criminal and other public record searches

  77% — Identity like Social Security Number validation and so on

  64% — Previous employment

  55% — Driving records

  50% — Education


Businesses are also changing how they do business which also complicates background checks. Contract work and temporary workers are more common now than in the past and 81% of those responding to the survey said they are now doing more screening of this type of worker.


That’s close to double the 48% checked five-years ago.


Here’s what else they’re finding:


  More employers are now screening candidates who have lived, worked or studied abroad.

  19% of those responding say they’re looking at people with non-U.S. backgrounds.

  In 2015 the number was 15%.

  Screening practices are also changing because of relaxed medical marijuana laws.


Businesses report having a lot harder time keeping up with their employment needs. A whopping 53% say they find finding, retaining and developing talent a top business challenge.


Challenge or not, a lot of businesses are finding they’re able to retain their older, more experienced talent. While the baby boomers are now hitting retirement age, about 20% say they’re still working.


When asked about retirement:


  27% say they’ll work as long as possible.

  12% say they will not retire at all.


The big question is why. A survey from Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found some answers:


  60% say making money and earning benefits is one reason they won’t retire now.

  Over half of those surveyed said they have financial problems and need the money anyway.

  60% have no money in 401(k) or other retirement accounts.

  36% say they are working past 65 because they like their jobs and don’t want to quit working.


Addressing those that want to keep working and not just for financial reasons, a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found those with college and graduate degrees tend to work longer than those without.


That’s pretty good news because a lot of employers tend to want their older workers to stick around. Replacing that experience and skill level is not that easy says a different study done by a different group with close to the same name. It’s the Center for Retirement Research.


It found in 1985 the highest salaries of a career was earned in your 40s. By 2010 the highest earnings shifted from the 40s to the 50s. Today, all workers older than 50, earn more than they did 25 years ago. And those in their late 60s are making 30% more.


One last point … those in their 60s now have more time to do what they want to do. The life expectancy is lots higher than it used to be and if a person takes care of themselves, they can work longer and it won’t cut into their retirement fun.


And working — some studies say — keeps a person healthier.


Source links: Insurance Journal, Employee Benefit News

Tags:  Employees  Employment  hiringWeekly Industry News  Insurance Content  Insurance News  Jobs  The Workplace: Hiring & Who Wants to Quit Working   work 

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How Insurers will Attract New Talent

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The future of insurance is rosy. But will there be enough workers to make the future truly flower? The PricewaterhouseCoopers 19th Annual Global CEO Survey shows how insurers are working hard to make that happen.


The PwC survey compares what insurance company CEOs are doing to CEOs in all other industries. It looked at topics beyond talent management. Questions included: 


  Barriers to growth

  Competitive threats

  Business imperatives

  Strategies to keep pace with changing technology


Here’s the main question all were asked: What aspects of their talent are CEOs changing to make the greatest impact on attracting, retaining and engaging the people they need to remain relevant and competitive?

All CEOs
Focus on pipeline leaders for tomorrow
Workplace culture & behaviors
Effective performance management
Reputation as ethical and socially responsible
Pay, incentives and benefits
Focus on skills and adaptability in our people
Focus on diversity and inclusion  
Focus on productivity through automation & technology
Health & well-being of workers & flexible work conditions
Effective global mobility programs
Use of predictive workforce analytics
Locations of operations

Source link: Carrier Management

Tags:  Employees  Employment  How Insurers will Attract New Talent  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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