Cavalcade of Risk #111

The Insurance Writer hosts the 111th Cavalcade of Risk.

Today’s Cavalcade of Risk has no obvious theme,  just some interesting posts, so let’s begin. I’ve posted a bit early, but as Batman once said, “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late.”

Just for Laughs
Holy cats, Batman, this dog is cool! 2.1 million viewers can’t be wrong.


Let’s start out with some medical information as companies across the nation scramble to begin implementing national health care changes.

David Williams presents Malpractice defense: Complications post op partial hip replacement posted at Health Business Blog. By the way, did you hear about the zebra with a bad hip who fathered a zedonk? You can’t make this stuff up.

Henry Stern, LUTCF, CBC presents Jump in the Pool, Make $50 posted at InsureBlog.

Jason Shafrin presents Three Tiers of Accountable Care Organizations posted at Healthcare Economist.


Mike Piper presents Guaranteed Annuity Income: Is it Really Safe? posted at The Oblivious Investor.

Freefrombroke presents Dollar Cost Averaging Helps Eliminate Emotion And Market Risk posted at Free From Broke.

General Posts

I frequently promote the benefits of having an experienced independent agent on your side whether you are a personal insurance consumer or own a high-value commercial enterprise. Silicon Valley Blogger presents How a Good Insurance Agent Helps Cut Insurance Costs at The Digerati Life.

Tred R. Eyerly gives us a look at a coverage decision favoring the carrier. He presents Motor Vehicle Exclusion Bars Coverage Under Homeowner’s Policy posted at Insurance Law Hawaii. While the exclusion in the Homeowner’s Policy would seem to be a slam dunk to preclude coverage, it is always interesting and somewhat frightening to see what matters trial judges allow to move forward. Hmm.

I wish I had more time to follow more blogs and tweets. Julia Wells’ list can help. Julia presents 50 Excellent Twitter Accounts Every Public Administrator Should Follow posted at Master of Public Administration.

Susan Howe presents 9 of the World’s Most Expensive Oil Spills posted at Insurance Blog: Life Insurance, Health Insurance and Car Insurance news and opinions.

Tax Debt Help presents Top Bizarre Tax Laws By State posted at Tax Debt Help.

My contribution this week to the Cav is a  post from my Risk Management for the 21st Century column employers to quantify the costs of intimate partner violence to their organization. It’s always closer than we think. And sometimes an employer intervention can literally mean the difference between life and death.

Workers’ Compensation

John Coppelman’s post at Workers’ Comp Insider has an interesting take on how an employer’s attempts to reduce work comp costs can cause more problems than it solves! In claims, bad decisions sometimes make bad law and I think this could tread on bringing the wrath of the legislature down on all employers. What do you say?

Thank you for dropping in. It’s late, and now, it’s away to the Batcave and up the Batpole to bed.

Insurance Writer Offers New White Paper on Diversity

Today’s workforce is increasingly diverse. Our increasingly lean organizations must utilize the unique talents of all their team members to effectively compete in today’s global marketplace.

White Paper ‘Microinequities in the Workplace─

What if Some of Your Key Team Members are Invisible?

Helps Insurance Organizations Manage a Diverse Workforce

Now Available from Insurance Writer

July 26, 2010

Phoenix, Arizona

Release:  Immediate

Today’s workforce is increasingly diverse. Our increasingly lean organizations must utilize the unique talents of all their team members to effectively compete in today’s global marketplace. Microinequities, negative subtle messages we send to our coworkers, can restrain workplace productivity and ultimately drive talented employees out of your organization.

Today an organization’s brand is largely driven by social media. When employees feel disenfranchised, they frequently voice their complaints in cyberspace. Organizations without a diverse intellectual workforce cannot compete effectively in today’s global marketplace. And although companies support diversity, diversity does not always equal inclusion.

Nancy Germond, MA, SPHR, ARM, AIC, ITP, the president of Insurance Writer, a risk management and insurance consulting and training firm, developed a White Paper outlining steps organizations can take to avoid microinequities in the workplace. Ms. Germond’s White Paper, “Microinequities in the Workplace,” offers unique solutions to help companies strategically address the challenges inherent in today’s diverse workforce. For a copy of this informative paper, click here:

For more information regarding presentations to your organization of this subject or other management topics, please contact Ms. Germond at (602) 870-3230. Ms. Germond develops marketing material, training curriculum and provides consulting services to insurance carriers, agents and insurance industry vendors. A skilled and perceptive presenter, her relaxed and humorous presentations focus on societal risks impacting today’s insurance professional as well as tips for tightening day-to-day claims operations.

You can contact me here.

Germond earns the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) Designation

Germond earns the Senior Professional in Human Resources

Nancy Germond, MA, SPHR, ARM, AIC, ITP,

Phoenix, AZ, July 9, 2010.

Nancy Germond, President of Insurance Writer, recently earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).

The certification, awarded by the HR Certification Institute, signifies that Germond possesses the theoretical knowledge and practical experience in human resource management necessary to pass a rigorous examination demonstrating a mastery of the field.

“Certification as a human resource professional clearly demonstrates a commitment to personal excellence and to the human resource profession,” said Mary Power, CAE, Executive Director of the HR Certification Institute.

To become certified, an applicant must pass a comprehensive examination and demonstrate a strong background of professional human resource experience. “I find that in today’s difficult financial climate, employment issues top the list of risk exposures insurance organizations face,” Germond said. “The SPHR simply assures seniors managers of my dedication to the employment arena.”

The HR Certification Institute is the credentialing body for human resource professionals and is affiliated with the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest organization dedicated exclusively to the human resource profession. The Institute’s purpose is to promote the establishment of professional standards and to recognize professionals who meet those standards.

Make the Most of Your Training

I participated in a teleconference today sponsored by the Society of Insurance Trainers and Editors and hosted by the Insurance Institute. Much of what was discussed was the issue of training younger generations, who, as one participant put it, leave school in a state of “permanent partial attention.”

This is the first true television and Internet generation and they live, he remarked, in a state of perpetual multi-tasking. (He then joked that some of us on the teleconference were probably multi-tasking. Yes, I was guilty of it, I was checking my e-mail at the time.)

In addition, he believes some members of this generation learn only what they need to learn then discard the knowledge, bringing their test-cram college mentality into the workforce. What can trainers do to help Gen Xers and Ys retain knowledge? One good tip was to set some training ground rules. Insist students to turn off cell phones, PDAs, and yes, their laptops if they have access to wireless Internet.

Next, since class participants often leave classes using 25 percent of what they learn, one trainer asserted that you can improve that rate to 90 percent if you involve supervisors who will reinforce, coach, reward, and encourage trainees in their newly learned skills. Supervisors must reinforce what is taught in the classroom or, no matter how sophisticated the training, it will fail.

Training, they insisted, must come from trainers who understand the cultures, the practices, and the processes of the insurance industry. Real-world examples are critical to learners, because if they cannot contextualize what they hear, no matter how smartly packaged the information, it is virtually useless.

It’s also useful to provide access to experts in the subject whom students, post training, can email or call for additional help when they need it. This allows students to put their knowledge into practice with the help of an expert mentor and without fear of ridicule for asking questions.

Finally, they believe, you must instill in insurance students that their insurance education is lifelong to ensure their success. I know when I earned my professional designations I was making a statement: That insurance wasn’t my job, it was my career.

Writing Coaches

An interesting editorial in Business’ Insurance’s April Industry Focus touched on an issue I’d blogged about a few weeks ago. Big changes are heading our way as Generation Ys enter the workforce.

Editor Ronn Zolkos (he’s obviously a Gen Xer; notice the spelling of his first name!) commented on a problem discussed at the Finance and Insurance Workforce Summit recently in Chicago. That problem is the poor writing ability of Gen Ys.

Apparently, constant instant messaging and e-mailing has enabled a generation to skip grammar almost entirely. Although highly competent technically, members of this generation may lack even rudimentary writing skills.

Zolkos recommends hiring writing coaches for the Yers who struggle with writing’ write. He called hiring a writing coach a “perk.” Others managers may, as they struggle with this critical issue, call it a “necessity.”