May, 2014

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Taking the Right Approach to Insurance Search Engine Marketing

As an insurance agent, you work in a highly competitive industry and are required to take a unique approach to improving your agency’s online presence. This is primarily accomplished through insurance search engine marketing.

As an insurance agent, you work in a highly competitive industry and are required to take a unique approach to improving your agency’s online presence. This is primarily accomplished through insurance search engine marketing. While this avenue may seem somewhat limiting at first, it is a process that could pay off in high conversion rates moving forward.

Optimizing your site for local searches

Using the right keywords for improving rankings is very important, but the obvious keyword phrases, for example, “health insurance in Southern California” will result in the major providers ranking highest, while smaller companies are relegated to the back pages.
These sites show up on page one because they have more high-quality links, more content, and more social media mentions than the average agency can possibly compete with.

You will probably find that you’ll have more success focusing on the city where your office is actually located. By optimizing your website for the people searching for insurance in your area you may draw a lot of local attention to your website. The reality is that a person living a few miles from your office is more likely to purchase insurance through your agency than someone living much farther away.

Use of long tail keywords can help to attract more traffic

This is the area where having a blog plays a significant role in the search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. Your agency can use blogs to publish articles that target less competitive long tail keywords with a statewide focus. Using long tail keyword phrases will help your SEO efforts by increasing your reach and giving your customers articles and information that answer specific questions they might have.

Another important factor is links. Google ranks websites with lots of connections (or “links”) higher in search than businesses with only a few. Increasing the number of links to your site will enable your insurance search engine marketing strategy to rank higher in many competitive keyword searches.

 

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Preparing Tax Returns and CPA Professional Liability Insurance

A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) might erroneously enter a number incorrectly, misinterpret a law, or make any number of unintentional mistakes. When an IRS audit occurs, as is likely the case, the CPA might discover the mistake, and will have to own their error.

It’s an unfortunate fact that errors and omissions in preparing tax returns can and do happen. A Certified Public Accountant (CPA) might erroneously enter a number incorrectly, misinterpret a law, or make any number of unintentional mistakes. When an IRS audit occurs, as is likely the case, the CPA might discover the mistake, and will have to own their error. Any litigation will likely require CPA professional liability insurance to absorb the costs for defense.

The client will obviously be upset over the matter, but just how upset? In some cases, the client might merely need to file an amended tax return. But if the problem is bigger than that, and can’t be so easily rectified, the accountant may be sued for negligence. If so, acknowledging that malpractice has been committed can truly damage the CPA’s reputation, but the financial damage should be an even greater concern.

Mistakes and the CPA’S ethical obligations

If the tax preparer recognizes a mistake he or she has made and calls it to their client’s attention, things could possibly be smoothed over by persuading the client to submit an amended return. In many instances the accountant is better off preparing the amended return on behalf of their client, sending it to the client explaining the situation and the reason for the amendment, and suggest that by doing so everything should work out to the satisfaction of the IRS.

Hopefully the client understands that this is in their best interest and files it. In some cases, however, the mistake may involve more intricate accounting, which might complicate matters, and the taxpayer (client) must request permission from the IRS National Office to make such a change.

CPA’s and other preparers have an ethical duty with respect to any errors and omissions resulting from the work they submit. Some mistakes are larger than others and therefore have a much greater impact on their clients. This can result in the potential for malpractice damages exposure and the necessity for possible legal defenses.

Taxpayers have a legal duty within any applicable statute of limitations to pay the correct tax upon discovering an error or omission involving an understatement of income or an overstatement of deductions. A taxpayer should file an amended tax return and pay any tax due, and accountants should carry CPA professional liability insurance to aid them when they make costly errors on tax preparations.

 

photo credit: kozumel cc

Rating Property Using a Commercial Lines Rating System

A comparative rating service allows your firm to deliver quotes for commercial insurance at a much quicker pace than was possible before these systems came into play.

As a Managing General Agency (MGA), Program Administrator, or insurer, you no doubt use some type of commercial lines rating system when seeking and comparing quotes for insurance services. A comparative rating service allows your firm to deliver quotes for commercial insurance at a much quicker pace than was possible before these systems came into play. Plus, a custom commercial lines rating system is customized for the specific coverage lines or niche markets you specialize in. It is not an agency rating system that does address your needs.

Rating commercial property, for example, is a multiple-step process that requires several factors. Among those factors are seven basic things that contribute to, and control the premium development for commercial property:

  • Type of coverage (building, contents, business income, etc)
  • Cause of loss form (Basic Form, Broad Form, Special Form, Earthquake Form)
  • Construction of the building
  • Occupancy of the building
  • Location of the property
  • Amount of insurance being written
  • Applicable coinsurance requirement

As an insurer you understand that commercial property can be either class rated or specifically rated. In either scenario, the rating mechanics are the same for both cases.

Specific Rating

Specific rating exists for risks that are not eligible for class rating and includes property loss costs that apply specifically to a building and its contents. Additionally, as a carrier you may use your own rates (deviating from ISO), which a commercial rating system designed for MGAs, Program Administrators and insurers can accommodate.

In addition, loss costs are developed as the result of an on-site inspection, and generally larger businesses, or those involving more hazardous operations, are specifically rated.

Class Rating

Most businesses can be rated on a class basis since similar businesses have similar exposure to loss and similar probabilities of sustaining damage. Exposures and probabilities are statistically analyzed, and loss costs are produced that reflect the chance of loss for a typical business in each class, based on Commercial Statistical Plan (CSP codes).

Using your knowledge of how properties are rated can help make your commercial lines rating system and associated business processes more efficient and cost effective.

 

photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) cc

Rating Property Using a Commercial Lines Rating System

A comparative rating service allows your firm to deliver quotes for commercial insurance at a much quicker pace than was possible before these systems came into play.

As a Managing General Agency (MGA), Program Administrator, or insurer, you no doubt use some type of commercial lines rating system when seeking and comparing quotes for insurance services. A comparative rating service allows your firm to deliver quotes for commercial insurance at a much quicker pace than was possible before these systems came into play. Plus, a custom commercial lines rating system is customized for the specific coverage lines or niche markets you specialize in. It is not an agency rating system that does address your needs.

Rating commercial property, for example, is a multiple-step process that requires several factors. Among those factors are seven basic things that contribute to, and control the premium development for commercial property:

  • Type of coverage (building, contents, business income, etc)
  • Cause of loss form (Basic Form, Broad Form, Special Form, Earthquake Form)
  • Construction of the building
  • Occupancy of the building
  • Location of the property
  • Amount of insurance being written
  • Applicable coinsurance requirement

As an insurer you understand that commercial property can be either class rated or specifically rated. In either scenario, the rating mechanics are the same for both cases.

Specific Rating

Specific rating exists for risks that are not eligible for class rating and includes property loss costs that apply specifically to a building and its contents. Additionally, as a carrier you may use your own rates (deviating from ISO), which a commercial rating system designed for MGAs, Program Administrators and insurers can accommodate.

In addition, loss costs are developed as the result of an on-site inspection, and generally larger businesses, or those involving more hazardous operations, are specifically rated.

Class Rating

Most businesses can be rated on a class basis since similar businesses have similar exposure to loss and similar probabilities of sustaining damage. Exposures and probabilities are statistically analyzed, and loss costs are produced that reflect the chance of loss for a typical business in each class, based on Commercial Statistical Plan (CSP codes).

Using your knowledge of how properties are rated can help make your commercial lines rating system and associated business processes more efficient and cost effective.

 

photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) cc

Protecting Staff with Nursing Home Workers Compensation Coverage

Workers in nursing homes face the risk of injury because of the often-strenuous duties and tasks they must perform on a daily basis. Nursing home workers compensation insurance is not only mandatory, but it will provide the financial and medical support these injured individuals will need during their recuperation and subsequent return to work.

Workers in nursing homes face the risk of injury because of the often-strenuous duties and tasks they must perform on a daily basis. These injuries can be the result of several activities they perform in their regular service to your patients and your facility. Nursing home workers compensation insurance is not only mandatory, but it will provide the financial and medical support these injured individuals will need during their recuperation and subsequent return to work.

Types of injuries common to nursing home staff

  • Musculoskeletal injuries

Freshly mopped floors are responsible for most slip and fall accidents and can lead to sprained ankles, torn muscles, and even bruised tendons. Nurses and other caregivers constantly have to carry people (and sometimes objects) at awkward angles and these acts can also result in sprains, strains, herniated discs, and over extension, plus the additional risk for back problems, slip and fall injuries, and other musculoskeletal problems.

  • Exposure to pathogens and other infectious agents

The American Nursing Association estimates that nearly two out of three nurses report getting stuck with needles at work. The concern here is the possibility that a syringe may contain viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens, many of which could put that nurse at risk for serious illness. Nurses also handle biological waste as well as perform work with dangerous medicines and chemicals.

  • Depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues

Due to the often-chaotic conditions at many assisted living facilities and hospitals some workers develop emotional problems. This can be due in part to the long hours, a lack of natural sunlight, and even poor eating habits, all of which can produce a rash of psychological ailments, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and even problems sleeping.

You need a staff that is healthy, happy and ready to work, both physically and mentally. You also need the valuable protection of nursing home workers compensation to aid them when a serious problem develops.

 

photo credit: PANationalGuard cc