Press Releases

IJ Online 'How to Write' Educational Seminars Kicks Off Jan. 20; Nearly 700 Participants Registered

January 4, 2005

Insurance Journal will introduce the first of a series of "How to Write" online video seminars beginning on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2005. The "How to Write" series offers agents and brokers dynamic, coverage-focused, live and interactive presentations via the Web aimed at helping agencies make their business more profitable.

Insurance Journal readers and independent agents and brokers can attend for free while participating in real-time with hundreds of other agents from around the country. Participants can ask questions and get live answers. There is no limit on the number of participants per agency office, so everyone on the agency staff can attend.

In 2005, Insurance Journal will present 14 live, interactive seminars broadcasts on The first subject, to be presented on Jan. 20, will be "How to Write Professional Liability."

According to Insurance Journal Chief Operating Officer Mitch Dunford, nearly 700 participants have signed up for the Jan. 20 presentation.

"I'm very happy with the number of agents who have registered for this first presentation," Dunford said. "I anticipated about 200 agents for this first event, and it looks as though we'll have close to 1,000 agents or so. When an agent visits our Web site to register, they are given a list of the 2005 seminars, and it looks like a number of the agents are registering for more than one event. For example, the Miscellaneous E&O event in May already has 509 agents registered."

The online seminars will provide retail agents and brokers with the tools they need to write a large amount of professional liability business. The seminar will be presented by Shand Morahan & Co., a professional liability managing underwriter and a division of the Markel Corp.

Participants will learn and review what's covered and what's not in EPLI, classes of business, the best way to sell EPLI and who the best prospects are, how EPLI is rated, applicable endorsements, and more.

Henry Lopez, Shand Morahan's EPLI series presenter, said there are many audiences who will benefit from being involved with the "How to Write" series.

"From wholesale brokers who need to understand how to sell this cover to their retail agents who need to be there because they are ultimately selling to the insureds," Lopez said. "If they (retail agents) understand the law, how to sell it, and how to overcome objections they can really write a lot of business with their insureds."

Lopez also said that EPLI is an easy cross-sell for commercial coverages and is a great way to increase agency revenue.

Shand Morahan, who has conducted similar seminars across the country has also seen retailers and wholesalers involve prospective insureds. "Every time without exception the prospective insured leaves filling out an application for the coverage," Lopez said. "After the seminar they (prospective insureds) see the importance of having the coverage and understand how likely they are to be sued by an employee and the need to cover their exposure."

One advantage of these seminars according to Dunford is that they will use audio and video. "An agent can see and hear the presenter and watch a PowerPoint presentation all from their own computer," Dunford said. "Agents are able to get valuable information on specific lines of coverage in a short amount of time from the comfort of their own desk. This is information that will help them sell more of the specific coverages."

The second seminar in the "How to Write" series will be held on Feb. 10, 2005, and will tackle the subject of "Cyber Liability."

To register for "How to Write Professional Liability," "How to Write Cyber Liability" or any other seminar in Insurance Journal's new online "How to Write" series, visit: or call Suzie Song ( at (619) 584-1100, ext. 136.

Wholesale brokers also have an opportunity to become a sponsoring broker of the "How to Write" series with Insurance Journal and Shand Morahan. For more information on becoming a sponsoring broker, call Mitch Dunford ( at (619) 584-1100, ext. 123.

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