The Thompson Group

 
 

"As a dentist I'm a target for litigation, and this audit process helped my family protect what I've spent years building.  Thanks, Thompson Group!"  DR. KEN PALLADINO / PALLADINO AND ROSSI, DDS


 

Our Blog

Angela Parton CSA of Year Article

Posted by: Dakota Crabtree on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

IIAI's Focus Magazine features CSA of the Year, Angela Parton in their latest edition.  We are so proud of Angela; in her work, her education, and her ability to deliver excellent customer service to our clients.  She is one of MANY excellent professionals on our staff.  

Check out the article!

 

Angela Parton CSA of Year Article

Posted by: Dakota Crabtree on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 12:00:00 am

IIAI's Focus Magazine features CSA of the Year, Angela Parton in their latest edition.  We are so proud of Angela; in her work, her education, and her ability to deliver excellent customer service to our clients.  She is one of MANY excellent professionals on our staff.  

Check out the article!

 

The Power of Thank You

Posted by: Insurance Ninja - @ on Wednesday, December 5, 2012 at 7:00:00 am

The power of Thank you…

 

“Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough” 
― Oprah Winfrey

 

My partner and I just sent 5 of our staff to our annual convention.  We even had the opportunity to spend a Saturday night with a few of them laughing and have a couple of drinks.  The convention is held in Indianapolis and is a collection of vendors, classes for our industry, and a bevy of old friends.

 

One of our producers is very active in our association that hosts the convention, so it has been our practice to provide him a room at the Westin during the convention.  We closed our office Monday so that every person in our Parker City office could attend the convention.  We thought it a nice reward for their dedication and hard work since our recent merger.

 

My first interaction about the convention happened when I asks an employee “how was the convention”.  The reply was, “it was nice, we had a nice dinner, the stuff they gave away was not as nice as last year, so and so got really drunk, but it was nice.”

 

Immediately following that exchange was “yeah, I wish I would have had a room like Ronn, I didn’t like driving home at 12:30 last night”.   The reason for the late night was there was an optional party that a few of them, obviously decided to attend.

 

I then went back to my conference room and lamented on the fact that every year I spend about twenty five hundred dollars sending my staff to this convention.  Never is there a thank you, it has come to be expected.  I resolved that this was “just the way it was”.

 

Then, like a hammer to the head, an employee entered my office and stated “I just wanted to thank you and Jenny for allowing us all to go to the convention.  It was nice to get out of the office and attend such a nice event.  We really appreciate the gesture.” 

 

The staff lives to attend another convention!  As a business owner I get frustrated with my perceived lack of employee appreciation.  I’m sure this is a two way street.  I think I say thank you, you are doing a great job, and that a' boy, but my staff would probably tell a different story.  I was reminded yesterday about the power of thank you and hopefully, this might remind you, the reader, as well.

 

Taking this thought a little farther since I’m only at 480 words and my editor really likes these snippets to land somewhere about 500 to 600 words, this concept should be taken to your clients.  Think about the last time you received a hand written thank you.  That thank you is probably in your desk or on a board somewhere in your office.  That last “thank you” email is in your deleted bin.

 

Our office for years has had post cards made and we encourage our staff to use them frequently to say “thank you” or other positive messages to our clients and vendors.  Over the years I’ve received many calls from vendors and clients thanking me for the thanks that they received from my staff.  A hand written thank you is worth 100 thank you email.  Ok, man, that got me to 563 words, I can now stop this rant on thank you'

The Big Freaking Deal or BFD

Posted by: Insurance Ninja on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 5:00:00 am

The BFD – Big Freaking Deal

 

“If these Mount Everests of the financial world are going to labor and bring forth still more pictures with people being blown to bits with bazookas and automatic assault rifles with no gory detail left unexploited, if they are going to encourage anxious, ambitious actors, directors, writers and producers to continue their assault on the English language by reducing the vocabularies of their characters to half a dozen words, with one colorful but overused Anglo-Saxon verb and one unbeautiful Anglo-Saxon noun covering just about every situation, then I would like to suggest that they stop and think about this: making millions is not the whole ball game, fellows. Pride of workmanship is worth more. Artistry is worth more.” 
― Gregory Peck

 

Pride of workmanship, is it a lost art?  I just completed an audit of a distributor of film supplies risk management program and am sorry to report in this case, there is a lack of any pride of workmanship.  As insurance professionals, we strive to review current risk management programs and point out to our prospects, other’s clients, and gaps in coverage that exist.  We comb through every policy, form, and declarations page to determine is this good program.  Sometimes, we find excellent work with very few errors, today is a different story.

 

In reviewing a risk management program we usually start with the insurance policies and them move on to internal policies and procedures.  In this specific case, we found four major limitations or errors that could put this company out of business.

 

What were these egregious felonies of risk management protocol?  Well first, the policy was rewritten last year from Carrier A to Carrier B.  The reason for the rewrite was that one of the owners had a major issue with how Carrier A handled a claim for his wife and in his words “was not going to give the bastards any more money”.   When the coverage was rewritten, the agency moved the loss of income form from Actual Loss Sustained to a limited form only providing a limited amount of income coverage for this client.  During our next review, I’ll ask the assumptive question, “When you made the decision to limit your loss of income protection, talk about how that decision was made.”

 

Next up the current provider failed to move the retro date on both the employee benefit coverage and the employment practices coverage.  Had this client had a claim with these two coverage lines that occurred before the effective date of this policy, there would have been NO coverage?  There was no tail coverage sold or offered and thus, this client has been naked on all “before effective date” benefit claims.

 

Finally, our prospect travels the world.  They have two main sales people that regularly travel over the pond to conduct business in France, the UK, and other foreign countries.  At no time has the current provider ever discussed foreign exposures or repatriation.  Repatriation is a key component of any foreign travel.  According to Wikipedia, the simple definition of repatriation is Repatriation (from Late Latin repatriare) is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship.  How important is this coverage when 35% of all travel is outside the United States?

 

Having an audit of your companies risk management program by a Commercial Risk Manger can save your company from uncovered claims.  Some firms charge for this service while we build it in to our sales process.  We do charge for this service in some instances, but we are confident that the ROI is priceless.

 

 

Big Head part deux

Posted by: Insurance Ninja - @ on Monday, December 3, 2012 at 12:03:00 am

Big Head part Deux

 

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.” 
― Albert Einstein

 

This past Saturday I had the fortune of attending my son and daughters cross country banquet.  After a great season, it was great to have one final dinner with a family of about 50 kids, parents, and coaches.  As I sat there watching the program I could not help but continuing to turn my attention to the “big head”.   You’ve have seen these big heads at various basketball and football games.  In essence, it is a photo of either a player or a famous person that is held up during the game.

 

The man who had made that head was sitting beside me and I asked him, how much would it cost if you made me six of those heads?  He said, well our cost is $25.00.  I stated I would pay him $200.00 for 6 heads, he replied, done. 

 

Tomorrow night, I’ll be stopping by our high school gym and after practice take a few high resolution photos of our top 6 players on our varsity team.  I will have them wear a white headband and once the photos are downloaded, I’ll send them to my “big head making Dad”.

 

He will then take our logo and website address and put that information over the headband.  I’ll have these 3-foot by 5-foot heads affixed to some heavy cardboard and then provide them to the student section.  During our varsity basketball games, each time a kid scores, the head will be held up.  At the end of the season, the heads will be given to the players.

 

As a business owner, I am always looking for creative marketing opportunities.  I get calls every day from various marketing folks wanting to sell us billboards, TV, radio, and newspaper advertising.  Over the past few years, we have moved away from those traditional media outlets and went more “gorilla” and social media type advertising.

 

It’s very important to keep a consistent look and feel to all of our advertising and promotional activities.  One other unique and low cost marketing idea we implemented years ago was The Thompson Group Rocks.   This is nothing but a small zip lock bag which we buy for $8.00 per 1000 online with a sticker of our logo and website affixed to the front.  I get my kids to fill the bags with a few rocks from the parking lot and boom; you have a drop off piece that has a little more point of difference than a simple business card.

 

Imagine walking back in your office and having a normal business card laying on your desk and a back of 3 or 4 rocks with nothing but a logo and a website.  Our experience is that the owner or decision maker is far more intrigued by our rocks and might take the time to visit our website to figure out that the heck it is we do.

 

Rocks, Big Heads, and other unique ideas are all part of a much larger campaign.  A constant smash or our logo, web site, and brand in front of our clients and prospects.   Marketing is by far the best parts of owning your own company.  Get creative and start having fun today!

 

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