Closing Time

By | July 18, 2005

The Insurance Journal directory issues are known as “keepers,” because both empirical and anecdotal evidence tells us that readers are likely to hang on to them longer for easy access. In this case, you’re getting one monster of a keeper, 108 pages, highlighted by this year’s second volume of the excess and surplus lines directory. So when you’ve got a tough risk to place, this is the magazine you can lug off your bookshelf and thumb through for guidance.

But it’s not just the directory that makes this issue a keeper; so do a number of the stories. Columnists Bill Schoeffler and Catherine Oak, as usual, share a bit of wisdom on how best to use alternative markets. Now you’ve got the directory. What do you do with it? Our man in Boston, Andy Simpson, recaps the tussle over the U.S. Treasury Department’s report on the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. Our man in Paris, Charlie Boyle, explains how the UK’s terrorism pool will help cover losses from the tragic July 7 terrorist attacks.

Hopefully, this issue will be enough of a keeper that the ballyhooed next generation of agents and brokers can benefit from it. Along those lines, staff writer Dawn Love profiles five university insurance degree programs worth considering. Not every new producer has the benefit of college insurance training, however, and even then the education focuses primarily on actuarial science and risk management. An agent’s job, after all, is to sell.

Teaching new producers how to sell using contemporary techniques is the mission of the new Professional Insurance Sales Associate certification program, a joint project of the well-respected insurance and marketing departments at Illinois State University in Normal, Ill. Find out more about this unique training course on page 95.

Finally, I hope you’ll hang on to this “keeper” issue a little longer than usual because it’s my last as Midwest managing editor, and I’d hate for my departure to be too abrupt. I’m moving on to another trade reporting job here in Chicago. It’s been a pleasure working for Insurance Journal and the readers it serves so well. Hopefully, I’ll be able to contribute to IJ in the future.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for doing what you do. After all the debates about federalization, regulation and litigation are said and done, I truly believe that a competitive insurance marketplace is the best assurance consumers have, and independent agents and brokers are a linchpin of that dynamic process.

Well, as Bob Dylan once sang, “The corner sign says it’s closing time, so I’ll bid farewell and be down the line.”

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