There are a variety of opportunities to enhance the E&O culture of individuals and the agency as a whole. Most of the industry magazines have a column dedicated to the topic and with few, if any exceptions, the articles are well done and have a very specific message.
Personally, I feel that the best approach that really makes a difference involves live E&O classes, either performed at a public place, association office, at an annual conference or in the agency itself. The advantages of this approach are twofold:
- The E&O issues / topics discovered are significant. While documentation is obviously going to be discussed, other issues such as renewal questionnaires, policy checking, system management, etc. will also be covered. After all, a solid E&O culture involves many different areas.
- The session is going to be interactive with the ability to ask questions or at least hear and understand the answers to questions that other folks are raising. At times, a particular issue that someone may have may not get addressed. However, most instructors are very good at encouraging additional topics either in the session or at the breaks.
A suggestion that I hope agency managers will respect: if one were to profile the attendees in an E&O class, it would be common to find that the majority are in a management / ownership position with the agency. Without a doubt, this is very important as a strong E&O culture starts at the top. However, it is heavily suggested to have the staff represented in these classes. While it will probably will not be possible to have all or even half of the staff attend, if possible, have 25% of the staff attend. They should be advised that they will be required to discuss the topics at an upcoming agency staff meeting.
Without a doubt, attendees at E&O sessions always leave these sessions with a better understanding and appreciation for the variety of issues involved in a strong E&O culture and commitment.
Now is good time to contact your state agents’ association to see what E&O classes they will be running in your area in 2017 and make it a point to have some staff attend. Many of the E&O carriers provide a credit on the E&O insurance based on a certain percentage or number of staff attending so while you are enhancing the E&O culture of the agency, you may be just saving some money.