Hello! It's been quite some time since we've added a blog post! So much activity happening at the HQ and things got busy, we're hoping to share more with your second half of the year.
Today, a quick post on a 'cool finding'. I came across these creative, adorable, and in MY mind, practical life and love calendars by Brigada Creativa. Funny how we keep track of all the important action, meetings, and numerous to-dos but rarely pay attention to our emotional meters.
I love these life and love calendars. The “Love Life, Day by Day” calendar has 365 hearts for each day, each divided into 4 quadrants, representing: time together, conversation, caress-kisses and sex. Keep track of your heart wellness by filling in the portion daily – hopefully you’ll end up with more full hearts than none! The “How was your day?” calendar, equally as important, tracks your daily emotions by allowing you to fill in the blank happy faces: very good, good, ordinary, bad, or very bad.
How do you keep track of your emotional health?
These ready made ones by Brigada Creativa are available for sale on Etsy for less than $20 a pop. Perhaps something to add to the office space? Maybe not the love life one though ... I'm sure your colleagues aren't that interested in your love life ;)
What does this have to do with the services we provide? Nothing and Everything! Emotional health underpins how well we can perform in our workplace and how we behave with our clients, colleagues, peers. Hopefully, this post was able to give you an bit of light inspiration for the day!
Got a "cool finding" you want to share with us, comment below!
I'm sure you've read recent communications about the widespread security vulnerability called Heartbleed that is affecting many online services and accounts. Organizational security is extremely important to LOGiQ3. We have been taking this issue very seriously since April 9th when the vulnerability was first disclosed.
Rest assured that we have carefully reviewed six LOGiQ3 systems, 20 vendor validated systems, and six thorough online vulnerability assessments. We are pleased to share that none of our systems are affected by the Heartbleed bug that is afflicting so many websites that use OpenSSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology.
While we're not vulnerable to this particular security exploit, you are welcome to take extra precautionary action by changing your passwords, particularly if you use the same passwords across other sites.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact our IT Department.
We recently had the pleasure of attending our first ELHUA conference in Prague to launch our E-Learning Underwriting Training and Continuous Education into the European market.
The conference itself is the 3rd that ELHUA has hosted and was attended by well over 150 people from across Europe. A varied range of topics was on offer with the mornings being delivered in English and the afternoon having multiple language streams (French, English, German and Czech). Despite the variety of topics there were some strong themes which came through and supported our thinking behind attending the conference.
The training of Underwriters, both at the beginning of their careers and those with 20 years’ experience , was mentioned by several speakers as being key to good risk management…great news for any organization that has spent 2 years developing an E-Learning offering to address that training need.
(In)Consistency in Underwriting
Another strong theme, and the title of this blog, was the importance of consistency, or rather avoiding inconsistency, in Underwriting. A great presentation by an actuary, a rarity at this Underwriter gathering, looked at global comparisons on Underwriting consistency of decision. There were some striking examples of a lack consistency which while fine and desired between companies, we want to see a competitive market with different companies looking to express different risk appetites, but less welcome within a company, also a finding of the study. Should we be surprised by this? Well, we would argue not.
There has been an under-investment in training in Underwriting (as well as other functions) over several years, so the ability for Underwriters to maintain and improve their knowledge is limited. So we would encourage anyone who has responsibility for Underwriting training, or overall risk management, to conduct some analysis internally on their underwriting consistency and address any issues they find through a broad-based professional development program for their Underwriters. We would be happy to help with suggestions on how you could approach this study.
We look forward to attending the 4th ELHUA in Madrid in the Autumn (of Fall if you prefer) of 2016 and thanks to the ELHUA committee, a dedicated team of people who despite having demanding day jobs, were able to create an informative and enjoyable conference.
See you in Madrid!
Interested in learning more about our E-Learning Underwriting Training and CE solution?
We're in the midst of conference season and let's face it, no matter how many conferences we've
attended, there still comes a moment of awkwardness when it comes to networking.
A conference is great place to network. Here are five butt-kicking tips to help you get over that first hurdle.
1. Body Language
The standard rule for personal space when meeting strangers is 4ft. So – shake hands and step back slightly and that will be about right. I tried this little technique recently and was very surprised at the difference it made in that initial – and sometimes awkward – first few seconds. I turned my body very slightly to the right so that my heart was in line with the other person’s heart. I paid deliberate attention to what the other person did and I noticed that he too turned, perhaps unconsciously or maybe he had heard about the same trick? Our conversation somehow seemed easier. Sounds hokey? Try it anyway.
2. Business cards
When you are handed a card, read it both back and front before you put it away. You may learn something from the card that could spark a conversation, or highlight something that you both have in common. And it’s polite. If you can’t think of anything to say, comment on the card. If the card is uninspiring, ask a question e.g. “What brings you to this conference?”
|Gerri Sefi is Chief Compliance Officer, Deposit Broker Channel at LOGiQ3
Connect with Gerri
3. Elevator speech
Change your perspective on how you tell strangers about your work. Instead of telling them what you literally do e.g. I am a marketing professionals, relate your work to a result - “I am the wind behind the sails of sales”. I am a Chief Compliance Officer. Not only is the title somewhat intimidating, it often requires more than 3 sentences to explain what I do. So I examined what was at the heart of my work and developed my introduction from there. “I help financial services professionals to manage a prudent business by keeping them on the right side of the rules and requirements.”
The most creative elevator speech I heard was from an accountant who said that he was a “chess master and made sure that the black always beat the red.” Have fun with it!
Many of us have been to events when complete strangers want to sell you something. Right then and there. And you can’t get away without being rude. An associate has a technique for this – he smiles sweetly, puts his finger up and says “Can I stop you there?” And then walks away… He believes that rude and pushy people do not deserve consideration. You do not want to sell or buy anything at a networking event. Your only objective is to seek out like-minded business professionals with whom you might develop a connection and synergy.
The rules are so simple but are so often forgotten:
- Don’t mingle with people you already know.
- Don’t walk around with the person you came with.
- Smile, but not too brightly.
- Look people in the face, but do not stare hypnotically into their eyes.
- Give a firm handshake.
- Ask questions.
5. Finally - Givers Get
People may not remember that you are a senior executive at a Fortune 500 company when they review your business card later. They will remember if they benefited from your introduction to a colleague, or you gave them advice/a tip/inside scoop just because. And don’t discount talking to job-seekers – you have no idea who they know, or when you might need the favour returned.
Thanks for reading!
Want to put your networking skills to the test? Be sure to register for the Deposit Industry Professional's (DIP) Conference from June 1-2, 2014 in Toronto, ON.
I had the privilege of attending the Eastern Claims Conference with Carmela late last month. It was good to see a strong program and attendees from North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
I always look forward to the legal updates – current case law and court decisions, if you will – and this year did not disappoint. Recent court rulings on STOLI (Stranger Owned Life Insurance) have been favorable to insurers and specifically some allowing rescission of a policy due to financial misrepresentation rather than medical misrepresentation or lack of insurable interest even when outside the contestable period of the policy.
Nevertheless this should be a consideration if you believe you’re dealing with a STOLI situation. The courts in some instances have also allowed a reinsurer to rescind these policies while not having to refund premiums or to at least refund all but their ‘costs’, including agent’s first year commissions, if they can show these to the court.
Be aware, the lack of insurable interest however is not a defense that courts have recognized in Michigan, New York, California or Texas.
On another note, as you may know, LOGiQ3 has an extensive Underwriting Training Program, now available also as a E-Learning solution. In an informal survey of my claims colleagues, it appears there may be a need for a similar training solution for claims. A variety of topics we cover in the Underwriting program seems to be a logical fit for claims professionals.
What do you think? Should LOGiQ3 undertake a claims training program? Would you or an organization you know benefit from this and participate in the program if we made it available?
I'd like to hear your thoughts, please leave me a comment below.
Eli Wahby is a Senior Claims Consultant at LOGiQ3.
I have a thing for art. Not just fine art, but any kind of art. Art can come in many forms - whether it's a painting, a cartoon strip, or the ever so slick product packaging at companies like Apple and Nest. I've come to appreciate art in all forms.
We recently went through a mini redesign of the office and we wanted to incorporate art work that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but pieces that can convey our company's culture. I personally believe having art in the office is "tres importante"! We spend so much time in the office, just as we would put art around the house to enjoy, why wouldn't we do the same in our office space? Artwork can also inspire us to be creative, to think outside of the box and drive innovation through that thinking.
We had some incredible etching of our Maxims done on our Board Room and Meeting Room glass panels, as well as displayed some of our Eli's photos around our office. The personal added touch of these pieces, really does speak to our company culture and an environment that our staff feel a sense of belonging.
While continuing to look for more artwork options (we've got more walls!), I came across gapingvoid. I thoroughly enjoy their work and also the purpose behind it. gapingvoid not only creates art work, but they affect change in business and business culture, through the use of their distinct style of drawing. It really is Art With Purpose.
Here are a selection of some pieces that resonated with me and our company from the gapingvoid.
Does your office have some cool art work? How does your office art convey your company's culture or business purpose?
I'd love to see some! Share your story!
*This is part of a Blog Series: Five Reasons Why E-Learning Works.*
Late last year, Natalie made an intro on E-Learning, and listed briefly some of the reasons why E-Learning works. Today, I'll take a quick stab on the first one up: Immediate Results and Feedback.
I don’t know what was more stressful in university, writing an exam or waiting for the results. It seemed like a lifetime before we got our grades back.
Instant messaging, Instagram, Twitter, scratch lottery tickets. In a world where everything has to be faster than yesterday, most up to date as well as provide instant gratification, it’s hard to compete if your product doesn't meet today's needs.
Education and training development is no different. Students are looking for immediate feedback and results. E-Learning can assist in providing immediate feedback to correct misunderstood material. The more immediate the feedback the better, because each step of learning builds upon the previous step. If no feedback is given, the the next step of learning may be building upon an incorrect interpretation (source: Mindlogicx).
Incorporating quizzes that pop up immediately after a set of learning objectives offers good feedback and reinforcement for learning. In many circumstances, results have shown that students gain a better understanding of the content when immediate feedback has been presented - it's the building effect of learning.
In addition, E-Learning allows for different formats of questions and quizzes to be inserted at the appropriate place through out the curriculum. This variety of testing encourages engagement and attentiveness amongst students.
At LOGiQ3 we are thrilled about our state-of-the-art Underwriting Video E-Learning solution. Our solution provides students with immediate feedback and results. We have incorporated knowledge check questions and final exam questions throughout each module, where each response is graded immediately. No waiting to see how well you did.
Our E-Learning solution also allows us to update the curriculum at any time to match industry enhancements and trends. Each student signed up through our Learning Management System has access to updated materials at all times. This puts an advantage to the student, ensuring he/she is current in their career development.
What are your thoughts on E-Learning? What are some of your thoughts of receiving immediate results and feedback?
Stay tuned for more reasons on why E-Learning works.
Heather Douglas is an Underwriting Manager at LOGiQ3.
For a limited time only, we are offering 20% off our Underwriting E-Learning Training Program!
Some years ago, I attended a seminar on meditation techniques. As a Type “A” personality, proud Aries, and the bearer of the name of Boudicca’s right hand warrior (Geraldine), I thought mediation would help me to empty my mind and learn the value of stillness. It did – and I highly recommend it to everyone. But an unexpected bonus from the seminar was the advice given by the teacher – a convert to Buddhism. She said that one of the best ways to still one's mind was to stop watching/reading the news first thing in the morning and before going to bed. This really resonated with me - should the last thing I see before going to bed be the ravages of war? Should I begin my day watching the antics of some despised politician?
So I stopped. That day. Really.
Of course I read and watch the news throughout the day. But I no longer digest every detail of every dreadful story. I skim the headlines, follow business articles, read the columns of favoured writers, check out my horrorscope … I am probably one of the few Torontonians who have no idea what Rob Ford is up to today. Or what Taylor Swift wears to bed…
I encourage you to make your first 2014 resolution to embrace beauty and harmony first thing every morning, and last thing at night.
Here are 2 web sites to help you through media withdrawal:
TUT: Each day I receive a note from The Universe; I read Mike Dooley’s books before I sleep. I have attended his seminar in Toronto. He makes me feel … warm and powerful and humble and joyful.
Upworthy: Videos of real people living real lives. Moving, inspiring, thought-provoking; relevant.
Make 2014 the year you choose stillness and harmony.
Gerri Sefi is Chief Compliance Officer of the LOGiQ3 Deposit Broker Distribution Channel.
Connect with Her
Only TWO more days to go folks!!! This is our last push to achieve our final goal of raising $2,000 for Men’s Health. We are a few hundred dollars off from our final goal, if you haven’t already shown your support, please consider helping out the cause! You can help us by making a donation of any size online.
Our last Movember blog post received the most reads this month! It's probably due to the attractive lush-staches we showcased. Wondering how our team's mo-s are doing? Check some of them out! (who's in the lead?!)
I know many of you are urging us to keep our Mo’s beyond November, so I recently came across this from our Movember support group to help us keep our ‘staches neatly trimmed and smelling fresh!
The Art of Shaving
Still looking for some great pointers to refine that mini-Mo and grow it into a maxi-Mo? Here are some helpful grooming tips:
1. Keep the hair on your upper lip trimmed and shave off scruff on the rest of your face. Use a pair of sharp tipped scissors and The Art of Shaving’s limited edition moustache comb to trim your Mo to the appropriate length and shape.
2. From the start of growing, align the edges of your moustache so it looks defined as it continues to grow in. This will transform the look of normal facial hair growth into the early appearance of a killer Mo.
3. Keep your moustache clean. Avoid washing it with regular soap, as it will leave your facial hair hard and bristly – shampoo it instead.
4. Moisturize the skin above your lip; it will be dry without the daily exfoliation from your shaving brush and razor.
5. Comb your new facial hair with the grain to soften and train the hair. Try an after-shave gel as it has a slight hold to keep facial hair in place.
Follow these simple steps, and your upper lip will be flowing and showing in no time.
No Mo, no mercy!
This blog series is dedicated to answering the question: Why should I consider Life & Health underwriting outsourcing?
A couple of months ago, I discussed the first driver behind companies considering underwriting outsourcing or undergoing an underwriting strategic review - >Upcoming change in the volume of business (increases or decreases), resulting in resource issues.
Today, I will dive into the second driver:
- Automated underwriting engine implementation projects – the underwriting capabilities of the past don’t match the future needs
The implementation of automated underwriting engines, also known as ‘automated underwriting systems’ or ‘expert underwriting systems’, by insurers and reinsurers has been taking place for several years but is still far from universally adopted. A report by the Society of Actuaries and Deloitte in 2009 put adoption by Life insurers at 29%.
The triggers behind these projects are typically one or more of:
- Reduce underwriting costs – by having fewer Underwriters on staff
- Improve underwriting consistency – by following pre-defined underwriting rules identical cases would have identical underwriting decisions
- Reduce the time to underwrite a case – especially for simple products where a series of ‘Yes/No’ questions can lead to a policy being underwritten and issued
- Reduce the amount of data required to underwrite – by using alternative sources of data, such as pharmaceutical or driving records, a case can be underwritten with the costs/inconvenience of having the proposed insured undertake a medical review
All good to know you say, but what does this have to do with outsourced underwriting? Good question.
Firstly, the implementation of an automated underwriting engine is not a simple nor quick process and typically will take from 6 to 24 months to complete from project initiation to implementation. During this time, the implementation project teams rely upon access to the senior underwriters in the department to specify the system, build the rules, test the system and finally train others on using the system. The issue? How do you make sure that your day-to-day production underwriting needs are not impacted?
Two alternative solutions exist, you can hire independent underwriting consultants to fill the production underwriting gap or you can engage a professional outsourced underwriting team to make sure that your clients are not impacted with poor time service.
Secondly, once you’ve gone through, or ideally as you’re going through the automated engine implementation you realize that the underwriting skills you need in the future will not be what you had before. With many underwriting cases being handled automatically what your underwriters are left with are cases which the rules couldn’t handle. These may be complex cases, high face amounts, older age products, all of which will still need to be underwritten by a ‘real’ underwriter. Therefore you're faced with two issues.
- How do I quickly train my Junior Underwriters to be able to handle the complex cases which are being kicked out by the system? Especially as the traditional training route of starting on simple cases has now disappeared into the automated underwriting engine?
- How do I access Senior Underwriters to handle the complex cases while my Juniors are being trained?
Here is another scenario where engaging a professional outsourced underwriting team may be the answer. The outsourced underwriting team will likely have the right skills and capacity to handle the type and volume of cases that you need to have underwritten as they are kicked out of the Underwriting engine. In our case, at LOGiQ3 we also have the ability to train your Junior Underwriters to create a long-term solution for your internal underwriting team.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into how outsourced underwriting can help as part of your automated underwriting engine implementation project. If you’ve any further questions or comments please feel free to get in touch me.
On a closing note, I invite you to take a closer look at our underwriter training program by clicking the large button below.