View this email in your browser
Insurance Tidbits
January 2019

Happy New Year!

Greetings from Massachusetts!

2019 offers us one more opportunity to reach for our goals and live our dreams. I love new beginnings and always start each new year with a long To-Do list.

I hope you enjoyed your holidays and are looking forward to the new year as much as I am.


P.S. Feel free to forward this email to a friend or business associate.

Important Note

Thank you for subscribing to my newsletter. Beginning in 2019, I will be publishing two different newsletters--each focuses on one of my two passions.
  • This publication, Insurance Tidbits, shares interesting scraps of information that affect insurance professionals and their clients. I will send it during the first week of each month.
  • Get it Write shares news from the publishing industry, tips for writers, and the latest from and about your favorite authors. I will send it during the third week of each month.
You can choose to subscribe to one or both newsletters by updating your subscription preferences by clicking on the "update your preferences" link at the bottom of this email.

If you have a topic you'd like to learn more about, feel free to shoot me an email with your request. I can't promise I'll publish a response in one of the newsletters, but I will respond to you personally.


Insurance topics:
  1. Do you think most people operating drones are doing so safely? Think again!
  2. You're not going to believe what 2018's most shameful insurance fraudsters did ... or what motivated them.
  3. Are you protecting your personal information, and that of your clients and employers/employees, as securely as you can?
  4. The new Medicare card.
Other information from me:

My Latest News

I retired the trade name Faulkner Education Services and, moving forward, will continue to provide insurance CE services under my own name.

In addition to using a new name and logo, my website name has changed and can be found at Don't worry if you forget the new URL--if you use the former website addresses, they automatically redirect to the new one.

I'm teaching more live insurance CE webinars in partnership with A.D. Banker & Company these days, mostly during the morning hours. Click here to see my monthly schedule.

So, You Want to Fly a Drone?

No doubt about it, drones are hot these days. But if you're not aware of the FAA rules and regulations about operating a drone, you could be in hot water.

I wouldn't want to be someone who operated any of the drones that shut down Gatwick Airport in London last month. According to a British newspaper, one organization is offering a reward of £10,000 (the equivalent of more than $12,000) for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

Because the culprits have not yet been identified, it's anyone's guess why they buzzed the airport on three different occasions, cancelling flights for more than 125,000 people just days before Christmas.

A recent article in the Insurance Journal reports that American airports may be equally as vulnerable to hostile invasions by drones. The FAA has already notified U.S. airports that technology developed to track and respond to drones operating illegally near airports has not performed well in tests.

So, what do you and your clients need to know about operating drones safely ... and legally?
  1. All drones that weigh more than half a pound must be registered with the FAA
  2. Flying model and recreational aircraft (hobby aircraft) is subject to Section 336 of the FAA Rules; the drone owner/operator:
    • MUST register the drone (and be at least age 13 to do so); registration is for 3 years and costs $5
    • Must operate the drone in accordance with safety guidelines
    • Must fly no higher then 400 feet and only in uncontrolled airspace
    • Cannot fly the drone unless it is within the operator's line of sight
    • Can NEVER fly near other aircraft, over groups of people, over public events, over stadiums full of people, or near or over emergency response efforts
  3. If you don't qualify for registration under Section 336, you must fly under the Part 107 guidelines/rules of the FAA; this includes all business use of drones. The guidelines/rules include becoming a drone pilot certified by the FAA. Operators under Part 107 MUST be at least 16-years-old, pass a test and obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate, be in a physical and mental condition to safely fly a drone, and be able to read, write, speak, and understand English. Owners must also register their drones with the FAA (same 3-year registration and $5 fee that applies to recreational registration).
  4. It is ILLEGAL to operate a drone in any of the following areas:
    • Security sensitive airspace; i.e., national defense airspace; fines can be assessed up to $100,000, and up to $250,000 if a death results from a violation
    • An area with a temporary flight restriction, such as near a wildfire, chemical spill, security-related incident, etc.
    • Restricted or special use airspace (e.g., the area around Washington, D.C.)
    • Within 3 miles of stadiums and sporting events of Major League Baseball, National Football League, NCAA Division One Football, and NASCAR Sprint Cup, Indy Car, and Champ Series races
    • Within 5 miles of an airport that has an air traffic control tower--unless the operator provided advance notice for the flight to BOTH the airport operator and the air traffic control tower
For up-to-date rules and guidance on drone operation, visit the FAA's website at

Hall of Shame

Every year, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud publishes its Insurance Fraud Hall of Shame. The people who appear in the Hall of Shame have been determined to be the worst insurance scammers of the year.

Many insurance professionals never run across a fraudulent claim - or not knowingly. But they are submitted all the time.

Insurance fraud costs us more than $80 billion dollars a year. Here are some of the reasons why:
  1. After a father abused his infant son and rendered him permanently brain-damaged, the child's mother poisoned him to death for $50,000 of life insurance proceeds.
  2. A public adjuster actually burned and flooded homes so he could cash in on the insurance claims--to the tune of $14 million!
  3. The owner of multiple rehab facilities stole the identities of addicts to bill insurers for more than $175 million in inflated claims.
For the full stories of the 8 worst scammers of 2018, click here.

How Secure is YOUR Password?

Probably not secure enough. 81% of all hacking-related data breaches used stolen or weak passwords.

The most UNsecure passwords are "password" and "admin." Or a not-so-clever substitute like "p@ssw0rd".

If you want to see how your password measures up, visit this website (I actually use the website to demonstrate when I teach live webinars):

Want to know what some of the characteristics of a weak password are?
  • The password is a common word, such as password, default, blank, or admin
  • The password is, or contains an element, that is something a bad actor can guess easily--such as combinations of your date of birth, middle or last name, street number or zip code, name of a pet (or child or grandchild), etc.
  • The password is too short, even if it includes upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols--such as "App!e4"
Want to know ways to create a strong password? First, you need to make it easy for YOU to remember but hard for OTHERS to guess.

Here are some tips for doing just that:
  • Use a phrase, along with shortcut codes and acronyms. Example: "Fourscore and seven years ago" from the Gettysburg address would be: 5Score&7YrsAgo.
  • Use common elements in all your passwords, then customize them for the website you are visiting. Example: Only use consonants, capitalize the first letter of the site's name, and then assign different symbols for different types of sites:
    • Amazon (shopping site): pWd4Amzn!
    • Linked In (social media site): pWd4Lnkdn*
    • Walmart (shopping site): pWd4Wlmrt!
  • Choose a key on your keyboard, then mentally draw a letter beginning with that key. Use all the letters you pass over in the drawing as part of your password. Example: If you were beginning with the "4" key on the keyboard and drawing the capital letter "0," your password might be: 4567ncPWD!
If you'd like more specific details about creating secure passwords, you can visit any of the following sites. They are some of the resources I used to share this information with you ... and the clients for whom I write CE courses:

New Medicare Cards

In an effort to help protect Medicare beneficiaries from identity theft, the Social Security Administration began mailing new Medicare cards last spring.

The cards were mailed based on geographic location, with residents of certain states receiving them during different mailings. As of November 13, cards were being mailed to the the last of the states and territories.

Be alert for scams. Although most people already received their cards, not everyone is receiving a replacement. For people who are insured by a Medicare Advantage Plan (i.e., Medicare Part C), they will retain the insurance ID card provided by the plan and will NOT receive a new Medicare card.

Some things to know about the process:
  • Medicare is NOT calling beneficiaries
  • Cards were mailed automatically; beneficiaries were not required to do anything to receive a new card (no, they did not have to pay for them or provide personal information to anyone)
  • New cards do NOT contain Social Security numbers
Here's what the new cards look like:

My January Webinar Schedule

January 2 - P&C Risks and Catastrophes

January 3 and 15 - Medicare

January 8 and 16 - Business Succession Planning

January 16 and 30 - Annuity Suitability

January 22 - Disability Income Planning

January 23 - Cyber Security

January 28 - Ethics in the Senior Market

January 29 - Homeowners Endorsements

January 31 - Professional Liability

Click here for more information, or to register.

Coming Up...

Next month, I'll be talking about the Senior Safe Act and the legal requirements of producers and advisers to report suspected senior financial exploitation. I'll also discuss the new FINRA rules and the NASAA Model Act.

If you'd like to hear more about a specific subject, shoot me an email and I'll be happy to consider sharing what I know about it.

Contact Information


Email address:

Business phone/text: 774.203.3157

Time zone: Eastern

Office hours: Weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern

Please note: I am NOT by available by phone, text, or email during any CE class I teach, including the 30 minutes before and after the course's scheduled start and end times. You can find my teaching schedule on my website.

If you received this newsletter from someone else, you can click this link to receive your own free subscription.
Copyright © 2019 Linda McHenry, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp