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GREEN MOUNTAIN AGENT VERMONT INSURANCE AGENTS ASSOCIATION | NOVEMBER 2018

Vermont Insurance Agents Association is a statewide trade association representing nearly 100 independent insurance agencies in Vermont, with more than 900 employees. VIAA member independent insurance agents represent more than one insurance company, and as a result, can offer clients a wider choice of auto, home, business, life and employee benefits.


Seasons May Change, But Our Commitment to the Independent Agent Channel Remains the Same...

V

ermont Mutual is proud to have served Vermont and the New England market through the longstanding partnership with our Independent Agents. It remains our privilege to work with the finest Independent Agencies in the industry … the only place you can buy a Vermont Mutual policy.

89 State Street, P.O. Box 188, Montpelier, VT 05601 | 800.451.5000 | VermontMutual.com 02

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Vermont Mutual is proud to sponsor the Vermont Insurance Agents Association’s new Education Center in Williston, Vermont.


Green Mountain Agent is a publication of

CONTENT NOVEMBER 2018

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Letter from the President

600 Blair Park Road Suite 100 Williston, VT 05495 Phone: 802-229-5884 Fax: 802-876-7912 www.viaa.org VIAA Officers President Paul Plunkett, CIC Vice President Alan Kinney Secretary/Treasurer Dan Rodliff National Director Ron Bixby

Directors Chip Ams Michael Barrett

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On the Hill

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Young Agents News Brief

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Feature: Knowledge

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E&O Corner

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Insurance Commentary

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Company & Agency News

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In Memoriam

Erin Odell, CIC

Staff Executive Director Mary Eversole mary@viaa.org

GMA Publication Design LONDONmiddlebury londonmiddlebury.com

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LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT NOVEMBER 2018

As the insurance marketplace changes daily, so do the needs of our members. VIAA has partnered with state associations, BIG “I”, Whave, IntellAgents, JH Communications, carrier partners and more to broaden membership benefits. These partnerships add value and contribute to our success. They help drive us towards our strategic goals. The decision to engage in a partnership must answer the question, what would our members benefit most from? The answer is as varied as our membership. But at the end of the day it all comes back to our mission—advocate for independent insurance agents and to satisfy the professional needs of our members. We are excited to announce our newest partnership with the Maine Insurance Agents Association. They now administer our RLI® Personal Umbrella Policy (PUP) Program. This is a very important coverage for insureds into today’s litigious society. It can protect your clients from the possibility of a devastating financial loss from unforeseen events. As a reminder our members earn a 10% commission on this business. Remember, we have many resources for our members. If you don’t see what you need on the website give the association a call. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

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Paul E. Plunkett, CIC

VIAA Incoming President

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -Helen Keller


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Get to Know AmTrust. Visit d19.amtrustinsurance.com or call 877.215.7577 AmTrust is AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., located at 59 Maiden Lane, New York, NYNY 10038. Coverages areare provided by by its its property and AmTrust is AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., located at 59 Maiden Lane, New York, 10038. Coverages provided property and casualty insurance company affiliates. Consult thethe applicable policy forfor specific terms, conditions, limits and exclusions to coverage. casualty insurance company affiliates. Consult applicable policy specific terms, conditions, limits and exclusions to coverage.

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FSC “XV,” Stable Outlook FSC “XV,” Stable Outlook


ON THE HILL: BIG ‘I’ TESTIFIES AT DOL HEARING By Jennifer Webb DOL and Congress as the rulemaking process moves forward. Meanwhile, the DOL is also acting on several other issues that impact insurance agents and brokers. Specifically, the DOL issued a proposal earlier this week that seeks to make it easier for small businesses to join together to offer Multiple Employer Plans. The proposal follows an August executive order on retirement from President Trump. Last week, the Big “I” testified at a Department of Labor (DOL) hearing designed to assist the DOL’s efforts in updating federal overtime regulations. Last year, in a major legal victory for Big “I” members, the Big “I,” the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, more than 55 other business groups, and 21 state governments secured a legal ruling to halt implementation of an Obama Administration overtime rule. The overly complex rule would have required employers to pay overtime to many employees who were not previously legally entitled to receive it. The Big “I” was the only insurance trade association to join the lawsuit. While the lawsuit means that the Obamaera regulation will not take effect, the Trump Administration is moving forward with a new proposal to update overtime requirements. The DOL is expected to release a revised draft rule as early as March 2019. The Big “I” anticipates that the forthcoming rule will be more limited in scope than the previous proposal, and will likely focus on updating some outdated requirements instead of wholesale changes to federal overtime regulations. The proposal will be open for public comment and the Big “I” will continue to work with the

Late next year, the DOL also plans to issue a fiduciary rule, which could impact annuities, health savings accounts, and other retirement-related insurance and financial products commonly offered by insurance agents. A fiduciary rule was issued in 2016 by the Obama Administration, but was ultimately halted by litigation earlier this year. Not unlike the overtime regulations, the Trump Administration has now decided to move forward with proposing a revised fiduciary rule. The Securities and Exchange Commission is also working on a best-interest standard that may impact certain insurance products. Jennifer Webb is Big “I” federal government affairs counsel.

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Thanksgiving Safety The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home. • • • • • • • • • •

Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food. Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently. Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away. Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns. Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags. Keep knives out of the reach of children. Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child. Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet. Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle. Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Did you know?

Thanksgiving is the leading day of the year for home fires involving cooking equipment.

Have activities that

keep kids out of the kitchen during this busy time. Games, puzzles or books can keep them busy. Kids can get involved in Thanksgiving preparations with recipes that can be done outside the kitchen.

NATIONAL FIRE PROTECTION ASSOCIATION The leading information and knowledge resource on fire, electrical and related hazards

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nfpa.org/education ©NFPA 2017

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YOUNG AGENTS

NEWS BRIEF

VERMONT YACS RAISE $2500 FOR MAKE-A-WISH AND LEVERAGE TRUSTED CHOICE GRANT TO GRANT A FULL WISH

The Vermont YACS raised $2500 for the recent 2018 Witches, Wizards, & Wishes Event. Vermont Make-A-Wish had a $40,000 fundraising goal for this annual event. With support from company partners, agencies and individual YACS twenty-five percent of the goal was raised from our industry.

Shout out to the following YACS for their individual fundraising efforts: Aislyn Allen, Daniel Rodliff, Kelly Schavone, Ian Sutherland, Forrest Oberst, Sara Berry and Kody Lyon.

Thank you to New England Excess Exchange, Patriot Insurance Company, S&H Underwriters, Hickok & Boardman Insurance Group, and NFP Employees for helping the YACS reach their goal.

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YOUNG AGENTS

NEWS BRIEF

VERMONT YOUNG AGENTS ANNUAL MEETING WHEN: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15, 2018 WHERE: CAPITOL PLAZA, MONTPELIER TIME: 11:45 am – 5:45 pm (INCLUDES LUNCH & HAPPY HOUR @ POSITIVE PIE) KEYNOTE SPEAKER: TALENT REBELLION RSVP to Kody Lyon Sponsored by:

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KNOWLEDGE

3 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR LIQUOR LIABILITY CLIENT A BETTER RISK

The average liquor liability risk isn’t what it used to be. From the booming brewery, winery and distillery movement to trends like BYOB restaurants and wine service at hair salons, liquor liability exposures have become far more pervasive—and complicated. “The traditional Cheers bar where people have a couple different varieties of beer available, no food, no entertainment—that kind of stuff is just going away, and it’s being replaced with a more upscale experience,” says Thomas Gillingham, managing director of EverGuard, an NFP-owned company. For many business owners, that translates to more expensive buildouts and higher revenues—overall, “a more sophisticated risk that’s generating more premium,” Gillingham explains. “Agents need to recognize that consumers are demanding a better experience, that these risks are following suit, and that it’s now a more sophisticated transaction in terms of the

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level of professionalism of the operators you’re dealing with and their expectations around product delivery.” In other words, it’s not enough to sell someone an affordable liquor liability policy. Today’s insured wants more. “As these operations are run by more sophisticated people, they expect a higher level of professionalism with their agent— somebody who will partner with them in risk management and mitigation, not just offering a cheap price,” Gillingham says. “If you’re focusing on clients that only want to save money, you’re not building a stable book of business.” To add value to the agent-client relationship, share these three important risk management techniques: 1) Surveillance and documentation. “Surveillance can save you from going out of business,” says Sandra Haley, senior vice president of underwriting and marketing at Hospitality Insurance Group. “If there’s


a claim and you have video to prove what you’re saying versus what the injured party is saying, you can win a case. Without that, it’s your word against theirs.”

but if I come back a month from now and there are three new employees, have they been through that same training?” Gillingham points out.

In particular, because incidents are very likely to occur on Friday and Saturday nights between midnight and 2 a.m., “I would make sure my surveillance cameras for those hours are backed up and kept for a really long time,” Haley recommends. “The later your bar stays open, the greater chance you’re going to end up with the claim.”

“Once we train our clients with regards to rules and regulations, we have to re-audit them to make sure they’re adhering to it,” agrees Jeff Stagg, senior vice president, claims services practice leader at NFP. “There’s always a reassessment process that needs to take place to help mitigate and prevent on an ongoing basis.”

Incident logs are similarly important. “We want to make sure people are documenting incidents—gathering and preserving evidence, whether it’s video evidence or witness statements,” Gillingham says. “A lot of these claims don’t actually materialize into litigation until years later, so when there’s an incident that would give rise to a claim, they need to at least be preserving the evidence.”

3) Safe ride home policies. In the event that an insured’s staff fails to prevent an individual from over-intoxication, “they still have an obligation to make sure that person isn’t going to get into a motor vehicle and injure someone or damage a third party’s property,” Turner says.

2) Alcohol awareness training. Whether it’s TIPS training, ServSafe® or another formal program, this is perhaps the most crucial risk management practice in the liquor liability space. “The most pronounced piece of that equation is controlling the flow of alcohol,” says Bill Turner, vice president and solutions leader, BerkleyReSolutions. “As the owner of an establishment, it behooves you to have employees who are well-trained in identifying folks who are exhibiting visible intoxication and monitoring the consumption rate of patrons to make sure they’re not drinking at a dangerous rate.” Staff should also be trained on tactics for “defraying unlawful situations and preventing altercations,” Turner adds. And underwriters also look for evidence that insureds have policies in place regarding checking IDs for patrons who appear to be 30 years or younger. “The insured needs to indicate that if an employee doesn’t follow these procedures, there will be ramifications regarding continued employment and liability,” Turner says. “If they don’t do all that, we don’t want the risk.”

Fortunately, with the proliferation of ridesharing, safe ride home policies are easier to implement than ever before. Companies like Uber and Lyft are already piloting programs that could “change life dramatically for establishments,” says Haley, who cites one company that’s offering free or discounted ride vouchers for patrons who drink at establishments associated with the brand. EverGuard, too, recently entered a partnership with a company that puts single-use breathalyzers inside establishments, free of charge. “It’s a tool staff can use to cut someone off, or in cases where someone wants to know, ‘Am I OK to drive? I had two glasses of wine,’” Gillingham explains. “The breathalyzer comes with a $10 rideshare voucher, so if you find out you’re above the legal limit, you’ve got an incentive to use an alternative way to get yourself home.” For years, there’s been “little social tolerance” for drinking and driving, Gillingham says. “People still do it, but with the advent of ridesharing and more awareness, the stigma continues to move in the right direction. We think those sorts of tools will continue to make a difference.” Jacquelyn Connelly is IA senior editor.

Note, too, that it’s not enough for an insured to invest in a formal training program on an annual basis. “It’s inherent in these businesses that they have significant staff turnover. So it’s great that you’re TIPS-certified one day, W W W.V I A A .O R G

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E

O &

ER N R O C

HOW A CLAIM IS MADE by Shirley Zelenski

Shirley Zelenski is an Underwriting Vice President of Westport Insurance Corporation, a member of the Swiss Re group. Shirley can be reached at shirley_zelenski@swissre.com.

Fans of the TV show “How It’s Made” enjoy watching how some of the most seemingly mundane objects in the industrialized world today are created. The show’s presentation of the steps and materials it takes to create objects as simple as a mirror or silk glove make us more appreciative of how easily these things are available to us. And yet the life cycle of any object is more than the sum of its parts; each step in the process of making those parts is a story of its own. Luckily for most, the life cycle of a professional liability claim is a mystery. For those who have had the experience, some perhaps didn’t really know what stage their E&O claim was in until it affected their deductible or until their E&O carrier paid to defend and settle. If you are one of the curious, stay tuned and enjoy; here’s the story of how an E&O claim is created - with no commercial interruptions. How a claim is defined First, the claim is created by policy definition. The Westport Insurance Agents Professional

1.) an insured has received a summons, a subpoena, or any other notice of legal process; 2.) an insured has received notice of any “suit”; 3.) an insured has received notice of a written

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4.) an insured has received a request to provide a recorded statement. In any or all of these instances, the claim must be immediately reported by the agency to the E&O carrier. Reporting the claim to the E&O carrier: behind the scenes

The entire process, from the first demand letter to the agency to the final closing letter from defense counsel or the claims specialist, can last from just a couple of months to a couple of years.

Liability policy defines a claim as:

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demand, or a written demand for money orservices; or

Once the claims department receives notice, a claims specialist contacts the insured agency to notify them that a claim has been received. A claim file is opened and the claims specialist reviews the applicable deductible, policy limits, retro date, and confirms that the policy is in force.

A determination is then made as to whether the alleged error or omission of the “claim” is covered by the policy. If the allegations fall within the coverage terms, the claims specialist then attempts to determine the insured’s potential liability. The claims specialist will speak with individuals from the agency who were involved in the matter, including the agency principal to determine what happened. He or she will ask them about standard agency procedures and practices, and will check to see whether the underlying carrier (or others) have made payments yet. They will also ask for any and all documentation from the agency file so they can review it to support the agency’s defenses to the claim. Many times the allegations of the claim do not indicate that the agent has made any error. In those


cases, the claims specialist will advise the claimant that their claim has no valid basis and will deny the claim. However, if the allegations may give rise to a valid claim, and if a lawsuit has not yet been filed, the claims specialist will ask for documentation that supports the claimant’s allegations. If the claimant has retained an attorney, the claims specialist will work directly with the attorney. The claims specialist will then review the information they provide and determine what further action to take to resolve the claim. Bringing in Defense Counsel If a lawsuit results from the allegations of a claim, the claims specialist will choose appropriate Defense Counsel for the agency, sometimes referred to as the “DC”. The DC selected usually comes from a panel of defense attorneys that have a proven history of excellence in defending insurance agents errors and omissions claims. The DC represents and has an ethical and professional obligation to the insured first and is the insured’s representative in a court of law. In some cases, Swiss Re has enhanced the E&O policy with an endorsement that allows insureds to choose their own defense counsel, subject to some limitations. The DC will meet with the insured and begin the discovery process. This begins by requesting written discovery and may include subpoenas of various records including tax returns, receipts, or payroll records. Depositions are another part of discovery. Depositions are sworn testimony of the parties, witnesses and experts in order to determine what their testimony will be at trial. Individuals involved in the alleged error from the agency are deposed in most cases to document their side of the story. All of this is used to help build the agency’s defense and may also factor into the ongoing updates of the reserves. The agency’s potential liability is the logical conclusion that develops in the mind of the claims specialist as the discovery process unravels the facts. The claims specialist will then analyze, with the help of the defense counsel, how a judge or jury will view the agency’s liability and establish the expense, defense, and loss reserves. Defense counsel will continue to have regular contact with the insured, following the case to the end and keeping the insured informed about progress, delays, and the

eventual outcome. Mediation, summary judgment, or trial In many cases, it is appropriate for a case to be mediated. This is a non-binding process involving an independent third party whereby an attempt is made to negotiate a settlement. The process is non-binding because it is voluntary and the parties are not required to reach a settlement. If a settlement is not reached, the case continues in the litigation process. In some instances, where there is no dispute as to the facts of the case and the evidence clearly supports the agency and law supports the agency, the DC will file a motion summary judgment. This is a request where the attorney will ask a judge to determine as a matter of law that the claimant’s case should be dismissed. It can only happen if the material facts are not in dispute such as whether a faxed document was received by the intended recipient or whether an injured worker is an employee of the plaintiff. The goal is to save time and money that would be spent further representing the insured by going to a jury trial when it is clear that there is no basis for the claim. If the motion is unsuccessful, the case goes continues in the litigation process. A trial can last from one day to several weeks. On average, most E&O trials last two or three days. After the jury or the judge has reached its verdict and the trial has ended, either side may seek to appeal the verdict if they believe that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence or that there was an error as a matter of law. This can add several months to the process. At some point, just like a mirror or a silk glove, the claim will finally come to an end. The entire process, from the first demand letter to the agency to the final closing letter from defense counsel or the claims specialist, can last from just a couple of months to a couple of years. Either way, the goal is to successfully defend the agency and resolve the claim. Being accused of making an error is never pleasant. But hopefully now you will have a better understanding of the life cycle of a claim and will be prepared if it should ever happen to you.

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Helen Collins hcollins@viaa.org

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Leasing: A Seamless Customer Experience

But don’t take it from us. Listen to your peers. Agents Express Leasing is an effective solution to manage your clients needs with today’s best equipment technology. Jay Byrnes of Byrnes Agency experienced how easy our leasing solution is for his agency: “As a longtime member of the “Big I”, I always knew of InsurBanc and their commitment to the independent insurance agent. Recently we wanted to update the agency with a new computer network and desktops, so I turned to InsurBanc for leasing options.

Please visit our web site at www.insurbanc.com or contact one of our leasing professionals at 800.957.0858.

From start to finish I experienced firsthand how seamless it was to conduct business with them. We have a 35 person agency so to update everyone’s computers was a decent size upgrade. InsurBanc made the process very easy and offered attractive terms and competitive rates which helped to manage the agency’s cash flow”. – Jay Byrnes ~ Byrnes Agency How it works: • Lease terms are 24, 36, 48 or 60 months with a minimum transaction of $5,000 • You are looking for 100% equipment financing, including certain soft costs such as software, shipping, installation and maintenance* • No down payments or advance payments are required • Monthly payments can be customized to meet your special business needs • You are looking for potential tax benefits associated with equipment financing**

We invite you to see for yourself. Contact us today for help preserving your cash flow with an equipment lease solution. These materials are for informational purposes only. The availability of any financing described herein is subject to approval of applicant’s credit, the equipment supplier and the equipment. *Soft costs are limited to 20% of the total amount financed. **Nothing herein constitutes tax advice and customers are advised to consult with their own tax advisors prior to electing specific rates or options. Agents’ Express leasing is a program of De Lage Landen Financial Services, Inc., a third party not affiliated with InsurBanc, a Division of Connecticut Community Bank, N.A.

W W W.V I A A .O R G Member FDIC

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WHAT IS A “PEDESTRIAN”?

William C. Wilson, Jr., CPCU, ARM, AIM, AAM is the founder of InsuranceCommentary.com. He retired from the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America in December 2016 where he served as Assoc. VP of Education and Research and was the founder and director of the Big “I” Virtual University for over 17 years. W W W.V I A A .O R G

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We Want You! South Burlington, VT NFP, aLast leading broker and weekinsurance I received an inquiry from a blog subscriber who had discovered that the mediconsultant that provides employee benefits, cal payments coverage on the auto policies they sell in two states allegedly does not extend to someone injured while riding a bicycle. property & casualty (P&C), retirement, and Most auto insurance medical payments coverage extends to insureds as pedestrians if struck byPlease a vehicle designed for use to: on public roads. The send your resume individual insurance and wealth management $64,000 question is, what is a “pedestrian.” solutions is currently seeking an experienced Dan Rodliff Personal Lines Producer to advance his or This question has come up on several occasions via President, questions submitted to the Big “I” Virtual Vice NFP P&C University’s “Ask an Expert” As a result, the Big “I” national Technical Affairs Commither career as a Commercial Linesservice. Producer POand Box 2243 auto policies to define whether tee asked ISO to consider it’s personal business in its South Burlington office. changing This position “pedestrian” was limited solely to someone onSouth foot orBurlington, if the term was applicable to someVTalso 05407 is responsible for moving generating new salespower for such as in a wheel chair or on a scooter. I blogged one simply under human Or all Commercial policies and requires about this Lines last year: the ability to work closely with clients, Email: dan.rodliff @nfp.com “What is a ‘Pedestrian’ for Auto Medical Payments and UM/UIM Coverage?“ customer service representatives, producers, management, andconcerns insurance carriers.by committee The One of the expressed members was differentiating insurance coverage work environment is professional very in a wheelchair or similar mobility vehicle would not for the handicapped whereby and someone have the as someone on foot. Would this violate any laws regarding discriminasupportive. Thesame idealcoverage candidate should have tion? This issue still hasn’t been addressed to my knowledge in the marketplace and it doesn’t excellent interpersonal skills, {2+} years of make a lot of sense that someone is covered while in a motor vehicle or on foot, but not otherexperience, wise.. and ability to adapt to emerging technology. They will be supported with I don’tlines knowtraining the position insurers commercial and other mentoring forhave taken. Do YOU know how your carriers treat injuries to “pedestrians” under medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorists, or other prospect/planning, sales calls, proposals and coverages? education. A property and casualty license is required. NFP offers a highly competitive compensation and benefits package.

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COMPANY & AGENCY NEWS


COULD YOUR CUSTOMERS USE A

PERSONAL UMBRELLA POLICY?

ACCIDENTS HAPPEN? That’s why people have insurance. However, if your customers aren’t protected by a personal umbrella policy, they could be putting their house or financial assets at risk. This low-cost policy is designed to protect families against a catastrophic lawsuit or judgment.

CONSIDER THIS: Existing homeowners and auto insurance may not be enough to cover a lawsuit or judgment. A personal umbrella policy will substantially increase your customer’s overall liability coverage beyond the basic coverage provided under homeowners and auto insurance policies. A SMART WAY TO PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. You’ll find an RLI personal umbrella policy is a good idea. • Up to $5 million in additional insurance available • Backed by a financially secure, A+ rated company • Customers keep their current homeowner/auto insurer • Excess UM/UIM available • New drivers accepted — no age limit on drivers • Up to one DWI/DUI per household allowed • Auto limits as low as 100/300/50 in certain cases

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The RLI PERSONAL UMBRELLA POLICY is available through selected agents and program administrators in all 50 states.

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Vermont Mutual Executives Honored in Surprise Boss’s Day Ceremony

MONTPELIER, Vermont (October 29, 2018)—It is not unusual for company executives at Vermont Mutual Insurance Group to have their hands in multiple areas of the business, so expectedly it can be quite a challenge to keep anything hidden from them...but that is precisely what employees managed to do in recognition of National Boss’s Day. Unbeknownst to company executives, Vermont Mutual employees gathered together to present them with a large framed card signed by all employees and a special Leadership Award commemorating the event. During the ceremony several employees got up to speak on behalf of their departments to express their gratitude for the expert and inclusive leadership of Vermont Mutual’s executive team.  Senior Executive Assistant, Paula Clark, employed with the company for nearly 30 years, noted “Their adventurous and fun leadership style has a way of making us all feel that even though things change here...we can count on them to make it an easier transition for those changes.” Clark continued “They make work interesting and above all, they guide us with their passion for the growth and success of Vermont Mutual.” Company President and CEO, Dan Bridge, surprised and touched by the gesture, remarked “In all of the years we’ve been working in this industry, I think it’s safe to say that this is one of the most unexpected and meaningful experiences we’ve been a part of.” Speaking on behalf of the executives, Bridge added “We wish to thank every one of our employees for this thoughtful show of appreciation, it means a lot to us all.” National Boss Day was first officially proclaimed in 1962 and is recognized every October 16. _________________

Vermont Mutual Insurance Group® is a trade name of Vermont Mutual Insurance Company, Northern Security Insurance Company, Inc. and Granite Mutual Insurance Company. Chartered in 1828, Vermont Mutual is one of the ten oldest mutual property/casualty insurers in the United States and provides coverage throughout New England and upstate New York. Through more than 400 independent agencies, the Group insures over 300,000 policyholders with a direct written premium of more than $475,000,000. The group is rated “A+ Superior” by A. M. Best and a Ward’s Top 50 performing property/casualty insurer in the U.S. for the past ten consecutive years.

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?

DID YOU KNOW AGENCY E&O UMBRELLA IS NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH BIG “I” PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY A commercial umbrella underwritten by Swiss Re (rated A+ by A.M. Best) is now available exclusively to Big “I” members.  Designed in collaboration with the IIABA to

PROTECT

your business with an E&O umbrella endorsed by IIABA

meet the needs of independent insurance agents  Broad coverage over primary casualty lines,

including E&O  Limits available up to $10 million over

CONSOLIDATE coverages with one carrier and avoid potential gaps

underlying primary E&O policy  Will be available in 50 states and the

District of Columbia  May to be written over a variety of E&O

carriers Contact your state association to learn more or to receive a quote today:

www.independentagent.com/EOContact

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SECURE your agency’s future with the largest writer of agents professional liability in the country

SUPPORT your state association while protecting your business

Insurance products underwritten by Westport Insurance Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas. Westport is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Insurance products mentioned may not be available in all states. Please contact your state administrator or Westport for availability in your state


Crowley Insurance Agency’s Katie LaFreniere Named 2018 Outstanding CSR of the Year in Vermont!

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Everything you insure is on your shoulders

Who do you trust to have your back? VIAS offers the most prestigious Errors & Omissions carrier(s) in the country: Westport Insurance Company & Utica National Insurance Group

For a quote or for more information contact Helen Collins at hcollins@viaa.org or 1-844-609-1481

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VIAS is a subsidiary of Vermont Insurance Agents Association viaa.org


In Memoriam: Luther Frederick Hackett

Shelburne - Luther Frederick Hackett, age 85 of Shelburne, VT and formerly of South Burlington, died of Alzheimer’s disease on October 8, 2018 at the Wake Robin Continuing Care Retirement Community. Fred was a sixth generation Vermonter and spent most of his life building a business and providing assistance to ventures he felt would make a positive difference to the future of his beloved State of Vermont. He was an active public leader as well as a private advisor and solid friend, someone who was rock solid in his religious beliefs, his patriotism and his deep love and dedication to his family. He especially loved spending time with his 5 granddaughters, who have memories of skiing in Stowe, fishing at the Trout Club and hiking Grandpa Fred’s beloved Camel’s Hump.  Fred was born on June 20, 1933, the son of Barbara L. Stearns and Luther C. Hackett of Burlington, VT. He was a graduate of Burlington High School in 1951 and received a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Vermont in 1955, where he was deeply involved with the Delta Psi Fraternity and the UVM Ski Team. Joining the UVM Air Force ROTC program, he then served from 1955-1959 in Texas, Japan and Hawaii. He was an intelligence officer in the 6920th Security Wing and received a certificate of Recognition by the Wing in 1958-1959.  In June of 1955 Fred married Sally L. Smith. After her graduation from UVM in 1956 she joined him in Texas for the rest of his tour in the Air Force. In 1959 Fred returned to Vermont to join his father in a new insurance business. He was Chairman of Hackett, Valine and MacDonald Inc., Champlain Captive Management, Inc. and Benefit Investment Advisors, Inc. He was a Director of the Vermont Captive Insurance Association Board in the early era of the Captive Industry in Vermont.  In 1965 he was elected to the Vermont House of Representatives from South Burlington. He served on the Appropriations Committee, and as Chairman from 1969-1970 and served as republican majority leader from 1967-1968. He was Chairman of the Joint Fiscal Committee of the Vermont House and Senate in 1969. In 1972 he won the Republican Primary for Governor. He lost the Governor’s race to Thomas Salmon in the general election.  Fred served as Republican National Committeeman of Vermont from 1977-1979. He enjoyed serving on the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisors from 1971-1972, 1991-2006, and as Chair from 1977-1984, and 1991- 2006. He was honored to receive the National Governors Association Award for Distinguished Service to state government in 1983. He was also Director of the Vermont Institute for Government Effectiveness. Fred was an environmentalist. He proudly assisted with the legislation in 1969 for preservation of certain land abutting the Camel’s Hump State Park, creating a state-owned Forest Reserve that formed Camel’s Hump State Park. He was instrumental in the creation of ACT 250 and heavily involved with the Clean & Clear Task Force for Lake Champlain.

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Early in his career he was active serving on Rotary, becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, a Director of the US Biathlon Association, a Director of the Central Vermont Railway, and was one of the founding Directors of the Vermont Community Foundation. One of Fred’s greatest joys was being on the Board of the Howard bank. He served 26 years, with 15 years as Chairman of the Howard and then Banknorth Group, Inc. Fred was the founding Chairperson of the Vermont Technology Council and he served as Chair from 1992 to 1997. In 2001 he co-founded the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies, and he served as Chair from 2001 to 2007. He was also the Chairperson of the Vermont EPSCoR program from 2001 to 2007. Fred was a Director of the New England Telephone Co from 1981-1995, chairing the audit committee. He served as Directors of the Central Vermont Public Service Co. from 1979-2004, and Catamount Energy Corporation from 1981-2004. He also chaired Vermont Electric Power Company from 1983-2004. Fred was a Director of the Greater Burlington Industrial Corporation and Associated Industries of Vermont and was honored by them in June of 1988 for Excellence in Economic Development. He also served as a Trustee of the Shelburne Museum, and as Treasurer from 1983-1991. He loved his time on the UVM Board of Trustees from 1971-1977, 1986-1994 and chaired the Board from 1991-1993. He was awarded a Doctorate of Laws in 1979 and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1980. Fred was recognized for his community service in 1990 by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Vermont Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the year in 1997.  Fred Hackett is survived by Sally, his wife of 63 years, his son Luther Stephen Hackett and his wife Ruthann Clark Hackett of Williston, his daughter Elizabeth Hackett Robinson and her husband James B. Robinson of Weybridge. He leaves his five special grand daughters, Sarah and husband Scott Hackett-Dalgliesh, Stephanie, Kate, Hadley and Emily. He is also survived by his brother Thomas Hackett and wife Colleen and a sister, Sue and her husband Stephen Harris; his sister-in-law, Nancy Tracy, Debbie and her husband George Bedrin, and a brother-in-law, L. David Smith and many nieces and nephews.  A memorial service will be held on November 3, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Shelburne, VT. A gathering of family and friends will be held following the service.  In lieu of flowers, gifts in Fred’s memory may be sent to the Fred and Sally Hackett Scholarship Fund at UVM which provides assistance to Vermonters who demonstrate a commitment to community service. Recipients are enrolled in the School of Business Administration or the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The UVM Foundation, 411 Main Street, Burlington VT 05401. Gifts may also be sent to the Shelburne Museum, 6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT 05482.  The family would like to convey a special thank you to Dr. Chris Hebert, Dr. Joe Haddock and the wonderful caring staff at the Linden Health Center at Wake Robin.

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