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POLICY May Tornadoes

Oklahoma’s

Four Keys to Building Your Business

Summer 2013

magazine

HYPOPANTY

2013


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EDITORIAL STAFF

Vol. 35, No. 4

PUBLISHER Dan Ramsey, CIC EDITOR Kathy Rose, CPIW MANAGING EDITOR Kathryn Jenson White ASSISTANT EDITOR Sarah Cavanah PRODUCTION EDITOR Susan J. Titus, PMP ASSISTANT PRODUCTION EDITOR Cathy Cinotto

PROFESSIONAL STAFF

President/ Chief Executive Officer Dan Ramsey, CIC Chief Operating Officer Susan J. Titus, PMP Chief Financial Officer Malinda Day OkMAP Administrator Cindy Munden, CISR Education Director Susie Current EVENTS & COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Cathy Cinotto Farm/RLI Program Manager Cindy Munden, CISR E&O Program Manager Lyra Roberts EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Candy Burton

26

helping hands

COLUMNS 2

Chairman Ed McGrath CIC Extra Dan Ramsey, CIC LEGAL Tom Cooper EDUCATION Susie Current

6 8 12

19 32 34 36

OkPAC and InsurPac investors Understanding the diversity of your markets is critical Young agent spotlight: Lena Sullivan, CIC Hypopanty 2013 Young Agents Conference Q&A: Cindy Munden

ON THE COVER

POLICY is the official publication of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma. POLICY is published quarterly and distributed to all member agencies and other interested parties in Oklahoma. Manuscripts and contributions are welcome, and will be considered for publication at the discretion of the IIAO Publications Committee. Correspondence and advertising inquiries may be addressed to IIAO, P.O. Box 13490, Oklahoma City, OK 73113. Ph: 405-840-4426 or 1-800-324-4426

Young Agents Committee Daniel O’Neil STATE DIRECTOR Denise Johnson, CIC OID UPDATE John Doak

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38 40 42 43

44

New technology: Learning to adapt Four keys to building your insurance business Our faith fulfills us Fireman’s Fund® rolls out risk purchasing group policy form IIAO membership matters

NEWSMAKERS 28

To find out the inside scoop on who all these people are, what they are doing and why they are having such a good time, turn to our story on Hypopanty 2013 on Page 32. McGrath photo on pages 2 and 28 by SarahMcKenziePhotography.com

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FEATURES 5 14

ABOUT IIAO

The Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma is the largest insurance trade association in Oklahoma. With more than 475 independent insurance agencies, we represent nearly 4,000 independent insurance agents and their employees. IIAO member agencies range in size from one person to some of the largest agencies in the region.

staff located in Oklahoma City. IIAO’s mission, shown below, is carried out through a variety of programs designed to enhance the business of independent insurance agencies.

Founded in 1906 as the Oklahoma Association of Local Fire Insurance Agents, IIAO is a result of the consolidation of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, Inc. (IIAO) and the Oklahoma Association of Professional Insurance Agents (OAPIA) on Jan. 1, 1992.

IIAO is affiliated at the national level with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America with offices in Alexandria, Va., and Washington, D.C.

IIAO policy is set by a board of directors elected at the annual convention. Policy is implemented by a professional

IIAO MISSION STATEMENT

IIAO is an active advocate on behalf of independent agents before legislative, regulatory and judicial groups in Oklahoma and at the federal level.

IIAO is an excellent source of information through POLICY magazine, published quarterly, and the Oklahoma Agent, a monthly newsletter of time-sensitive material for its members.

The mission of the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, working in the public’s best interests, through active member participation, is to be the unrelenting advocate of independent insurance agents and to fulfill the education, political and business needs of its members.


CHAIR

Gratitude in Review Looking back over my year in office, I know that all the challenges we have met result from the hard work of many individuals committed to IIAO and the profession we represent: I’m proud, and so should you be. Ed McGrath, CIC Wilcox & McGrath Insurance, OKC CHAIRMAN

IIAO Leadership Officers

CHAIRMAN-ELECT

David Eaton, CIC Advantage Insurance Group, El Reno VICE CHAIRMAN

Mark Carlin, CIC Cole Paine & Carlin, OKC SECRETARY-TREASURER

Phil Eitzen, CIC Eitzen Agency, Fairview STATE DIRECTOR

Denise Johnson, CIC ECI Insurance, Piedmont IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN

Jed Dillingham, CIC Dillingham Insurance, Enid

directors Tom Caraway Agar-Ford-Jarmon & Muldrow/INSURICA, Norman

Karen Dunn Archey-Warren-Dunn Insurance Agency, Broken Bow

Bruce Jordan, CIC Jordan Carris Agency, McAlester

Guy Landes, CIC

A

couple of weeks ago Dan Ramsey asked me, as IIAO chairman, to rate this year. From my perspective, this past year has presented more challenges than most, but overall I am proud of our results. Although the challenges and accomplishments were significant, the focus of my last article as chairman is to recognize and to thank the individuals and the team of colleagues responsible for the positive outcomes of my year in office First, every organization rises or falls on its leadership.  Dan’s ability to lead our association staff and guide our volunteer member leadership has been outstanding. His unwavering commitment to our mission and his vision for our future have set an example we are all proud to follow. Thank you, Dan. Next, I want to give credit and gratitude and thank Susan Titus. Although Susan has not worked for the association for much of this last year, her many years of contributions have made our accomplishments possible. Thank you, Susan. Malinda Day, our association CFO, also acts as our office manager. In Dan’s words, “She does it all.” Speaking for everyone who as ever served as treasurer, I will say that Malinda’s value is hard to measure. Thank you, Malinda. Lyra Roberts, our E&O program manager, has served as a resource to almost all of us who purchase our agency E&O through the association. Lyra also serves as the staff liaison to our Young Agents Committee. She is the right person for the job. Thank you, Lyra. Cathy Cinotto, who has stepped in to take over many of Susan’s duties, has been here for slightly more than two years. In that time, she has already made significant contributions, including overseeing Hypopanty, Kairos, Policy magazine and education. Great job, Cathy; thank you. Cindy Munden is our OKMAP administrator and the manager for our Eagle Agency farm and personal umbrella program. Cindy contributes to our bottom line. Thank you, Cindy. Susie Current is our education director. If you have at-

Louis Blosch Agency, Tulsa

Mark Tedford, CIC Tedford Insurance, Jenks

Chris Torres, CIC Oklahoma Agents Alliance, OKC

2

POLICY

Every organization rises or falls on its leadership. tended any of our numerous classes, you know Susie. She makes it look as if all our training, all the seminars and workshops, all the continuing education just happen. But we know differently. Thank you, Susie. Candy Burton, our receptionist, came to us as a temporary employee, but she has become an integral part of our team. Her can-do attitude is much appreciated. Thank you, Candy. Next on my gratitude list is our executive committee: Past Chairman Jed Dillingham, Chairman-Elect David Eaton, Vice Chairman Mark Carlin, Secretary/Treasurer Phil Eitzen and State Director Denise Johnson. Each of these individuals has served our membership consistently and selflessly for years. I appreciate each one’s individual contribution to our collective effort. I thank each one of you. Finally, I need to thank our board of directors: Bruce Jordan, Chris Torres, Donna Baker, Guy Landes, Karen Dunn, Kelly Smith, Larry Neal, Mark Tedford, Mike Somers, Thad Leonard, Tom Caraway and Wes Magill.  Additionally, our organization has found support in the work of Trent Willis, Young Agents Committee chairman, and company representatives Jenni Wood and Kirk Bailey. I thank each of you for your willingness to serve and your commitment to our association’s cause.  As you can see, many individuals work together to keep this association strong, relevant and moving forward for the benefit of all involved. Thank you not only to them, but to you, our members, whose investment in our association makes it better each day.

REGIONAL DIRECTORS RED CARPET ZONE 1

GREAT PLAINS ZONE 2

GREEN COUNTRY ZONE 3

FRONTIER COUNTRY ZONE 4

LAKE & TRAIL ZONE 5

KIAMICHI ZONE 6

Wes Magill, CIC

Larry Neal, CIC, AAI, LUTCF

Thad Leonard

Donna Baker, CIC, CPIW

Mike Somers, CIC

Kelly Smith, CIC

Magill Insurance Agency, Weatherford

J.T. Neal Agency, Lawton

Carl M. Leonard & Son, Tulsa

Frates Insurance and Risk Management LLC

Somers Insurance Agency, Lindsay

JWB Insurance, Holdenville

Spring 2013


2013 OkPAC Investors

OkPAC is IIAO’s political action committee. It provides financial support for state elected officials who will provide support for or have shown support of issues affecting the insurance industry and to those who share our business philosophies. Only individuals or partnerships can make contributions to OkPAC. Under Oklahoma law, OkPAC can accept no contributions from corporations. Phil Eitzen Ben Gorrell Vaughn Graham Jr Raymond Hale III John Harper C Ross Harris Richard Haverfield Robert Hess Mel Holt Clayton Howell Don Jacks Denise Johnson Steven C Jordan Bruce Jordan Joe Kem Guy Landes Thad Leonard Bill Livermon Bruce Magill

Donna Baker John Battaliou Kent Bradford Jake Bramlett Travis Brown Paul T Caraway Kent Carlin Mark Carlin Jeffrey Clymer Earnie Cornelius Scott Cornelius James H Couch William C Cox Hal Curry Gerald Dawkins Malinda Day John Kelly Deer Jed Dillingham David Eaton

Wes Magill Pat Mandeville Ed McGrath Cody McNeill Kelly Miller Jon Moon Mike Mosley Duane Murray Larry Neal Heidi Nease Daniel O’Neil Horace Phillips Rob Piearcy Stephen Poleman Dan Ramsey T.J. Riley Janet Rogers Michael Ross Traci Rowe

Karl Seizinger Clark Smith Dabney Smith Jr Kelly Smith Daniel Somers Mike Somers Joe Strunk Gary Taber Mark Tedford Richard Teubner Ryan Teubner Steven Tolson Chris Torres VIP Ins Agency LLC Brad Warwick Trent Willis Jennifer Wood

2013 InsurPac Investors

InsurPac is IIABA’s political action committee. It pools the voluntary and individual financial contributions of thousands of independent insurance agents to help elect candidates to Congress who share IIABA’s business philosophies. InsurPac is the largest property-casualty insurance industry PAC in the country. Neil Barfield John Battaliou Kent Bradford James (Jake) Bramlett Nanette Bramlett Robert Bramlett Travis Brown Jack Brunso Paul Caraway Kent Carlin Mark Carlin Max Claybaker Jeffrey Clymer Scott Cornelius James Couch William Cox Gerald Dawkins Malinda Day

John Kelly Deer John Dillingham David Eaton Philip Eitzen Benjamin Gorrell Vaughn Graham Vaughn Graham, Jr. Raymond Hale lll John Harper Charles Harris Rich Haverfield Robert Hess Mel Holt Denise Johnson Joe Kem Guy Landes Thad Leonard Jill Lester

William Livermon Patrick Mandeville Ed McGrath Cody McNeill Mark McPherson Kelly Miller Michael Mosley Duane Murray Larry Neal Heidi Nease Daniel O’Neil Horace Phillips Steve Poleman Dan Ramsey Kathy Reeser T.J. Riley Janet Rogers Michael Ross

Traci Rowe Jane Seals Karl Seizinger Scott Selman Clark Smith Kelly Smith William Smith Daniel Somers Michael Somers Joe Strunk Dora Lee Sullins Gary Taber Mark Tedford Richard Teubner Ryan Teubner Brad Warwick Trent Willis Bernie Zalaznik

Is your name not on the list? Use the contributor’s statement at left to donate.


EXTRA

Action at the Capitol We’ve achieved several goals this legislative session, and I feel sure that as you read through the issues and their resolutions in law, you will be as pleased as I am with the lawmakers’ decisions related to insurance. Dan Ramsey CIC

PRESIDENT CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

6

W

hen we were considering our legislative agenda for this session last fall, we found it challenging to come up with anything other than two items: workers’ compensation reform (a consistent fallback issue when there is nothing else) and what we might do to bring financial disclosure on interlocal agreements that have formed trusts to provide what they call “insurance” coverage for school districts and other governmental entities. It was really pretty bland. In fact, it was one of the few years we didn’t even send emails to legislators announcing an agenda. My, oh my, how that has changed over the past few months. Workers’ compensation has always headed our list of concerns, and while there was an attempt in the 2012 session to introduce a Texas-style optional coverage product to the table, I didn’t really know what to expect this session. IIAO leadership met with members of the coalition supporting the 2012 bill and told them our concerns and recommendations. They committed to working to try to address those suggestions in any legislation proposed. As the session unrolled, 31 bills were filed to deal with workers’ compensation reform. We had no idea which bill the legislative leaders would chose to support, so we waited until the smoke cleared. SB1062 emerged as the bill offered to truly overhaul our workers’ compensation system. It is divided into three primary sections: 1. Replace the current workers’ compensation court system with an administrative system 2. Allow for optional coverage to be written in lieu of workers’ compensation 3. Create the Workers’ Compensation Arbitration Act. SB1062 passed the Legislature and was signed into law by the governor to become effective Nov. 1. Oklahoma has had a workers’ compensation law since 1915, and this is possibly the most dramatic change ever to be enacted by the Legislature. We have already heard threats of legal challenge, so the ideas in the bill will likely continue to be debated in the courts. IIAO will present programs to educate our members about the changes, particularly those related to optional coverage. When I looked over bills filed, I noticed HB2201, a bill that would make CompSource Oklahoma a mutual insurance company. This bill caught my particular interest because it was a follow up to the 2009 task force I served

POLICY Summer 2013

SB1062 emerged as the bill offered to truly overhaul our workers’ compensation system. on. That group considered whether or not CSO should be privatized. After several hearings and receiving volumes of reports from all sides, our overwhelming recommendation was that it should be privatized through mutualization. I analyzed the bill and found quite a few improvements that I had offered, listened to concerns by other parties and offered more suggestions. At the end of the day, all my concerns were addressed at least through amendment to the bill or by explanation. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, CSO will become a mutual insurance company. It won’t be a pure mutual company, but its governance structure will change significantly by requiring that 40 percent of the board of directors be from policyholders who do not represent government entities. The new law will require CSO to pay all state taxes, licenses and fees as required by other carriers and to pay assessments to the Oklahoma Property & Casualty Guaranty Association. The law will do away with the favored treatment CSO has always been provided in writing business for state entities. HB2201 will require the OID to regulate CSO the same as it does all other carriers, including rate and form regulation after a three-year transition period. Legal challenges are certain to ensue as to whether the assets of CSO belonged to the state or were surplus created by the policyholders. The law becomes effective Nov. 1. Several years ago, legislation was passed allowing for interlocal agreements to be created between governmental entities, including school districts, to better leverage purchasing power. As a result, several entities have created insurance trusts to provide coverage for these entities. SB692 addresses concerns many IIAO members expressed to me about the financial condition of these arrangements. The legislation does not require these agreements to come under the regulation or oversight of the Oklahoma Insurance Department, but it does require those offering them to provide annual financial reports to the commissioner prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting procedures. The law contains an emergency


EXTRA

clause and will become effective immediately upon signature by the governor. Remember, the insolvency exclusion applies for business placed through these coverage arrangements — unless the insurance carrier specifically approves them — so be very careful. Finally, Insurance Commissioner John Doak requested HB1792 to provide for temporary automobile liability insurance for drivers who are cited for driving without insurance. Under the plan, the temporary insurance will apply from the time the license plate is taken from the vehicle and ends when the owner of the vehicle provides documentation to DPS that the vehicle has insurance or obtains the state minimum insurance from an insurance carrier. The offender must pay to the county sheriff various fees, fines and premium for the temporary insurance before redeeming the license plate. Under the law, it is unlikely insurance agents will have any role in the process. You can

find more information concerning this legislation by going to iiaok.com and referring to the note from Doak there. The bill passed and becomes effective Nov. 1. At the writing of this article, two weeks remain in this session, but I don’t see any more legislation being considered that will have any significant impact on IIAO members. This session has been an unbelievable experience, the most trying of my 15 years serving as your president and CEO. At all times my focus has been on the genius of the first words of the IIAO mission statement: “working in the public’s best interest.” One legislator asked me during this session when I was going to come around asking for something for the agents. He said everyone else comes by asking for something. I told him that we work a little differently from most: Our mission calls on us to focus on the best interest of the public, and we believe our members will be very well served in the long run by doing just that.

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POLICY Summer 2013

7


LEGAL

Be Prepared If you are going to be involved in an E&O lawsuit, you need to prepare yourself adequately to avoid making mistakes that could be costly: To sum up my advice, act swiftly and seek legal guidance. Tom Cooper Pignato, Cooper, Kolker & Roberson, P.C.

COLUMNIST

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R

ecently I had the honor of speaking at the annual IIAO convention at the Embassy Suites in Norman – i.e., Hypopanty, which I can spell correctly but for some reason can’t figure out how to pronounce. I noticed that the attendees seemed to perk up (or maybe wake up) when I showed some examples of agents’ testimony in two cases: one in which the claim was turned in early and one in which the agent delayed turning in the potential claim because he “didn’t think it had any merit.” For the benefit of those agents who were not lucky enough to attend, I want to take this opportunity to publish excerpts here. First, we need a little background information. Some agents have deductibles that apply to both defense costs and indemnity, and they may therefore — in addition to their subjective and sometimes wrong belief that the claim or lawsuit has no merit — be hesitant to report claims. This is especially true when no formal claim or lawsuit has been made against the agent, and, instead, the agent is merely faced with a subpoena to show up for a deposition in a case already pending between the insured and insurer. E&O insurers have learned the hard way that an agent’s failure to report a claim at the subpoena stage can lead to disastrous results when the agent testifies without adequate preparation and representation. So most E&O policies have a specific provision addressing this scenario. Even if an agent has a deductible that would normally apply to defense costs, the subpoena provision of the E&O policy will typically provide legal representation — paid for by the E&O insurer and not applied to the deductible — for purposes of responding to a subpoena. This is so regardless of whether the subpoena is for documents, testimony or both. With that background, let’s look at the examples of testimony in the two cases referenced above. Both cases are over and closed, but I have nonetheless omitted names. In the following example, the agent received a subpoena to appear for a deposition in a case that was already pending between the insured and insurer. The agent thought he would be helping his insured by appearing for the deposition and answering some simple questions. The agent did not report the claim and showed up for the deposition unprepared and unrepresented, which led to the following exchange between attorney and agent.

POLICY Summer 2013

Q A Q A Q A Q A Q A

(By plaintiff’s attorney) Do you believe that my client relied upon your expertise to provide him coverage in this situation? Well, yes. Do you believe my client relied on you to sell him an insurance policy that would cover him in this situation? Yes. (By plaintiff’s attorney) And whose job is it to inform the customer of the limitation to coverage? Well, it would be – it would by my responsibility. It would be your responsibility to inform my client of that, correct? Yes.

(By plaintiff’s attorney) Do you believe you performed your duty in providing coverage to my client? Well, according to the terms of the uninsured motorist endorsement, no, because it didn’t meet the requirements for being covered under the uninsured motorist endorsement. The result in this case was that the customer whom he was trying to help added the agent as a defendant. A yearlong course of litigation ensued, concluding with a two-week trial. Contrast the above example with a case in which the agent was a newly added defendant in a case that had been pending between the insured and insurer. The agent reported the claim, and the E&O insurer hired me to defend. I prepared the agent for her deposition and represented her at the proceeding. Here is an excerpt of the exchange at the deposition:

Q

(By plaintiff’s attorney) If a proposed insured requests replacement cost coverage, the estimator needs to get the replacement cost coverage as close to accurate as possible; would you agree with that?


LEGAL

A Q

I would agree.

And the individuals who put together the Boeckh Estimator are in a better position to identify the appropriate replacement cost value than a layperson such as my clients, correct? (Cooper) Object to form. Go ahead. I think the best person to evaluate the replacement cost on the building is the building owner. That’s the person who is actually physically looking at the building and knows of similar buildings in that area.

A

Q

Is it reasonable to rely on the agency to provide you with an appropriate replacement cost, if you ask them to do that? (Cooper) Object to form. Go ahead. Agents are not construction specialists. We’re insurance agents. We didn’t develop the estimating program. We just use it.

A

Q

What if the estimating program was utilized in a manner that was probably not appropriate for the situation? (Cooper) Wait. Was that all of your question? Object to form, vague. Go ahead. Would you be a little more specific as to what you have in mind?

A Q

Well, just because you have Boeckh and a client calls, that doesn’t mean that Boeckh automatically spits out a replacement cost. You have to actually put numbers into the spreadsheet to get a replacement cost value, correct? I ask the customer for the size of the building, the type of construction, when it was built, what kind of roof it has; that’s the information that I use.

A

Q A

And then that spits out the actual – or not the actual, the replacement cost value? It gives an estimate, yes. Continued on Page 10 POLICY Summer 2013

9


LEGAL

Continued from Page 9

Q A Q A Q A

And say, for example, you put data into that program that might not have been correct data? (Cooper) Object to form, vague. Go ahead. If the data were not correct, it would be because the customer gave me the wrong information. Well, what if the customer didn’t know, you know, and guessed? (Cooper) Same objection. Go ahead. I think the customer has a certain duty to give correct information. The agency holds itself out to be a specialized insurance agent in the equine community? Well, we specialize in equine farm insurance.

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POLICY Summer 2013

Q A Q

And the agency as a whole would be considered someone who is an expert in that field? I would not use the term “expert.”

If my clients called the agency and asked them to insure their property and they wanted that property to be replaced if it got blown away, would that create a special relationship for the agency to be required to put an accurate replacement cost value on their property binder? (Cooper) Object to form. Go ahead. What I can tell you is if someone said that to me, I would ask them, and I do ask them – the first question is, what do you believe it would cost to rebuild this structure using today’s costs for labor and materials.

A


LEGAL

Q A Q A

One of the things you do before you do anything is run the Boeckh Estimator? I do an estimator after I talk to the prospect. To ensure that they’re accurate?

(Cooper) Object to form. The insurance company needs to make sure that the premium being paid and the premium being received is adequate for the exposure being insured. So they have to know what the exposure is.

Q A

(By plaintiff’s attorney) And if their property got blown away, it would be replaced? (Cooper) Object to form. Go ahead. I can only tell you that I ask the prospect to supply me with a number. I use an estimating program to see if that number seems reasonable. If it doesn’t, we have another conversation. I ask them for an appraisal or suggest that they have a local contractor give them a figure. The contractor would have the best knowledge and be able to give them the most accurate figure.

Q

(By plaintiff’s attorney) What if the agency tells my clients – we’re going to set the replacement cost, don’t worry? (Cooper) I’m sorry to interrupt. You used a pronoun in that question. You said “we.” When you were talking about the agency, you said what if my clients call the agency and the agency says “we.” The agency is the “we” in your question, right? (plaintiff’s attorney) If I said it the way you said it, then that’s what it is. (Cooper) I just want to make sure we’re on the same sheet of music. (plaintiff’s attorney) I don’t know. Well, we don’t do that, so it doesn’t matter.

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A

Following the deposition, I filed a motion to get the agent out of the case. It was granted, and the case was over. POLICY Summer 2013

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EDUCATION

CE Update Even with all the challenges May’s weather has created, insurance professionals must keep track of their license renewal and continuing education requirements: The OID makes it easy to do that on its website.

Susie Current

EDUCATION DIRECTOR

D

id you know that every licensed person in a member agency gets one hour of legislative credit a year just for being a member of IIAO? This year when you renew your membership, we will send you a membership certificate and instruction sheet explaining the steps to take to receive that one hour of legislative CE. Basically, you will send a list containing the names and license numbers of all the licensed people in your office, along with a copy of your membership certificate, to the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Once it receives your list it will add your association credit to the records of everyone on your list. It is that easy for everyone in your office to receive one hour of legislative credit. The best place to access your CE records is at statebasedsystems.com. From there, click on “Print Your Education Transcript” to view the hours you currently have and the number of hours you still need.

Starting in June 2011, the insurance department began converting all renewals to birth months. If you didn’t renew your license this year, this change should affect you in the next 12 months, depending on how your renewal and your birth month fall. Take a look at your license to be certain when your next renewal is due. Because of this change, the license period is shorter for some people and longer for others. The renewal rates are prorated to match the length of time for your actual renewal. Here is a quick review of the renewal requirements for your license. All resident agents/producers, CSRs and adjusters are required to complete continuing education biennially. The requirements are as follows: Resident producers, title producers are required to have 24 hours of continuing education, including three hours of ethics and two hours of legislative updates. • Producers that sell, solicit or negotiate Medicare

GREAT IDEAS FOR AGENCY GROWTH

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POLICY Summer 2013

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EDUCATION

Advantage or Part D products or plans are required to take a four-hour Medicare Renewal course each renewal period. • Producers that sell, solicit or negotiate long term care insurance must take a four-hour Long Term Care Partnership course each renewal period after the initial eight hour Long Term Care Partnership course was taken. • Producers that sell, solicit, or negotiate annuity products are required to take a one time four hour course on Annuity products. Title agents/producers are required to have 16 hours of continuing education, including two hours of ethics and two hours of legislative updates. CSRs are required to have 13 hours of continuing education, including three hours of ethics and two hours of legislative updates. Resident adjusters are required to have 24 hours of continuing education, including three hours of ethics and two hours of legislative updates.

If you are looking for quality education to get a block of hours taken care of, note that the CIC classes are approved for 20 hours of CE, including two hours of ethics and one hour of legislative credit. A CIC class, plus the legislative credit hour you get for being a member, will leave you just three CE hours shy (including one hour of ethics) of having all your CE hours, assuming you are a producer. If you are a CSR, you will only be one ethics hour away from having all of your hours. If you take one CIC class a year to maintain your CIC designation, you will not need to worry about your CE at all as long as you have two CIC classes on your transcript. CISR classes work very similarly. Three CISR classes will take care of all of your CE credits. Each CISR class is approved for eight hours of CE, including one hour of ethics and one hour of legislative credit. If you have any questions, please call or email me. I am happy to help you navigate through this. If you just need to look at our calendar to sign up for classes, you can do that at iiaok.com/education.

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POLICY Summer 2013

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FEATURE

Understanding the diversity of your markets is critical Learn from IIABA’s partnership with McDonald Marketing by watching webinars, studying marketing guides and dipping into other resources providing information about marketing in the 21st century.

T

o provide you with resources for expanding your marketing efforts into more diverse markets, the Big “I” Diversity Task Force has worked with McDonald Marketing to create a variety of tools. Statistics clearly point to changing demographics in the United States, and it’s important those strategies speak to a wider variety of potential clients. To make it more so, you can turn to the Big “I” Diversity Task Force Web series, “How to Market to People Not Like You.” This series is available at no cost to your agency.  In it, you will find advice on how to tweak your agency’s marketing message to be relevant to any new customer group and information about tactics to ensure your agency is operationally friendly and ready to communicate your

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POLICY Summer 2013

unique message in a relevant manner that shows respect for others’ cultures, values, languages and priorities. As you work your way through this seminar, you will learn how to develop a diversity marketing plan and how to measure your success, autopsy your failures and continue to achieve your goal of reaching new and more customers. Seven areas of study as well as an introductory webinar include information on how to get started and case studies of agencies that have implemented diversity marketing strategies. Each seminar focuses on one underrepresented group, as these section titles show: Introduction Hispanic African American Asian Generation X Generation Y Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Women Each segment includes an on-demand webcast featuring Kelly McDonald, acclaimed marketer and best-selling author, a marketing guide, worksheets and expansive online resources. Visit IIAO’s education calendar at iiaok.com for information on the Diversity Training Series.

Each segment includes an on-demand webcast featuring Kelly McDonald, You’re savvy. You know THE REAL THING when acclaimed marketer you see it. There’s just no substitute and for best-selling M. J. Kelly Company. author, a marketing We provide independent agents with value, service, and soluworksheets tions likeguide, in-house financing. We’re doing business by our creed to deliver on promises and help you write business. and expansive online www.mjkelly.com or 800-725-7211 Finance with BARCO, M. J. Kelly’s in house financing. resources.


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Insurance products underwritten by Westport Insurance Corporation, Overland Park, Kansas. Westport is a member of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. © 2012 Big “I” Advantage, Inc. and Swiss Re .


YAC

Looking Forward All that comes in the future is built upon what went on in the past. With that in mind, as I look to the coming year as your chairman, I want to thank those who made the last year a stellar one for young agents. Daniel O’Neil Oklahoma Agents Alliance OKC CHAIR, YOUNG AGENTS COMMITTEE

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fter serving on the Young Agents Committee for almost four years, I am excited to take on the role of chairman this year. I work as both an agent and a recruiter for Oklahoma Agents Alliance and have been in the insurance industry since 2005. I can’t believe it’s been that long. Past YA Chairman Chris Torres was the first to introduce me to several young agents. Those introductions helped me feel welcome and comfortable in this industry. Since that time I’ve learned much from many other young agents and also from the company representatives who have given generously of their time and effort to make the Young Agents Committee what it is today. I plan to continue the success of the past chairmen. Speaking of our past chairmen, I want to thank Trent Willis for the time and effort he put into the Young Agents during his years on the committee and especially over this past year as chairman. Trent helped make this past year one of our best, as shown by the best-ever attendance at many of our events and our working together to raise more than $7,600 for the Oklahoma Food Bank. I’m excited to report we had more attendees at our Young Agents Conference than ever before. I can only hope to fill the big shoes Trent left for me. This year’s conference was a hit. Featured speaker Kelly McDonald was fantastic. She is a marketing and advertising expert and considered one of the nation’s top experts in multicultural marketing and consumer trends, and author

POLICY Summer 2013

Young Agents Golf Tournament Monday, Oct. 14 Coffee Creek Golf Course Edmond of two helpful books, “How to Market to People Not Like You,” No. 7 on the list of Bestselling Business Books of 2011, and her latest, “Crafting the Customer Experience for People Not Like You.” If you didn’t get a chance to hear her speak, I suggest you pick up one of her books. You will learn where the marketing world is headed and that its direction is bound to change and change again. We also had a great turnout for our Thunder Watch Party. Several members from our executive committee were in attendance, as well as IIABA Chairman Bobby Bramlett and his wife, Nanette; IIABA Vice Chairman David Walker and his wife, Barbara; and Vaughn Graham, member of the IIABA Executive Committee, and his wife, Candace. I want to thank IIAO Chairman Ed McGrath, and IIAO CEO Dan


YAC

Ramsey for joining us. Congratulations to Chad Ferguson, who won the signed Nick Collison Thunder jersey for guessing the closest to the Thunder’s final score. Special thanks to VIP Insurance Agency for donating the jersey to the Young Agents. Traci Rowe completed three years of service on the Young Agents Committee, and I would like to thank her for all of her work while serving in that role. Adriane Stachmus has agreed to step into that position, and I’m looking forward to working with her. I also want to congratulate the IIAO staff for doing such a great job in putting the conference together. The Young Agents Committee members and I are looking forward to an even more successful conference next year. This year, the Young Agents Golf Tournament will be at Coffee Creek Golf Course in Edmond, Monday, Oct. 14. Be certain to join us for lunch and door prizes before we tee off and remember to invite other agents or friends to join us. This golf tournament isn’t just for insurance people; it’s for

everyone. Put this date on your calendar and put your team together. This event is the last stop of the 2013 Challenge Cup, so if you are gunning for your first or second title, we are putting in good words for a wonderful weather day. Our support of the Oklahoma Food Bank will continue in the coming months. Each year, the Young Agents Committee members and other volunteers donate a day at the Food Bank sorting, organizing and packaging food for the needy. We want to continue to give and hope you will help us by participating this year. Please be on the lookout for our Young Agents Lunch Bunch dates. We get together once a month, alternating between Oklahoma City and Tulsa. This is a great opportunity to get to know some of the committee members and other young agents. Our companies are also well represented at the lunch bunches. I know of a few agents who were able to gain markets they were unaware of simply by attending. Please visit iiaok.com for dates and then talk to a few other agents about attending together.

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POLICY Summer 2013

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Union Standard Insurance Group®

League of Heavy Hitters

Union Standard is committed to working with young independent agents because they are the future of our business. That’s why we are partnering for success with Oklahoma’s Young Agents. Union Standard recognizes the need to foster the growth of new talent to perpetuate the Independent Agency System as well as provide young agents a competitive advantage.

Union Standard and the League of Heavy Hitters, Now that’s a Winning Team!

Congratulations 2013 League of Heavy Hitters Bob Sullivan Chad Patzke Chris Webb Clayton Howell Cody McNeill Creighton Haddon John Rogers, Jr. Kelly James Kreta Powell Lena Sullivan Lindsay Neal Michael Lowery Michael Towe Nick Karlovich Rocky Moore Russell Hollingsworth Vaughn Graham Jr.

Rich & Cartmill, Inc. Universal Insurance Agency, Inc. Rich & Cartmill, Inc. Howell-Stone Insurance, Inc. Insurance Agency of Mid-America, Inc. Wilcox & McGrath Insurance Insurance Agency of Mid-America, Inc. Wilcox & McGrath Insurance Cole, Paine, Carlin Ins. Agency, Inc. John F Sullivan, Inc. J T Neal Insurance Agency, Inc. Glenn Harris & Associates, Inc. INSURICA Commercial Insurance Brokers, LLC Insurance Agency of Mid-America, Inc. Universal Insurance Agency, Inc. Rich & Cartmill, Inc.

Tulsa Edmond Oklahoma City Edmond Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Edmond Stillwater Oklahoma City Ardmore Lawton Oklahoma City Lawton Tulsa Tulsa Moore Tulsa

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1601 NW Expressway, Suite 820 . Oklahoma City, OK 73118 . www.usic.com

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POLICY Summer 2013

A Berkley Company


Young Agent Spotlight

presented by

Lena Sullivan, CIC Sullivan Insurance Agency Ardmore

L

ena Sullivan, CIC, owns Sullivan Insurance Agency in Ardmore with her father, John F. Sullivan Jr., CPCU, CIC. She holds a bachelor of science degree in biology from the University of Kansas and is also a graduate of the Hartford School of Insurance. Sullivan is licensed in not only Oklahoma, but also Texas and Kansas. She joined the family agency in 2002 and became a partner in 2008. She says that as much as she enjoys working with her own clients, she also enjoys agency management. “I’ve learned about all aspects of the agency,” she said. “I like seeing what the other producers are doing. I get to see not only my own piece of the puzzle but also the big picture.” Sullivan, 33, is married. Her husband is in dental school at the University of Oklahoma. She enjoys traveling, but she always knew she wanted to live in Ardmore, she says. “I like lots of space between houses, minimal traffic and getting to work in a few minutes. It’s a great quality of life. And Ardmore is a culturally rich city close to Dallas and OKC,” she says.

LS

I was always open to the possibility. I just hadn’t had much exposure to the business world. I tried to keep an open mind and learn as much as I could. The more I learned, the more I liked it. I kind of fell in love with finding out how other people made a living. That’s one of the great things about insurance. I like the social interaction, but we write quite a bit of commercial agriculture business, and I could tie that in with my science background. But then in addition, I get to learn how all kinds of work works, and that’s pretty amazing. I see how creative people are in making their living and doing things to build and sustain their businesses.

KJW LS

Well, the agency name explains how you became an insurance professional. Yes. I’m proud to say I’m a third-generation insurance agent. When I graduated, my dad asked me to come for one year just to learn what he does and what the family business was about. Ten years later, I’m still here. I didn’t work in the agency at all during high school and college. Early on, it was just my dad, a CSR and a bookkeeper. What started as a one-producer shop is now an agency with 16 employees. Our focus is about 10 percent personal lines; the rest is commercial.

So insurance gives you a lot of varied experiences? Yes. In the commercial insurance realm, to be a good insurance agent you have to understand what your customers do, how they make their product or provide their service and run their businesses. You have to become somewhat knowledgable in their fields, which is what I like. That knowledge is necessary to ensure they get the right coverages and that their risks are protected appropriately. I like being the one customers turn to for guidance in purchasing insurance to protect their businesses. We have our own long list of professional skills and knowledge, but it really matters only when you apply that to the needs of clients.

KJW LS

KJW LS

KJW LS

Did you always plan to join the family business? I majored in biology but didn’t have a career in mind. I just picked something I was interested in and enjoyed learning about. I guess as a kind of typical rebellious teenager, I wanted to be different and do something my family members didn’t have any experience in. So I decided to study the sciences, and I really enjoyed my years as an undergraduate.

KJW

What made you stay past the year in the agency you originally agreed to?

What’s the most satisfying aspect of your work? I find it very satisfying working in a service profession. There’s no better feeling than meeting with a customer to propose an insurance program, explaining how it will all work and teaching clients about insurance. Many people are really uninformed about this important part of business. They don’t really understand the whole picture. You have to be a good communicator in this job. I spent a couple years going out with our experienced agents learning how they communicated with customers and watching their presentations. Continued on Page 20 POLICY Summer 2013

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Continued from Page 19

KJW LS

What is it like being a woman in a profession still predominantly led by men? Well, there is a tradition of women in our agency. My grandfather started it, but my grandmother took over after he died unexpectedly. She ran the agency for a couple of years until my father graduated from college. My stepmother works in the agency now, as well, so women are a major part of our agency story. We have only three male employees now, in fact.

KJW LS

Do you see insurance as a good field for women? Insurance has been dominated by men, but the women I have met are very knowledgeable and powerful. I am impressed with their strength and the depth of their professional skills and ability. Insurance has some really qualified women running agencies, filling offices in associations and working in many aspects of the business. Men still dominate in terms of numbers. I haven’t seen a big change there in the last 11 years. However, the profession is changing, just not as fast as I would like. I don’t think enough women think of this as a viable profession. Those of us who have families in the business at least have exposure to the idea of insurance as a career path. I don’t think there are all that many role models in any business area, although women are becoming more visible as leaders.

KJW LS

It seems to me that in many ways women are pretty well suited to the skills this profession requires. I agree. You have to have the ability to listen and really understand what your client is saying. You have to have

the ability to create and nurture relationships, as well, with clients, underwriters and those representing insurance companies. Ultimately, of course, you have to know what you are doing. You have to learn all about insurance and be able to provide the best guidance. You have to know about policy forms and coverages and regulations and legal issues. It’s a complex profession.

KJW LS

Did you see yourself as a role model when you started working in insurance? Not really, but I know all the women in our office are looked up to, and I’m proud to be a role model in that group. I think more women will be coming into insurance. I see it in our agency. We provide women to look up to, so potential agents who happen to be women see us. That’s necessary in all areas of business. Role models matter.

KJW LS KJW LS

Have you actively recruited women?

We’ve been really lucky in getting good people coming into the agency. We haven’t had to do a lot of recruiting.

What are your biggest challenges as a young agent? I guess one of my biggest is staying on top of what’s going on in the market and staying aware of policy changes. And, of course, keeping up with all my clients to ensure that when their lives change, their insurance changes appropriately with them.

KJW

You have a lot of working years left. Do you look to a good future in this profession? I look at agents of my father’s generation who have worked for 30 or 40 years and still love coming into the agency each day. I enjoy looking to a future in which work never gets old and never gets boring. Things are always changing, both for clients and in the industry. And working with family has been a pleasure. People always are curious about that. It’s nice to have someone with whom you are close to turn to with problems and questions.

LS

KJW LS

ance?

What are your interests outside insur-

I work a lot with the Ardmore Beautification Council. I also volunteer at a halfway house and serve on the board of a non-profit daycare for women who work. It started in the 1950s, so it has a strong tradition.

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POLICY Summer 2013


Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma

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Gold Taber Brokerage Services Patriot National Underwriters Inc./Old Glory Insurance Company

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SD

IIABA Resources IIAO is a great state association, and it’s part of a larger organization working with us and all state associations to create something greater than the sum of its parts: Check out the professional support it provides. Denise Johnson CIC ECI Insurance Piedmont STATE DIRECTOR

I

can’t even begin to tell you how my 2013 started out. Those first few months were filled with unexpected events, none of which I had any control over. Thinking about that lack of control made me realize how typical this is of our business. Our purpose is to protect against those things that we cannot control. Very profound for me, I realize. Now down to business. I represented you at my first official meeting of the IIABA Board of Directors in January. By the meeting in April, I was more seasoned and felt as if I actually knew what was going on. Attending those meetings was an awesome experience but overwhelming in the challenges I see for our industry over the next few years. Here are some things you need to keep on your radar that will benefit you as an IIABA member seeking to meet those challenges.

Project Cap

Did you know that nearly 75 percent of personal insurance consumers will begin their search for new coverage online? Will they find you? The insurance marketing experts at Project CAP can help ensure they will. In fact, we guarantee it. From new agency marketing programs to a new consumer website, Project CAP is leading the charge to provide IIABA agents with everything they need to attract and interact with today’s digital consumer. For more information: projectcapmarketing.com

InVEST

Did you know our association has a school-to-work insurance program? InVEST teams with high school and college educators to provide a useful insurance curriculum for students. With the help of InVEST liaisons, all of

Our cOMPreHensive MOBile HOMeOwners insurance • 20% new Business commission • Partnership Profit sharing • 100,000 Maximum Policy limits • 50+ age Of insured Discounts • newer Home Discounts • Fast Online Quotes, Policies and endorsements

rewarDs Our agents. National Security strives to provide competitive, affordable insurance for policyholders, but we also reward our agents with some of the highest commissions in the industry, a partnership profit sharing program and an award-winning web site that provides fast online quotes, policies, and endorsements. Find out more by calling 1-800-239-2358 x213 or visit us on the web at www.nationalsecuritygroup.com.

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POLICY Summer 2013

Elba, Alabama • 800-239-2358


SD

whom are insurance professionals, students have the opportunity for job shadow days, internships or even careers after graduating from InVEST. I recently spoke to the Insurance Business class at the University of Central Oklahoma, and you would be most impressed with the quality of those students ready and willing to enter our field. We claim we are not attracting the new generation; however, with the help of InVEST we can have a whole new workforce. For more information: investprogram.org

Member Resources

Did you know you have many resources available as a member of our association? You can direct any insurance question to our genius staff at “Ask An Expert.” You can subscribe to the VUpoint newsletter that gives you valuable information on insurance-related items. Both of those resources are easily available at independentagent.com, and they are just two of the many resources provided to you as an IIABA member. Spend a little time at independentagent.com to discover the wealth of the resource bank there.

Government Affairs

Did you know we are fortunate to have a strong federal government affairs team working for us through our membership in IIABA? The U.S. Congress regularly considers legislation that directly affects the livelihood of independent agents, from taxes, healthcare and flood insurance to the overhaul of the insurance regulatory system. We have a page devoted to government affairs on our website. Visit independentagent.com to find that link. Each year we have a one-of-a-kind legislative event for our members to educate members of Congress on issues important to you and your clients. And, by the way, InsurPac is how we support these issues; if you would like to be a part of this movement, you may contribute through the InsurPac link on the website. What I’ve realized is that there are many, many people working together to make our association a strong force on a state and federal level. Your membership provides many benefits of which you may not be aware. Should you have questions regarding IIABA, always feel free to email me at denise@eciagency.com.

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12/29/11 10:11 AM POLICY Summer 2013

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OID UPDATE

House Bill 1792 We need to solve the problem of uninsured drivers in Oklahoma; this new law will take a big step in that direction by requiring uninsured motorists to buy auto insurance before getting back confiscated tags. John Doak

OKLAHOMA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER

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new bill, recently signed into law by the governor, could help bring you more business. House Bill 1792 aims to lower the number of uninsured drivers in Oklahoma. As you probably know, it’s a big problem in our state. We estimate that 25 percent, or more than 560,000 cars on Oklahoma roadways right now, are not insured. That high number raises auto insurance rates for all Oklahomans. And those who get hit by an uninsured driver could be financially crippled by the medical and repair costs. It’s a serious problem in our state that we must address. The new law allows police officers, deputies and troopers to remove the tag from an uninsured vehicle and replace it with a temporary sticker. The law also includes an administrative fee that provides temporary insurance

POLICY Summer 2013

coverage for stickered vehicles. Once the offender pays the required fees and fines and purchases insurance, his or her tag will be returned. I am hopeful this new law, authored by Rep. Mike Christian (R-Oklahoma City), will finally begin to put a dent in our uninsured driver rates. This is such an important issue that I created the Coalition Against Uninsured Drivers to help us tackle it. Coalition members include AAA, the Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Safety Council and the Oklahoma Trucking Association. Many drivers go uninsured because they don’t think they can afford the monthly premium payments on a policy. But what they don’t consider are the unpredictable costs of an accident. After a crash, medical and vehicle repair costs can easily run into the thousands of dollars.


OID UPDATE

In the long run, auto insurance can save drivers a lot of money and concern. As a producer, you must continue to stress the importance of uninsured motorist coverage to your clients and make sure they’re protected if they’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver. It could literally save them from financial ruin. Don’t forget about the Oklahoma Automobile Insurance Plan. It provides auto insurance coverage to those unable to obtain coverage through the voluntary market. Any insurance agent in the state with a valid Oklahoma property and casualty license can write business through the OAIP and receive commissions. As Oklahoma insurance commissioner, I am committed to developing a robust insurance marketplace that benefits businesses and consumers. I am always happy to hear from you. Feel free to call our office at 1.800.522.0071 with any questions or concerns.

POLICY Summer 2013

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EDITOR’S NOTE In the aftermath of the tornadoes that have had such a profound effect on Oklahoma and on the insurance industry, Policy magazine wants to document the impact on our members in a variety of ways. We need your help to do that. This issue, we are focusing briefly on IIAO CFO Malinda Day and her husband, Doug, who lost their Moore home.

helping hands IIAO Chairman Ed McGrath sent this message, which has been revised for publication in Policy magazine, to all IIAO members May 22 in response to the devastating damage the May 19 tornado in the Shawnee area and the May 20 tornado in Moore has done. In it, he articulates the core values of the independent agent to individual clients and the community as a whole.

Now more than ever, your clients depend upon you and the professional services you provide. Now is the time that you and your carriers step up to the plate and prove your real value. It is what will set your agency apart from other agencies and other insurance delivery systems. I thought I would drop you a note to let you know what IIAO is doing to help support our members and the communities these storms have had such a profound impact upon. The first thing you should know about is the availability of Trusted Choice Disaster Relief Funds available for member agencies and employees affected by the storms. I know many of you may be reluctant to accept the help, but it is here for you. I encourage you to take the money made available within the IIABA community. Some have asked how to make contributions to this fund. Go to iiaok.com for information on that. Cathy Cinotto will send out reminder emails in late Secondly, you should know that we are using the IIAO Insurance Foundation to July or early August, but please think about what you support the efforts of the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Its needs have never been could contribute to our journalistic coverage — differgreater. I am issuing a challenge to IIAO members to provide financial support to the ent from but as important as insurance coverage — foundation to provide funds for the Food Bank. IIAO Immediate Past Chairman Jed of the tornadoes and save it to send to us. Dillingham and I have each pledged $1,000 from our agencies and encourage every IIAO member to consider what he or she might be able to give to help support our efBest, forts. In addition, we will be seeking volunteers to work at the Regional Food Bank to Kathryn help prepare the food for distribution. Policy Editor The Independent Insurance Agents of Houston have informed us that they are gathering a truckload of non-perishable supplies to be shipped to the Universal Insurance Agency in Moore for distribution to the people in that community. The Messer-Bowers Insurance Agency has advised me that it is providing non-perishable supplies at drop points in Oklahoma City. Please think of how your agency can help to support our efforts and let us know what you are doing. We want to chronicle our response, so please take pictures and records. This is an important story to tell. It will become an important part of the history of Oklahoma, IIAO and all of us who serve our communities in times of great need. Of course, one of our primary concerns has been with IIAO CFO Malinda Day, who lost her home in the tornado. She and her husband are starting over. Too often we think these things happen only to other people and never fully realize the total impact until it strikes so close to home. She has met with her adjuster and received some temporary funds, but they are inadequate. We have received inquiries from many as to how they may help her. If you desire to provide direct help to Malinda, you may purchase a Visa gift card and send it to the association office. We will make certain she receives it and knows where it comes from. She will be greatly appreciative of any help you can provide. As will we, as we work to help with the enormous problems the weather has caused. We want our next issue, however, to feature more tornado information, so we can document the momentous events of May 19, 20 and 31. Please send us pictures with short stories about the impact on your agency employees, your clients, your agency, the companies you represent, the state, the insurance industry as a whole or anything else you think important to say as we talk about something that matters as much as this to our state and your profession.

VOLUNTEER DATE IIAO staff and members will be sorting and packing food for those affected by the recent tornadoes at the Regional Food Bank July 10 from 1-4 p.m. RSVP to cathy@iiaok.com

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POLICY Summer 2013


IAO CFO Malinda Day lived in her Moore home at 144th Street for 22 years. Below, she describes how her home became what we see in the pictures on this page. However, she asked that we start anything we wrote about the impact of the storm on her life not with the story of loss, but with her immense gratitude.

Our insurance coverage has put us in a hotel. We think we’ve found an apartment to live in so we can start figuring out where we go next. It will take a minimum of a year to rebuild, and we’re prepared for that. Honestly, this office here is the only place I feel normal. It’s what I have left of a home. I’m so grateful for that.

The support has been overwhelming, the offers of help too many to count and the outpouring of concern unbelievable. I just want to say a huge thank you to all those who have given in so many ways and offered so many kinds of help to Doug and me; my colleagues here at IIAO, our members, my Facebook friends, my friends from all areas of my life and strangers on the street. I can’t express enough how much the kindness has helped us through this challenge. I have a stack of cards here from IIAO members that I haven’t even had time to look at yet, but I will read every word.

I was at work when the alarms went off. I called Doug, who was at home. When he saw how large the storm had gotten, he got in his car, drove a couple miles north and watched it go through. All of us were in the kitchen here watching TV. We heard the weatherman say ‘149th Street,’ so I knew my home was in the storm’s path, but I imagined some wind damage, not what I saw when I arrived there the next day. Doug drove in as the storm moved out, and he called me to tell me our home was gone. He then had to leave, and we weren’t able to get back in that night at all.

TRUSTED CHOICE INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS ENGAGE IN TORNADO RELIEF EFFORTS IIAO has created several initiatives to aid Oklahomans affected by the recent tornadoes. “IIAO members across Oklahoma have been quick to respond to their agency colleagues who suffered personal and/or business losses during the tragic storms,” said Dan Ramsey, IIAO president and CEO. “Our No.1 priority is to inform our members that Trusted Choice Disaster Relief funds are available to their agencies and any employees in the affected counties and communities and to determine other needs they may have.” Ramsey said that Trusted Choice agents and state associations across the country have called and emailed to offer assistance in a variety of ways, as has IIAO’s parent association, the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America.

“Like all Oklahomans, our members badly wanted to do something to help immediately after the storms passed, and within just a matter of hours they began a challenge drive,” Ramsey said. That drive has resulted in funds for the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, delivery of needed items to a Red Cross distribution site in Oklahoma City and delivery of non-perishable items donated by the Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents of Houston directly to IIAO member agency, the Universal Insurance Agency in Moore. “I am proud of each and every IIAO member for the compassion and concern these acts of kindness represent,” Ramsey said. Anyone needing assistance with an insurance matter is urged to call her or his agent as soon as possible.

POLICY Summer 2013

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NEWSMAKERS

New board officers elected

The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research has announced the election of new officers and board members for the Society of Certified Insurance Counselors Board of Governors; the Certified Insurance Service Representatives Board of Governors; and The National Alliance Research Academy Board of Directors. Members ratified the six new CIC board members at the James K. Ruble MEGA Seminar in Denver. Board members serve six-year terms, and officers serve one year in their executive board positions. “Each of our new board members is a top industry professional and leader with extensive knowledge of our programs and designations. As The National Alliance continues to grow, we will rely on their guidance and experience,” said The National Alliance President William T. Hold, CIC, CPCU, CLU. The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research is a premier provider of insurance and risk management education. For additional information, visit The National Alliance website, TheNationalAlliance.com, or call 800.633.2165.

Ed McGrath, IIAO chairman and new member of the CIC Board of Governors

New National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research Officers New CIC Board of Governors and Officers

New Officers of the CISR Board of Governors

New board members: Bradley A. Borneman, CIC, Diana G. Hunt, CIC, Jeannie Hylant, CIC, Jill Lowder, CIC, CRM, and Edward J. McGrath, CIC, CRM.

Chairman: Laura Barrett, CIC, CRM, Cedar City, Utah

Chairman: Dino C. Gavanes, CIC, Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Inc., Itasca, Ill. Vice Chairman: Ted R. Ostrander Jr., CIC, AAI, Lassiter Ware, Inc., Leesburg, Fla. Member-at-Large: Michael D. Halter, CIC, CPCU, ARM, BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Little Rock, Ark.

Vice Chairman: Bridget A. Simpson, CIC, CISR, Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co., Fort Wayne, Ind. Secretary: Cristina Pedraza-Martinez, JD, CPA, CFE, CIC, Popular Insurance, San Juan, Puerto Rico Treasurer: Gregory J. Massey, CIC, CRM, CPCU, ARM, CLCS, PMP, Zurich, New York, N.Y.  Immediate Past-Chairman: Deborah H. Bulik, CIC, CRM, CPCU, AAI, ARI Insurance Companies, Newton, Penn.

Member-at-Large: Kathleen Hicks, CIC, HR&R, LLC, San Angelo, Texas  Immediate Past-Chairman: W. Scott Naugle, CIC, AAI, BancorpSouth Insurance Services, Inc., Gulfport, Mo.

New Academy Board of Directors and Officers New board members: Puru Agrawal, Steven J. England, MBA, Kenneth L. Fields, MSM, CIC, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, and Patrick F. Maroney, J.D. Chairman: Joan Sansing, CIC, ARM, AAI, Tanenbaum Harber of Florida, Miramar, Fla.

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NEWSMAKERS

Midlands joins Trusted Choice®

Midlands is the newest member of the Trusted Choice® consumer branding program for independent insurance agents and brokers. Midlands, headquartered in Oklahoma City, joins 67 leading companies nationwide as a Trusted Choice® company partner. “Trusted Choice® is very pleased to welcome Midlands as the newest MGA partner,” said Dave Evans, Trusted Choice® executive director. “The Midlands team members exemplify the Trusted Choice® Pledge of Performance, and we look forward to working with them to serve the needs of Trusted Choice® agents and their clients.” Midlands is a managing general agent with a specialty in excess workers’ compensation and fee-based specialty third party administrator services. The company’s other products include Texas non-subscriber, primary workers’ compensation, animal mortality, general liability, inland and ocean marine, pollution liability, property coverage, personal lines, artisan contractors for Oklahoma and Texas and commercial auto and trucking for Oklahoma. “For more than two decades, Midlands’ growth and vision combined with hard work and integrity have given us a rich and vital heritage,” says Charles C. Caldwell, Midlands founder and CEO. “We are dedicated to going beyond

coverage for our agents, insureds and brokers. Partnering with Trusted Choice®, with its firm reputation in the insurance industry, supports our ambition of going beyond coverage in all of our relationships. It is a great honor to be a part of the Trusted Choice® Brand Movement, and we look forward to the great potential and opportunities this relationship will bring.” Caldwell started the Oklahoma-based company in 1990, and within a few years expanded it to Texas. Midlands’ extensive carrier relationships and expertise have earned it a spot as one of the Top 10 excess workers’ compensation providers in the United States. Trusted Choice® was launched by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and several independent agency companies to highlight the benefits independent agencies and brokerage firms offer consumers: choice of companies, customization of policies and advocacy support. It is the premier consumer brand for independent insurance agents, and provides national advertising and other strategic tools to reach consumers.       Trusted Choice® is the consumer marketing identity for almost 25,000 independent insurance agencies and brokerage firms and 68 leading insurance and financial services companies. For more information, go to TrustedChoice.com.

Supporting future agricultural professionals IIAO is a proud sponsor of the FFA Convention. Our member volunteers work the Trusted Choice/IIAO booth each year and have a wonderful time visiting with the children and their parents. In addition to the volunteers pictured here who invested their time and effort in this cause: Phil Eitzen; The Eitzen Agency, president, Fairview; Mike Somers; Somers Insurance Agency, owner/president, Lindsay; Guy Landes; partner/producer, Louis Blosch Agency, Tulsa; Fred Barker; sales executive, Imperial PFS, OKC; Monica Baker; The Eitzen Agency, PL CSR, Fairview.

Adriane Stachmus, sales & marketing director, One General Agency, Oklahoma City, and Geoff Eaton, vice president of operations, Advantage Insurance Group, El Reno, are hard at work during a rush time at the career fair.

Carol Edwards, marketing representative, Union Standard Insurance, OKC, and Heidi Nease-Walker, owner/agent, Nease Insurance Agency, Okeene, visit with Edwards’ granddaughter and FFA member, Cassidy Hufnagel.

POLICY S ummer 2013

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NEWSMAKERS

Mr. Bramlett goes to Washington by Margarita Tapis, Big “I” director of public affairs Big “I” Chairman Bobby Bramlett was in Washington, D.C., recently meeting with members of Congress and advocating on behalf of the thousands of independent insurance agents and brokers across the country who count on his leadership.

In addition to his delegation, Bramlett spent time with members of the House and Senate from other states, as well as with senior House leadership staff. Bramlett also attended a reception with more than 20 moderate House Republicans. Many of the meetings opened with Bramlett reminding the members of the Senate and House and their staffs about how the independent

Ryan Young

Bramlett, an Oklahoma native, met with much of his home state’s congressional delegation, including his hometown congressman and deputy whip for the Republican Conference, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). Other delegation members with whom he met were Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.), House Agriculture Committee chairman, and Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), House Republican Policy Committee chairman. He also met with a top aide to Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

The Big “I” team on Capitol Hill. From left, Bob Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO; Bobby Bramlett, Big “I” chairman; Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.); and Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. agency system plays a very important role in protecting America’s families, small businesses and farmers in a slew of issues that are up for debate in Congress. Issues of importance Bramlett discussed in-

Hall becomes RVP Liberty Mutual Business Insurance has appointed Ronald Hall regional vice president, Oklahoma/Arkansas Region. Hall brings more than 30 years of insurance experience to his new position, having held numerous underwriting and field management positions. He most recently worked as an assistant vice president of underwriting with Liberty Mutual for South Texas and Louisiana.  In his previous role, Hall was senior underwriting manager for Liberty Mutual Commercial Markets with responsibility for

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four states, including Oklahoma and Arkansas. Before joining Liberty Mutual, he held leadership positions with the Travelers.  Hall and his wife, Dee, will relocate to the Oklahoma City area. 

cluded agent licensing reform, terrorism insurance, the National Flood Insurance Program, the Federal Crop Insurance Program and tax reform.

This article ran originally in the Insurance News & Views column in the Feb. 7 issue of IA Magazine.

Berrong honored Southwestern Oklahoma State University honored distinguished alumnus Brad Berrong, Berrong Insurance, as the guest speaker during SOSU’s spring graduation ceremony May 11.

Battaliou keeps running John Battaliou, Mercury Insurance Group, an ultra-runner, ran the full marathon of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon April 28 not once, but twice. His first run that day began at 2 a.m. at the memorial starting line “under the brilliant moonlight,” he says, running for those “folks who can’t.” He was back at the starting line for the official race at 6:30 a.m. to run the course for the second time that day.


Glencoe firefighters receive new life-saving equipment Glencoe residents and firefighters will be safer thanks to a $5,000 grant. Awarded by Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma (IIAO) and Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, the funds enable the Glencoe Fire Department to purchase new turnout gear and mobile radios. Turnout gear is the most important equipment a firefighter has when responding to an emergency. This gear includes the fire-resistant clothing firefighters wear when responding to incidents like fires or major vehicle crashes, protecting them from exposure to chemicals, heat and flames. Specifically, this donation will fund the replacement of gear that was damaged during a week-long, extensive fire that the department responded to last August. The grant will also fund radio equipment, enabling more firefighters to communicate with one another — and other responding agencies — at the scene of an emergency. This means firefighters can better articulate clear instructions and commands, which will aid in rescuing victims while keeping firefighters safe. “Turnout gear is essential for firefighter safety, and effective communication is critical at the scene of an emergency, enabling more effective and coordinated response,” Fire Chief Randy Clark said. “We are thankful for this grant that will enable us to better serve the community. The grant is part of a nationwide philanthropic program funded by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company. Through the program, grants are awarded to fire service organizations for life-saving equipment, firefighter training and community education programs. Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has awarded grants to more than 1,900 different organizations totaling more than $30 million – including more than $140,000 in Oklahoma. Independent

insurance agencies and brokers that sell Fireman’s Fund products, like Independent Agents of Oklahoma (IIAO), are able to direct these grants to support the fire service. Through this program, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Inc.has directed $115,000 in grants to fire departments nationwide.

JUST REWARD: Dan Ramsey (right), IIAO presdient and CEO, and Fireman’s Fund representative Ian Galloway (center) present a $5,000 donation to Glencoe Fire Chief Randall Clark.

“It’s essential our firefighters have the best equipment available to them,” said Dan Ramsey, President and CEO of IIAO. “With limited budgets, fire departments are often prevented from purchasing the equipment they need. We’re proud to be able to support the community in such a meaningful way.”To learn more about the grant program and other grants awarded in Oklahoma, visit firemansfund.com/heritage.

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Left: Dan Ramsey presents a $1,000 cash prize to Jonathan Arnold, Jonathan Arnold Insurance, who won the drawing for agents. Below: Spreading the wealth, Ramsey presents a $500 cash prize to Brian Kirkham, GAINSCO, who won the drawing for company representatives.

Right: Adriane Stachmus, One General Agency, Jaime Moore, Blackmon Mooring, Shannon Eaves, Hallmark Insurance Co., and Stephanie Madden, Blackmon Mooring, enjoy the festivities at Bricktown Brewery. Below, left: Outgoing board member Bruce Jordan, Jordan Carris Agency, receives a plaque from Ed McGrath, Wilcox & McGrath. Below, right: Bruce Bonar, Thompson Agency, and Vaughn Graham, Rich & Cartmill Inc., share a laugh at Bricktown Brewery.

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Bricktown Brewery was the Wednesday evening location of an event designed for relaxation with good food, networking opportunities and great conversations.

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The following day was filled with superb speakers on important topics, election of IIAO officers and a trade show that drew agents, CSRs, account executives and other agency personnel to meet with company representatives from across the nation.

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IIAO’s annual conference, Hypopanty, brought together a record number of agency personnel and company representatives for some of the best insurance industry networking within Oklahoma.

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Clockwise from top left: Candace Graham, wife of Rich & Cartmill’s Vaughn Graham, and Denise Johnson, ECI, show their appreciation for IIAO’s party prowess. David Walker, IIABA vice chair, Hartland Insurance Agency, addresses attendees during the business meeting. Outgoing IIAO board member Donna Baker, Frates Insurance & Risk, with Ed McGrath, Wilcox & McGrath Insurance, and Dan Ramsey, IIAO president and CEO, displays her plaque in recognition of four years of service on the board. David Eaton, Advantage Insurance Group, presents McGrath with a clock commemorating his service as IIAO chairman. Eaton, Craig Magwire, Patriot National Insurance Group/Guarantee Insurance, Dave Linhardt, CNA Insurance, Rocky Moore, Insurance Agency of Mid-America Inc., and Cody McNeill, Insurance Agency of Mid-America Inc., take time out from their conversation to pose.

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YOUNG AGENTS CONFERENCE 1

The 2013 Young Agents Conference kicked off at the Hypopanty Trade Show and continued into the evening with a Tailgate Dinner that drew more than 100 attendees. A Thunder watch party and a photo booth added to the good time. Friday’s full-day session was interactive and full of sales and marketing content relevant to the industry’s current consumer mix. Attendees were motivated and energized by the content and the quality of national speaker, Kelly McDonald.

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1: Chad Ferguson, Joe West Company, winner of the Thunder jersey signed by Nick Collison, with Daniel O’Neil, Oklahoma Agents Alliance. Ferguson’s guess was closest to the final score, winning him the jersey provided by VIP Insurance Agency. 2: Bob Bramlett, The Bramlett Agency, addresses Young Agents members during Friday’s session. 3: Incoming chairman O’Neil and outgoing chairman Trent Willis, Cornerstone Insurace Group, at the Tailgate Dinner. 4: YA Committee members and conference organizers (back, from left) John Battaliou, Mercury Insurance Group, Willis, O’Neil, (middle, from left) Heidi Neese-Walker, Nease Insurance Agency, Adriane Stachmus, One General Agency, Kelly McDonald, speaker, Vaughan Graham Jr., Rich & Cartmill, Chad Ferguson, Joe West Company; (front, from left) Traci Rowe, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Ryan Teubner, Rich & Cartmill, Kasey Jones, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Theresa Scioli, VIP Insurance, Melissa Manus, Carl M Leonard & Son.

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POLICY Summer 2013

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Munden

CINDY

Q&A

On the occasion of Cindy Munden’s 15-year anniversary with IIAO, Policy magazine asks her a few questions. And we get a couple comments from her colleagues, as well. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Munden has her P&C license and her CISR designation. 36

POLICY Summer 2013


Cindy Munden (left) and Traci Rowe, CI Territory Manager, Liberty Mutual Insurance, enjoy the food, fun and fellowship of Hypopanty’s Bricktown Brewery event.

IIAO President Ed McGrath recognizes the 15year service of OKMAP Administrator Cindy Munden, manager of the farm and personal liability programs for the Eagle Agency.

KJW CM

Do you have any stand-out moments from your 15 years with IIAO? I came into this position during a time of transition. We had an interim president/CEO until Dan took the position. That was a challenge, but I can see how far we have come, and I am proud of being a part of what the association has accomplished, from its financial turn-around and stability to being here as plans unfolded for a new building and being involved with the move into the building. That move was a wonderful moment for the association.

KJW CM

And the day-to-day reality of your position? My job is a satisfying one Monday through Friday each week. I work with great people. I am given the responsibility to manage what I do and work independently. Each day is different, but after my many years here, I can make a pretty good plan for each day. And I absolutely love the paperwork involved with policies, renewals and processing payments.

KJW CM

What are your duties for the Eagle Agency? I manage the farm & ranch and personal liability programs. As a city girl, I found it quite an experience to jump into insuring farm and ranch equipment. I hardly knew what a silo was when I started.   What do you think accounts for your coworker Malinda Day’s saying you are the “cheery voice at the end of the phone” and your coworker Cathy Cinotto calling you that “always happy, always helpful person in our office?  I try to minimize stress in my life. No one wants to be around a grumpy person. I have nothing to be unhappy about. I’m a lucky woman. I have a happy home and a happy work environment, and those equal a happy life.

KJW CM

KJW CM

I hear you have a pretty consistent workout routine? That probably adds to your

good humor. I’m sure it does. I began playing soccer when I was 6 years old. I stopped playing about five years ago only because I had surgery on one knee and didn’t want the stress of such a high-impact sport on my knees. I now work out every morning. Physical activity is just a part of who I am and a part of my daily life. I am thankful for the office gym because it makes it so much easier to get in my workouts. Coworker Cathy Cinotto is one of those on whom Munden’s positive attitude has a daily effect. “Cindy has a great recipe for happiness. And I have to say she is a great colleague. She is always tuned in to what is happening in the office and knows when just to pitch in and help or when to offer her help and wait. We also call on her for any heavy lifting, seriously, given her workout routine.”

KJW CM

What other than working out occupies you outside the office? I have an amazing husand of 18 years. He and I, along with many family members and friends, enjoy camping out at the lake together during the summer on a regular basis. I love summer, whether lying by the pool or camping and boating with my family. Give me the sun and a beach, any day, or what I call “sun and fun.”   Cindy’s love of sun and fun clearly defines her. In fact, both those words pop up in what CEO Dan Ramsey has to say about his employee. “One of the most constant compliments I hear from anyone who calls our office is about Cindy. We want her as the first person assigned to answer the phone because her personality radiates through the connection to brighten every caller’s day.  She is extremely conscientious and reliable, as well as fun. She jumps in to help whenever a need arises and is an absolute joy to work with. She makes the sun shine a little brighter each day!”

POLICY Summer 2013

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Project CAP

New Technology

Learning to Adapt Marty Agather, CPCU

Paul Martin, CPCU, state association liaison for Project CAP

Mobile, cloud and social technologies are quickly evolving, causing societal transformation and giving rise to a new empowered and connected consumer. How well an agency understands this change, learns to adapt and effectively engages the new connected consumer will determine its future viability. Keeping up with and adapting to new technology and the changing demands of customers and prospects has always been a challenge for business. What is different today is that advancements in technology and changes in consumer behavior

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are happening scary fast, and these changes are now being driven by the consumer rather than the corporation.  As you already know, many of the old ways of doing business are no longer bringing the same results. As an example, traditional Yellow Page advertising is no longer effective in reaching most consumers. Email is passÊ for many of the younger generations who prefer texting. Today, consumers are demanding their business partners be online, transparent, accessible, open, socially responsible and honest. They want to feel that they know their favorite brands on a personal or personalized level. The challenge facing our industry is not just about making sure agents have blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter accounts or that they are using Pinterest to curate relevant business information. Yes, it is important to learn how to use new technology effectively. But it is critical to pay close attention to the evolution of consumer behavior. Successful agents have learned to use the new technologies as an effective way to grow a community of online relationships to convert employees and followers into brand advocates. Rather than use the tools to simply amplify their sales message, these firms use social networking to build and strengthen relationships, connect and build trust. It’s a subtle but powerful difference in approach. Equally important is understanding that a good social


Project CAP

networking implementation must be more than a marketing department project. Social networking does not magically transform or solve an agency’s marketing or communication problems. Adapting to the new business environment requires that social networking initiatives be an integrated part of a comprehensive business strategy, as they will involve and have an impact on all business units within the agency. An agency can use many social tools — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, etc. —to build and strengthen its brand. Yet, like any successful agency initiative, your use of these tools must be well managed, monitored, measured and evaluated.

Getting Ready

Creating a detailed social media policy guide for your agency is an important first step. Such a guide clearly lays out what is and isn’t permissible when employees are formally presenting themselves as agency representatives online. Many agents and brokers already have guides outlining use of the Internet and email at work. For these businesses, additional guidelines covering use of the social Web may suffice, and for those that do not, a newly created guide can cover employee use of all of these tools. The IIABA’s technology working group known as ACT, which is an acronym for Agents’ Council on Technology, has sample social media policies available on its section of the iiaba.net website. Another important step in implementing a social media initiative is making sure you have someone responsible for overseeing and managing the initiative, someone to take on the responsibility as community manager. Ideally, the community manager manages the communication flow between the agency and its engaged online users. Ultimately charged with implementing the agency’s online strategy, this digital-savvy employee provides vital oversight for all communications, public relations products and activities, social media, events and content creation.  With your guide and your manager in place, you will have ideally positioned your agency to execute consistent use of online tools and in-person networking to create relationships and seamlessly project your brand, both online and off. 

 

The Portal is Coming: Are You Ready? Project CAP released a revised version of projectcapmarketing.com June 5. The website now allows member agencies like you to sign up for the consumer portal to build the profile that will be displayed at the new trustedchoice.com. When the portal goes live soon, be certain that you are ready for consumers to find you. Now is the time to be certain your agency’s profile is complete and describes what your agency has to offer consumers. How do you describe your agency? What makes you unique? If you haven’t fine-tuned your profile message, you should sit down as soon as you can with your staff to talk about it. What feedback do your producers and CSRs get from your clients? Is there something in that feedback that will help you define your agency?

Paul Martin, CPCU, state association liaison for Project CAP, discusses some of the initiative’s finer points. Martin spoke May 23 about the goals of, progress on and opportunities for Trusted Choice agents with the consumer portal.

Get ready. Trusted Choice will soon go live. You’re already doing things online to make yourself known and available. When Trusted Choice goes live, make certain you are ready to be found by the consumers who don’t even know that you are in their neighborhood and ready to help.   POLICY Summer 2013

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FEATURE

John Chapin VICE PRESIDENT

Complete Selling, Inc.

Four keys to building your insurance business Our days are so full of tasks requiring immediate attention that we don’t often enough look to the longterm requirements for success in agency building: Do these four things, and you can solve that problem.

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ou need to engage in only four activities to grow your business significantly. If you get good at these and do them consistently, you can double or even triple your business within one year.

1) Retain Current Customers

It takes five times as much time, money, effort and energy to get a new customer as it does to retain a current one. Current customers are your foundation, and the first step to building a business is keeping that foundation firmly in place. You keep that foundation in place by regularly communicating with customers, delivering top-notch customer service and, overall, making sure your customers are extremely happy with you and the service you are providing. You should be asking and otherwise surveying

IIAO Half page ad:Layout 1

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customers on a regular basis as to what they like and what they think you can improve upon. When you do speak with customers, let them know you appreciate their business. Never take customers for granted or let your service slip. Do what you can to build a personal connection with customers. Send thank-you notes and cards on special occasions. In addition, find other ways to add that special touch and let customers know you care. We know that people do business with people they know, like and trust, and, in fact, studies show that 97 percent of people list those feelings as the No. 1 reason for doing business with a particular company. It’s simple: Before a friend leaves you for a better price or perceived better service, she or he will at least pick up the phone and call you. Note: I realize you may not want to retain some customers, and that’s fine. Just make sure to remain professional

  

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FEATURE

and aboveboard. You don’t want to tarnish your image or give anyone any unnecessary ammunition against you.

2) Review Coverage

Reviewing coverage on an annual basis is not only the right thing to do for your customer, it can also provide the opportunity to increase coverage and add other items, thus adding premium dollars. Of course, you suggest increasing coverage only if it is necessary, never in an attempt to simply increase premium and make more money at the expense of your customer. In addition to opportunities for more business, reviewing coverage helps ensure that both the customer and you are covered in the case of a claim, as most complaints come from inadequate coverage and a lack of communication.

3) Inquire

Studies show that the average policyholder has six to seven policies, while each agency has only 1.5 of those policies. During your annual review and other conversations with the customer, you want to inquire about other policies the customer might have that you can bring into your agency. For more than 20 years, I had my auto policies with one agent, my homeowners with another and several other policies in other locations. This was for several reasons, but clearly I am more the rule than the exception. Not once in that 25-year time frame was I asked by any of my agents about other policies I had elsewhere. Not once. If they were trying to get rid of me, I would understand. However, given I have never had a claim, pay my above-average premiums in full with the first invoice and am otherwise a good customer, I can only assume that they are missing the boat. Someone with a homeowners policy most likely has at least an auto policy or two. Your task is as simple as saying something along the lines of, “By the way, if we bundle your auto and homeowners I may be able to save you some money. Can I simply give you a quote if for no other reason than to keep the other guy honest?” With one or two simple questions during each review, you can potentially double your business.

4) Pursue New Business

This one is pretty self-explanatory and should go without saying. In addition to adding new customers to your current base, you will occasionally have to replace customers who die, ones you decide to let go or ones that leave for some other reason. Start by deciding how many new customers you would like and then determine how many prospects you need and how you will get those prospects. Break your annual goals down to monthly, weekly and daily activity, and then get

to work. These days, with the average agent and agency cutting back, we are all in good positions to go get new, competitive business. And remember, you’re in sales and sales is a numbers game. While it’s true that you need quality behind the numbers and the eventual relationships, to get the relationships, you need to talk to lots of people. It’s simple: The more people you talk to, the more business you will do. If you talk to enough people during the day, you will eventually run into someone who says, “I need what you have” or “I know someone who needs what you have.” During prime working hours you should be spending as much time as possible on the above four items. Other tasks should be delegated. If you must do them yourself, wait and do them off-hours. For access to Chapin’s free monthly newsletter, visit his website at completeselling.com. LINKEDIN: johnchapin1 FACEBOOK: facebook.com/johnjchapin TWITTER: twitter.com/johnjchapin

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FEATURE

Our faith fulfills us Ron Titus CURRICULUM DIRECTOR Crossings Christian School

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During this challenging time, we know surely that our lives are better in many ways and that we are closer to God than ever. We don’t know where our journey will lead us next, but we go with love and trust.

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he 23rd Psalm beautifully paints the picture of the Lord shepherding us … meeting our every need … providing green pastures and still waters. For the past decade, our family has known peace and tranquility in our home while experiencing the joy that comes from the countless blessings God provides through a loving family and close friends. In a world full of so many things going wrong, God made a way for us to rise above the chaos and be truly happy. Then came the valley. On the morning of Sept. 4, 2012, my wife, Susan, went to the ER — unbeknownst to me — because the pain in her abdomen was getting worse. When she called, she told me they had discovered a “sizable mass” in her abdomen and a CT scan revealed nodules in her lung; the doctor said it appeared to be an advanced form of cancer. It was as if everything around us stood completely still. As she wiped tears from her eyes, I remember her words so clearly. “I’m not afraid! God is good. We have been praying a close family member would find God. If this is what it takes, then it’s worth it.” We wrestled with how to tell our 10-year-old son; before we could tell him, he simply asked, “Does Mom have cancer?” This was not our plan. Where was God taking us? In the following days, our worst fears were confirmed: stage 4 of a very rare form of cancer. The doctor told us, “I know this is devastating news. Do not put off any trips, say the things that are in your heart to say and cherish every moment you have.” I recall looking deeply into my wife’s eyes and saying, ‘’We already do that.” After surgery and a week in the hospital, Susan was well enough to come home but unable to continue her job of 18 years. We continued to trust God for healing. A trip to MD Anderson revealed that “chemotherapy usually does not stop this form of cancer, but it’s all we have.” Susan finished the sentence by adding, “And prayer!” After four rounds of chemo, the tumors in her lungs are half the size they were, and there is no sign of cancer anywhere else. In retrospect, we were indeed a family that loved God’s ways, prayed together and read the Bible regularly, but our faith was moving five miles per hour. Today it feels like we arc pursuing God at 125 miles per hour, and things that don’t really matter are flying out the window. We never realized we were surrounded by so much love; we didn’t anticipate that so many would pray for us, love us, cook for us and care for us. We never could have imagined we would be able to encourage so many during our season of struggle. God has changed our focus.

POLICY Summer 2013

Ron, Susan and Elijah Titus

Through this expcricnce, God has given us an eternal focus. He has bound our family together with his love, he holds us each in the palm of his hands, he prepares a place for us, and he gives us hope and the promise of a future together with him. To say things are better today than they were before this experience is a huge understatement. Our life together is a hundred-fold sweeter, and although we do not know what the future holds, we know with certainty — now more than ever — that Christ Jesus, the risen Lord, is the one who holds our future. Surely goodness and mercy will follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


FEATURE

Fireman’s Fund® rolls out risk purchasing group policy form This product is available exclusively to Big “I” members.

T

he exclusive Big “I” Professional Liability Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company Agency E&O policy form is now available in Oklahoma. This exclusive policy form is filed on a risk purchasing group basis and is available only to members in good standing of IIAO. Agents already insured with Fireman’s Fund will be rolled over to the new coverage form. Expansion highlights include the following: • $50,000 first party personal data compromise breach response for the accidental loss of client data; optional higher limits available • First claim deductible waived if you have been insured; claims free with FFIC for five or more years • 80/20 consent to settle clause • True worldwide territory coverage • Insolvency coverage for all carriers with B+ or better

A.M. Best Company rating • Maintained and updated range of employment practices liability options The new form was developed under the oversight of the Big “I” Professional Liability Committee, a group composed of IIABA members that oversees and influences the program with an eye toward agent advocacy.               Member agencies currently insured with FFIC will be moved to the exclusive policy form at renewal. New policyholders will be awarded the expanded coverage at inception. These descriptions of coverage are abbreviated and are subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the actual policy, which forms the contract between the insured and the insurance company.  Available coverages, credits and options may vary by state.

SAVE THE DATE OCTOBER 29 & 30 OKLAHOMA CITY, OK

Kairos 2013! A conference for small or rural agencies

POLICY Summer 2013

43


IIAO MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

IIAO:Value in a Variety

Ways

I though t present the Hypopant y ed at no c o s t a n T r a d e S h ow w a m a n a ge d r s we r e s g reat. ran from a continu S e in the ble to attend. W 3-7 p.m., CSR ince it was s future.  and IIA e an at Wesc W O’s T rad o hope t d account e Show e don’t of ten s The IIA hat this ee al O of f ice will s t a f f d i d l o w s u s t o v i s i t h e c o mp a n y r t e a w p n i s, th them e xc e l l e n Debbie one on t job. Ponder one. , CISR A Wesco I C nsuran c e A ge n S R Membe cy, rf Hypopa or more than 2 Yukon nty atte 0 ye a r s n d e e fo r three ye a r s

NEW MEMBERS

Trilink Restoration Group, LLC

Houston International Insurance Group

Oklahoma City

Oklahoma City

BFE Insurance Agency, LLC

National Liability Managers, LLC

Amorita

Oklahoma City

My Insurance Office

Harris Insurance Services

Sapulpa

Norman

Advanced Insurance Professionals

Old American Indemnity Company

Muskogee

Dallas, Texas

Sooner State Insurance

Jiang & Associates Insurance Agency

Pryor

Oklahoma City

Scott McCoy Insurance Agency, Inc

Cross Insurance, LLC

Tulsa

Okmulgee

The Ashmore Agency Prairie Village, Kan.

44

of

I recent ly had t he oppo service r tunity provide to use t d as par respons he t o f my es from IIAO me “Ask an Exper the exp opinion t” m e r t s we was a v re extre bership. The aluable with a t mely he reso ou lpful I I AO m e g h d e c i s i o n . T h u r c e a n d h e l p e d m e h . E a ch mbersh is is jus e l p my ip. t anoth client er g rea t benef i Michae t o f my l Embr ey Embrey Insuran c e A ge n Membe r since cy, Okla 2010 homa C ity

POLICY Summer 2013


Independent Insurance Agents of Oklahoma

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID Oklahoma City, OK Permit No. 1659

PO Box 13490 Oklahoma City, OK 73113

RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

enabled bY

FlexIbIlIty Imperial PFS, the leader in premium financing, continues to focus on the success of our agency partners. Imperial PFS has been working with Captive and Program Managers in the alternative risk markets financing premium and capital contributions for over 13 years. Captive and Program Managers can take advantage of this value added service for their clients.

ipfs.com

fred.barker@ipfs.com

405-202-8102


Policy Magazine, Summer 2013