INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS OF SOUTH DAKOTA
MERRY CHRISTMAS !
May this Christmas be bright and cheerful and may the New Year begin on a prosperous note ! Merry Christmas from the IIASD Jerry Diamond, Carolyn Hofer and Kayla Longbrake
Ready to Roll?
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INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS OF SOUTH DAKOTA
Dale Heesch Dakota Ins Agency Baltic SD
PRESIDENT-ELECT Kathy Johnson First Western Insurance Rapid City SD
IIABA STATE NAT’L DIRECTOR
Gerrit Juffer Juffer Inc. Wagner SD
Steve Walker First Madison Insurance Madison SD
Amy Olson-Miller McKinneyOlson Insurance Sioux Falls SD
DISTRICT # 1
Gary Joyce Howalt-McDowell Ins. Inc. Sioux Falls SD
Jesse Konold Key Insurance Inc. Mobridge, SD
DISTRICT # 5 Gerrit Juffer Juffer Inc. Wagner SD
DISTRICT # 2
DISTRICT # 6
DISTRICT # 3
DISTRICT # 7
Pat Tollefson Insurance Plus Aberdeen SD
Mindy Huntington Fischer Rounds & Assoc. Watertown SD Steve Walker First Madison Insurance Madison SD
Annette Conway Western Dakota Insurors Sturgis, SD
DISTRICT # 8
DISTRICT # 4
Dan Maguire Black Hills Agency Inc Rapid City SD
Chad Dubisar Boen & Associates Sioux Falls SD
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Jerry Diamond IIASD Pierre SD
UNITED FIRE AGENT RON HAMMERBERG
AT UNITED FIRE GROUP . . .
The Executive Corner Jerry Diamond, Exec VP Holding Our Government Accountable I know I will catch a lot of criticism over my opinion on immigration, but I am for immigration. The fact is, we need some of these foreign employees to handle certain short- term jobs such as fruit and vegetable harvest. There are also immigrants that add to our society by being highly- trained professionals, especially in the science and medical fields. What I am against are illegal and undocumented immigrants. If we could find a way to weed out the undesirables it would make for a much stronger economy and country.
Independent agents are the backbone of our insurance business. So, when you talk, we listen. Your requests have prompted us to provide real-time technologies for your convenience. We know you have better things to do with your time than perform tedious data entry. That’s why we’re using the latest technology to provide you with real-time access to your customers’ account information on ufgAgent.com. Transformation Station and Transact Now™ make real-time inquiry available for: • Policy • Billing • Claims • Loss runs Renewals, endorsements, new business, cancellations, reinstatements—automatically downloaded into your agency management system with updates downloaded nightly. Contact our United Fire marketing team at 800-828-2705 to learn more about these real-time technologies. Go ahead . . . we’re listening! ®
United Fire Group Cedar Rapids, Iowa www.ufgAgent.com
This leads me to the article about a US Senator from New Jersey (Robert Menendez) who knowingly employed an unpaid illegal immigrant from Peru. To make matters even worse, this intern was also a registered sex offender. Why wasn’t the intern deported at the time he was deemed a sex offender? It does not surprise me that Senator Robert Menendez advocates aggressively for pro-immigration policies! If you think that was appalling, the Homeland Security Department instructed federal agents not to arrest the intern until after Election Day, so it would not be a reflection on the Senator Menendez. The Senator won the election by 58% of the vote. I wonder how the vote would have turned out if the voters had known this information prior to the election. To sum things up, we have a federal agency that is supposed to protect us from illegals and terrorists, but instead covers up for a Senator who is doing the opposite of what our laws require. This made a small blurt in the news and no one cared. There will be no charges or prosecution for this crime. If any other employer had hired this person there would have been a large fine and jail time. Did anyone say double standard? Members, we are dealing with a government that is not being held accountable and these are the people that are making the laws that do not apply to them. This makes be believe we are a country of people that have just given up and don’t care.
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E&O EDGE – Carolyn Hofer, E&O Administrator Mergers and Acquisitions
You Bought a Book of Business 9 Months Ago? What would you say to a client who never reported buying a new car and called in to report a claim?? You most likely would tell them you are sorry but there isn’t any coverage because they failed to report it in a timely fashion. Well, I am often surprised to learn that many owners of insurance agencies are buying other agencies or books of business and not reporting the purchase in a timely manner, violating E&O policy requirements! E&O policy language usually addresses this issue under the Newly Acquired section of your E&O policy. Westport policy form clearly states that coverage will be afforded until the 90th day after the acquisition of additional entity or the formation of a new entity. Fireman’s Fund’s contract allows for a 60-day extension of coverage to acquired, merged or newly formed entities. These two policy forms are very broad in their coverage extensions. I am sure you will find much more limited coverage on non-standard forms of coverage. The bottom line is that insurance agency principals should be in contact with their E&O carrier prior to an acquisition or merger as their advice and underwriting assistance can prove to be very valuable in developing the purchase agreement or evaluating the risk you are considering purchasing. Points of concern when purchasing a book or agency are 1) claims; 2) hold harmless language; 3) purchase of agency assets only or purchasing of assets and liabilities; 4) stability of carriers the selling agency is utilizing and type of risks the selling book insures. Thorough and careful review of the agency’s book of business, brokered business, retention rates, staff turnover, independent contractor agreements, etc. is a very important part of the homework that needs to be done on mergers or acquisitions. Tail or No Tail! It is definitely the preference of the E&O carriers that the selling agency obtain tail coverage and that the surviving agency does not assume the liabilities of the acquired entity to avoid the purchasing entities’ deductible and/or loss ratio being affected by incidents that may have occurred prior to the acquisition or merger date. It also allows for a legal separation of responsibility. The cost involved varies depending on the length of the tail, which allows the selling agency to report claims that occurred prior to the date of sale under the cancelled policy during the tail term.
The most commonly chosen length of reporting form endorsement is three years. A three-year tail charge ranges between 150% to 185% of the last annual premium. The current policy term is cancelled pro-rata and generally, the return premium is applied to the cost of the tail. Buying or selling an agency or book of business can be a stressful and complicated process. You have the future at stake of loyal employees, dedicated customers, and long-time company partners. My advice is to get professional or experienced help to make sure the process goes smoothly. And Don’t Forget to Talk to your E&O underwriter!
See Mergers and Acquisitions Checklist on Page 30 of this issue Congratulations to the recipients of the 2012 IIASD Service Corp Fire Department Grants $5,000 awarded to: Chamberlain/Oacoma Fire Dept Philip Volunteer Fire Dept
RLI STAND-ALONE UMBRELLA The Big “I” has a program for members to access stand-alone personal umbrellas with RLI. RLI's PUP stands atop the existing homeowner and auto insurance to provide an extra layer of personal liability protection for the insured and their household. With RLI's PUP program, the insured can maintain their auto or home coverage with any company they choose, provided they agree to maintain the mandatory minimum underlying coverage limits. Here are some of its features: •Limits up to $5 million available •Excess UM/UIM available •The insured can keep their current homeowner/ auto insurer •New drivers accepted - no age limit on drivers •Up to one DWI/DUI per household allowed •Auto limits as low as 100/300/50 in certain cases •Competitive, low premiums for increased limits of liability •Simple, self-underwriting application that lets you know immediately if the insured is accepted •E-signature and credit card payment options
FLOOD INSURANCE PREMIUMS TO RISE IN 2013 According to a report in the National Underwriter, “Property Casualty 360,” FEMA is preparing their reps for consumer backlash as they start receiving across-the board rate increases which were part of the Congressional Reform Act of 2012. New rates will be phased in over the next 4 years, and a 5 year process for rates increased because of mapping changes. The changes go into effect starting January 1st of 2013. Go to: http://www.propertycasualty360. com/2012/12/03/fema-reps-bracing-for-consumer-backlash-when-nfip?t=es-specialty&utm_ source=PC360DailyeNews&utm_ medium=eNL&utm_campaign=PC360_eNLs to read the full article.
Whether your customers drive it, ride it, or boat it. We can insure it. HELPING YOUR CUSTOMERS FIND THE RIGHT POLICY HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER. Partner with a leader. It’s no secret why drivers use independent agents. You offer quality service, and a convenience second to none. But Progressive can help too. Because Progressive is not only a leader in auto insurance, but also truck, boat, motorcycle and RV. Plus, drivers who switch to Progressive save an average of $550 on their auto insurance. So no matter what you’re helping your customers insure, together — we can help them insure it for less.
NFIP NEEDS TO BORROW MORE According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority may need to be raised as high as $30 billion to cover claims resulting from Super Storm Sandy. The storm is expected to generate $12 - $15 billion in flood claims.
Progressive Casualty Ins. Co. and its affiliates, Mayfield Village, OH. Auto insurance prices and products are different when purchased directly from Progressive or through independent agents/brokers. Not available in all states. Market positions from Highline Data’s 2007 written premium data, NAIC 2008 market share data, and 2008 Millward Brown & Harris Interactive survey data. 10A00065.A11 (08/10)
Kayla’s Technology Advice 9 Tips for Getting People to Like your Agency Facebook Page By: Kayla Longbrake Administrative Coordinator
When you spend workdays explaining the joys, benefits and best practices of social media/networking to insurance agency employees, common questions emerge. One of the most frequent inquiries, How do I attract more fans to my Facebook fan page? Sadly and surprisingly to some, there’s no magic bullet that will instantly flood your Facebook page with droves of relevant, prospect-worthy fans. Set it and forget it only works with rotisserie ovens. However, a dedicated approach showing the agency does more than just provide quotes, write policies and service claims is the best strategy for picking up fans who matter, and ideally, turning them into insureds who become brand ambassadors. I understand this blog post has been written dozens of times (a couple favorites are a the bottom), but here are nine ways to help drive your insurance agency Facebook efforts. 1.Highlight Everywhere – Put a Facebook logo/link on your website, LinkedIn, blog, print collateral, front door, back window, above the toilet seat, on a company vehicle, tattooed on your bicep, shaved into the office dog, basically anywhere someone can see it. 2.Invite Existing Email List (if you have one) to “Like” - Have the owner or social media manager send a personal email explaining why the agency uses Facebook and what people can expect along with a link for easy liking. 3.Swag Incentives – Offer to give away a prize when you reach 300 fans or give away gift cards for every 50 new fans you get. This can work, but does not always attract relevant fans and often they will un-like your page as soon as the prize is given away. 4.Charitable Incentives – The best example I’ve seen was an agency that donated $2 for every new fan they picked up in August with all money going to help a local boy with cancer pay for his chemotherapy. Sure it cost them $1800, but that’s money well-spent for many reasons. The agency was able to genuinely help someone while driving up fans and creating a scenario where people left comments like, “I can’t believe an insurance agency is doing this.” 5.Ask – Once you’ve built up a few fans, simply ask every couple days or so for your existing community to invite their friends to be fans. Do it tactfully and include a funny image or some reason to do so, but it won’t hurt (unless you ask every other post). 6.Leverage Vendor and Carrier Networks – Many carriers and insurance industry vendors maintain their own Facebook presence. Connect with fellow customers or agencies in non-competitive areas to learn and grow with each other while building a follower base.
7.Take it into the Real World – One agency owner had the audacity to post a status update at 4:45 p.m. stating, “Headed to Joe’s Bar, first round of happy hour is on me.” Not only did 35 people show up (20 of which were fans, 15 who became fans), but he brought some staff so the team was able to mingle with customers and prospects whilesupporting a local business and generating a nice flow of referrals. 8.Contests that Encourage Engagement – Works best when focused locally and often has a prize attached. A great way to get people thinking about the community they live in while bringing exposure and altering perceptions of the agency. Best when done in two steps: Submission of entries and then voting with encouragement to existing fans to invite their network to join in. 1.Submit best summer vacation photos – fan vote – winner gets a travel voucher 2.Submit favorite local lunch spots – fan vote – winner gets gift certificate 3.Best local kids attraction – fan vote – winner gets pizza and ice cream party Before getting to the last tip, one specific question that constantly pops up is the inability to comment on Facebook pages or profiles from an agency fan page. When posting on other walls directly, it always shows up from the personal profile. 9. Use the “@” Symbol to Appear on Other Fan Page Walls – After liking a fan page, use the “@” symbol before writing the name of a business/organization in your fan page status window. A dropdown will appear and you’ll be able to post an update that appears on both your wall and the wall of the business or person mentioned, with an internal Facebook link to both. DO mention your favorite brands, carriers, local businesses, networking groups etc. DON’T use for individuals who may not want their name blasted out for the world to see. Article By: Unknown Author
Other insurance companies can’t touch our iPAD app! GreatAmerican Crop.com
Our Crop agents can write, sign and submit coverage from the field. Can you? Great American Insurance Group is an equal opportunity provider. 301 E. Fourth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Chamberlain-Oacoma Fire Department
2012 IIASD Fire Department Grant Recipients
Philip Volunteer Fire Department
Weâ€™re celebrating our 100th year by planning for our next 100 years. Tanya Wentzel, Des Moines Branch Marketing Manager Troy Boysen, Minneapolis Branch Commercial Underwriter Connie Jarzynka, Omaha Branch Claims Adjuster Emails and teleconferencing may be time-savers, but there is no substitute for the one-to-one relationships with insurance professionals who know you and your community. Early on, EMC Insurance Companies realized the value of being close to agents and policyholders. That value continues to pay off in products and services tailored to individual market needs. Whatever the future holds, insurance will always be a relationship business and EMC will continue to keep those relationships as close to your office as possible.
Omaha Branch: 800.338.9735 | Home Office: Des Moines, IA
www.emcins.com ÂŠ Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2011 All rights reserved
12/10/10 3:56 PM
HEALTH REFORM TALK
IRS releases regs on health insurer fees to fund PCORI The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations implementing and providing guidance on certain fees imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). New Code Secs. 4375 through 4377 impose fees on two groups of insurers. The first group comprises issuers of accident and health insurance policies issued to U.S. residents, including prepaid health coverage arrangements. The second group includes plan sponsors of certain self-insured health plans, which would include employers and employee organizations sponsoring a plan for providing accident or health coverage if any portion of the coverage is provided other than through an insurance policy, and the plan is established or maintained: (1) by one or more employers or employee organizations to benefit their employees or members (or former employees or members); (2) jointly by one or more employers and one or more employee organizations; (3) by a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association; (4) by a Code Sec. 501(c)(6) organization; or (5) by a multiple employer welfare arrangement, a rural electric cooperative, or a rural telephone cooperative association. The fees are intended to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), which was established by the ACA to assist patients, clinicians, purchasers, and policy-makers in making informed health decisions. The PCORI fee is imposed on policy issuers for each policy year ending on or after Oct. 1, 2012, and before Oct. 1, 2019. The fee is $2 multiplied by the average number of lives covered under the policy or plan. Affected issuers and sponsors must pay the PCORI fee by July 31 of the year following the last day of the policy or plan year. The PCORI fee is reported and paid on Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return. The final regulations were published in the December 6 Federal Register.
Work Comp Product A better way for our South Dakota Agents to write small business...
Time is money and in today’s competitive marketplace RAS can help you grow and retain your small work comp business. With these features, our product is a simple and fast way to meet your small employer’s needs. Available for accounts up to $10,000 in premium Co mmiss ion inc reas e to 12% on n ew bus ine ss Co mpe titi ve pricin g thro ugh Fir s t Da kot a Inde mnity Small account dividend available for accounts starting at $1,000 premium with dividends paid directly to the account No Association membership requirement SM myRAS - insured on-line access to account information and the option of on-line First Report of Injury (FROI)
Artisan Contractors Services
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS FOR 2013
Executive Training & Meeting in Palm Springs
Board Meeting & Legislative Day
Farm & Small Town/Spring Crop Seminar Cedar Shores-Oacoma
Legislative Conference Washington, DC
E & O Seminars Rapid City, Pierre, Aberdeen, Sioux Falls
River Days/Walleye Classic Pierre,SD
Insuring the Midlands Since 1891 Les Hileman, CPCU, AIC Vice President of Agencies 800-742-7433 firstname.lastname@example.org
Fall Crop Seminar Pierre, SD
Agent & Customer Service Oriented
Board Meeting & Annual Convention Sioux Falls, SD
November 13th-14th Board Retreat
PR OVI DI NG I NSUR ANCE FOR 97 YEAR S: Personal & Commercial Automobile
Homeowners & Mobilehome
Fire & Allied Lines
Umbrella Li ability
Personal & General Li ability
Contact Me l Juran 605-775- 2636
WEâ€™VE GOT YOUR BACK.
www.acuity.com Introducing Eva & Ella, the ACUITY Cuties
Tour the New Big ‘I’ Website
Reorganized content and the new search function enables you to navigate the website with ease. Finding content on independentagent.com is no longer a chore. On the new Big “I” website, content is organized in five categories: Resources. This area contains access to programs and is divided into several key sections, including agency management, staff development, legal advocacy, Trusted Choice® and company partners. This is also where users can find the new research area, which includes a frequently-asked-questions page. Products. This area is all about products. Insurance products like professional liability and umbrella and non-insurance products like the Virtual Risk Consultant are all accessible from this one menu. Education & Events. Want to interact with the Big “I”? Here’s the spot. Find classes, the Virtual University, Ask an Expert and national events all under this drop-down menu. News & Publications. Find links to all of our national publications and to our news releases. Government Affairs. This area of the site includes updates on issues important to independent agents and access to grassroots and InsurPac information. In addition to the reorganization of content, one of the best features of the new site is the search function. Visit independentagent.com and decide which way to peruse the site is best for you. Make sure to have your Big “I” username and password handy because some areas of the website require a user to be logged in to access content. For example, the issues area of the government affairs page, the legal advocacy area and most VU library content requires a user to be logged in to access all the Big “I” has to offer.
We are known for transportation, BUT… Did you know we have a FULL HOUSE? Northern States Agency, a Managing General Agency & Wholesale Broker for over 55 years, providing a wide range of commercial insurance:
General Liability Property Garage Commercial Auto Excess Auto Workers Compensation
Inland Marine & Cargo Umbrella & Excess Professional Liability Miscellaneous E & O Directors & Officers
Our underwriters average over 10 years experience with NSA Same day or next day response on submissions Great Service, Great Products, Great People 2145 Ford Parkway, Suite 202 St. Paul, MN 55116 P: 800-328-0828 • F: 651-646-1971 www.nsa-mga.com
Your TOTAL Solutions Provider
Attitude is the way you look at things around you. A positive disposition towards experiences shapes you for the rest of your life. Success and happiness at workplace largely depends on your attitude. Needless to say what the results will be if you have a winning attitude.
Just a guppy
when it comes to selling ﬂood?
Don’t be shy - Big “I” Flood is here to help. There’s a lot to understand when it comes to ﬂood insurance. We admit it! From changing ﬂood zones to determining the best level of protection for our client, there is a lot to navigate. So even though you’re a big ﬁsh when it comes to selling other coverages, ﬂood can make you feel like a guppy! But don’t let this prevent you from oﬀering ﬂood coverage to your clients. We’re here to help you understand and sell ﬂood. Big “I” Flood provides: ACCESS - In, Above & Outside of the NFIP! EDUCATION - Classroom CE or the new Flood Learning Center on VU ADVOCACY - Representation on Capitol Hill & NFIP advisory committees Learn more at www.iiaba.net/Flood, or contact Big “I” Flood Program Manager Linda Mackey at email@example.com or (800) 221-7917. Let us explain how we operate in, above, and outside the NFIP!
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ABERDEEN (605) 225-0725 firstname.lastname@example.org
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CHAMBERLAIN/AINSWORTH, NE (605) 734-6011 firstname.lastname@example.org
SIOUX FALLS (605) 338-3561 email@example.com
HURON (605) 352-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org
SPEARFISH (605) 642-4769 email@example.com
MOBRIDGE (605) 224-6155 firstname.lastname@example.org
WATERTOWN (605) 886-2318 email@example.com
PIERRE (605) 224-6155 firstname.lastname@example.org
YANKTON (605) 665-3886 email@example.com
No one writes Excess/Umbrella with the capacity and speed of Burns & Wilcox.
Put the power and speed of the Burns & Wilcox pen to work for you: Solidify your clients’ coverage with our breadth of proprietary Excess/Umbrella solutions. Derived from our exclusive binding contract authority, our assets allow us to quote and bind policies at rocket speed. When it comes to securing your clients’ financial interests, think fast. Think the largest independent wholesale broker – Burns & Wilcox.
Minneapolis, Minnesota | 612.564.1880 toll free 800.328.1693 | fax 612.564.1881 minneapolis.burnsandwilcox.com
• Brokerage • Binding • Risk Management Services
FIELD REP WANTED: North Star Mutual Insurance Company of Cottonwood, MN has an opening for a Field Representative in the NE South Dakota area. Excellent benefit package available. See our website at www.nstarco.com for more information. An application needs to be received in order to be considered for this position. One can be obtained from our website or by calling our Human Resources Department at 507-423-6262. North Star Mutual Insurance Company, 269 Barstad Rd So, Cottonwood, MN 56229
“A Personable Company Keeping You on Course’’ Rated “A+ Superior”
“Insuring Homes, Farms, Businesses and Autos” Offered Exclusively Through Independent Agents
www.nstarco.com 1-800-622-5230 Box 48 Cottonwood, Minnesota 56229
Sentry Knows Trucking Sentry understands trucking is your number one priority. That’s why we constantly review and enhance our coverages to provide you with the insurance protection you need. Some of the important coverages we offer include: • Unlimited towing coverage • Pollution liability
• Blanket additional insured endorsement
• Unladen liability
• Cargo pollution cleanup
• Enhanced deductible options
• Accident travel coverage
• Non-trucking liability
• Workers’ compensation coverage
Learn more about the products and services Sentry provides. Call today.
Scobie Group 1501 42nd St, Suite 100 West Des Moines, IA
Scobie Group 14748 West Center Rd, Suite 202 Omaha, NE
Property and casualty coverages are underwritten by a member of the Sentry Insurance Group, Stevens Point, WI. For a complete listing of companies, visit sentry.com. Policies, coverages, benefits and discounts are not available in all states. See policy for complete coverage details. 688225 05/26/11
Trusted Choice® Expands Marketing Reimbursement Program for 2013 The program reimburses members up to $500 for expenses to co-brand with Trusted Choice®. Trusted Choice® has released the revised guidelines for the Marketing Reimbursement Program, which has been extended for 2013. The program reimburses expenses incurred in 2013 by Trusted Choice agencies for co-branding materials such as business cards, letterhead, envelopes and marketing or advertising materials. It also provides reimbursement for creating or updating a digital presence to include the Trusted Choice logo, link to trustedchoice.com and the pledge of performance. In order to qualify for a reimbursement, the activity must include the Trusted Choice logo in external messaging with consumer impact, documentation that an expense was incurred and paid and that the nature of the expense is correlated to the external messaging and consumer impact. In addition to covering advertising, the 2013 guidelines remove a lifetime cap on MRP benefits that was implemented in 2012, so agencies that previously reached the maximum reimbursement will be eligible for funds again in 2013. The full program guidelines and application are available on trustedchoice.com/mrp and the Trusted Choice Collaboration Center. A state association can work with Trusted Choice staff to present a brief webinar for members explaining the program and changes. If a state is interested, please email Paul Banuski.
Tired of waiting for the market to change? At Ringwalt & Liesche, we’re not waiting around. We’re proud to be an agency that can offer stability regardless of market conditions. Check out our website at Ringwalt.com to learn more, or just give us a call - we’d love to hear from you! • Commercial Auto • Garage Liability • General Liability • Commercial Property • Workers’ Comp • Motor Truck Cargo • Prize Indemnification
Ringwalt & Liesche Send your submissions to: RL@nationalindemnity.com P: 800-708-7448 • F: 402-916-3333 • www.Ringwalt.com
NEW MEMBERS CORNER: Meet new members of our Association We look forward to providing services to:
Midwest Insurance Services, LLC Alexandria, SD Principal- Doug Guericke
Not sure where to turn for Commercial Auto insurance? Let the insurance experts at E&L show you the way.
Join us in welcoming them to IIASD!
www.ericksonlarseninc.com Maple Grove, MN 800-442-3168 Fargo, ND 800-284-0965 Madison, WI 888-249-6050
www.nwgf.com INSURANCE FOR: Homeowners Farmowners Modular Homeowners Personal Auto Farm Property Dwelling Property Mobile Homes Excess Liability Farm and Personal Liability Classic Vehicle Semi-Truck
Holiday Party Hosts Could Be Serving Up Lawsuits Who is liable if a Holiday Guest Gets Food Poisoning or Drives Home Drunk?
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 6, 2012 —As millions of Americans host and attend holiday parties across the street or across the country, many may be unaware of the risks they may be taking. According to Trusted Choice® and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) party hosts need to understand their responsibilities when inviting people into their homes and serving food and drinks. “Before hosting a party this holiday season, homeowners may want to consult with their Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent and ask questions,” says Robert A. Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “Hosts should be aware that if someone drives drunk or becomes sick after consuming food at a holiday party, the host could actually be liable.” In fact, a casserole could bring just as many risks as a cocktail. A recent survey by Trusted Choice® and IIABA found that almost three-fourths of homeowners had served food in their home that was prepared by someone other than themselves. That means more than 111 million homeowners in the United States have put themselves at risk for a lawsuit by just feeding their guests. “Whether the food served came from your kitchen, a pizza delivery truck or a five-star caterer, if you serve it, you could be liable if anyone gets sick,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president for education and research. “Even a simple neighborhood holiday potluck could have disastrous results for the host if someone is stricken with food-poisoning.” The Big “I” and Trusted Choice® provide the following tips for holiday hosts and guests.
Do Your Homework: When hosting a holiday party, individuals should look to the liability portion of their homeowners or
renters insurance policy to protect them if they are sued and found liable for an accident involving a guest who drank or got sick after consuming food at their home. Consumers should regularly review their liability coverage limits to ensure they are adequately covered should an accident or illness occur.
Watch What You Eat and Feed Others: Even if food was prepared outside your home by a caterer, another guest, a local deli or
the neighborhood pizza joint, YOU could be held liable if someone becomes ill from consuming it on your property. Make sure that you check food and don’t put anything out that you suspect may be undercooked, spoiled or contaminated. Use only reputable food purveyors. Follow proper food-handling, heating/cooling and storage recommendations. When in doubt, throw it out.
Know Your State Laws and Statutes: In many states, party hosts can be held liable if a guest is involved in an alcohol-related
accident. Many courts have found hosts liable for damages their party guests cause as a result of consuming alcohol and then driving motor vehicles. Many states have also enacted statutes that can be interpreted as mandating non-commercial social host liability. So, if a guest or third party is injured in an accident that is related to alcohol consumption and the drinking can be linked to you, you could be held responsible for the payment of medical bills, vehicle repair costs, lost time from work and — in the worst case — claims for wrongful death resulting in huge monetary settlements.
Mix up the Activities, not just the Cocktails: If the party centers around drinking, guests will likely drink more. Schedule
entertainment or activities that do not involve alcohol. Provide safe filling food for guests and alternative non-alcoholic beverages.
Party Elsewhere: Host your party at a restaurant or bar that has a liquor license, rather in a home or office to decrease your liability.
Call a Cab, Get a Room or Have a Slumber Party: Arrange transportation or overnight accommodations for those who cannot or should not drive home.
Just Say No: Do not serve guests who are visibly intoxicated. Stop serving alcohol at least one hour before the party is scheduled to end. Stay alert and always remember your responsibilities as a host. You might also consider hiring an off-duty police officer or professional bouncer to discreetly monitor guests’ sobriety or handle any alcohol-related problems as guests leave.
Consider an Umbrella Policy: While holiday partygoers and hosts alike should act responsibly and know their limits,
consumers need to acknowledge that most risks cannot be entirely eliminated. But planning ahead and learning about what’s involved in hosting a reception is the best defense. Purchasing a personal “umbrella” liability policy — providing $1 million or more in additional coverage over the limit of a standard homeowners or renters policy — may be a prudent move for the frequent party host.
WANTED TO BUY Small to medium size Agency in or around Sioux Falls Please send all confidential inquiries to : Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota PO Box 327 Pierre, SD 57501
Pre-Licensing Class Announcement IIASD and A.D. Banker of the Dakotas Have Partnered
We are excited to announce that IIASD and A.D. Banker of the Dakota have partnered to provide insurance and securities licensing preparation classes and materials at a 15% IIASD Member Discount. A.D. Banker offers Exam Prep classes each month in Sioux Falls and quarterly classes in Rapid City. Class schedules are listed at: www.adbanker.com/dakotas Self-study and online study options for Exam Prep are also available. Materials and classroom instruction have been very successful with an average of 95% of students taking their license exam passing on the first try! Sandy Kost is the Owner/Managing Director of A.D. Bankers of the Dakotas and has worked in the insurance and financial services industry since 1988. She has worked with insurance agents, investment reps, agencies and banks in SD, ND, NE, IA, MN and WI. She has provided training on various products and topics. To register for a class or to order materials, go to: www.adbanker.com/dakotas Call: 605-271-4440 or 877-317-3087. Be sure to use the IIASD Promo/Discount Code to receive your 15% Member Discount. Promo Code: 1594626 IIASD 2011 in color FINAL_Layout 1 10/27/2011 3:22 PM Page 1
C reate moments that matter... For over 100 years, Austin has been constantly creating solutions and services to meet the ever-changing needs of policyholders.
WHOLESALE ACCESS to First Dakota Indemnity and Dakota Truck Underwriters,
known as the Dakota Group. The Dakota Group is the largest writers of workers’ compenation business in South Dakota and a leading writer in the Midwest.
providing workers’ compensation solutions
PO Box 89846 Sioux Falls, SD 57109-9846 P. 605.361.5705 or 866.440.1840 E. firstname.lastname@example.org
1-800-328-4628 | www.austinmutual.com
Scan to stay connected with Austin Mutual
New Branch Office in Rapid City, SD Bruce Eleeson John Keffeler Milo Schindler, Auto Appr Ph: 605-791-5565 Assignments: email@example.com We commit ourselves to providing you with the highest quality claims and case management services available in our industry. We appreciate your continued support and look forward to serving your needs. Please visit our website for a directory of our staff, services, and coverage area. Jeff Jares, AIC AIM President Adjusters Nancy Almendinger SCLA SDWCS Jennifer Andrisen Selzler, Mgr. SCLA AIC CSRP SDWCS Bill Blackman AIC Lynn Bren SCLA AIC Ron Burmood MBA AIC Kay Greve AIC, INS Dave Johnston SCLA Jerry Matthiesen AIC Chad Moore Wendi Peterson AIC Kimberly Rausch SDWCS Dave Sendelbach CPCU AIC Karl Weber SCLA AIC Tim Wieker SCLA AIC HCRI-R Amy Kvernmo Christopher W. Madsen J.D. Erin Williams SCLA Justine Frank WCLS Case Managers Donna Passick RN CCM Kelly Rud RN BA LNCC Deb Whipple RN BA CCM Brenda Whiting RN CCM Lori Schaefbauer RN BSN CCM
driven STeAdY ANd True No company understands the insurance needs of truckers more than Truckers Insurance Associates — created by truckers for truckers. And for 60 years, Truckers Insurance has remained solely focused on transportation industry insurance. So whether your clients include a single owner-operator or a full-fledged fleet, Truckers Insurance will deliver the right coverage at the right price. Even more, as trucking specialists, we’re ready to respond rapidly when needs arise. That’s service you can count on. That’s putting know-how to work. That’s Truckers Insurance. Call your Truckers Insurance account manager at 800.652.9515 for a quote today.
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FRAUD CONVICTIONS Camille Bishop applied to be a cop for the Town of New Paltz, New York, and said she had never hurt her back. She got the job but went on workers’ comp leave within a year. She claimed she hurt her back while moving a tree that had fallen in a road. Bishop stayed off the job for most of the next four years. But she actually had injured her back in a car crash several years before joining the force, officials discovered. She had needed treatment for more than a year and a half but denied remembering the injury during her workers’ comp review. She was convicted, lost her job and must repay the town a large portion of her salary. Bishop will be sentenced in February.
Living single suited Maria Demeter just fine --
at least when buying auto coverage. The Somerset, New Jersey-area woman told New Jersey Manufacturer’s Insurance that she lived in a household with no other registered drivers though she actually was married and living with her husband. The insurer issued her an auto policy. Her husband was a registered New Jersey driver whose record was spotty enough that Maria shaved a considerable sum off their premiums by lying on the application. She kept up the lie for 13 years before being busted. Maria will be sentenced later. Restitution likely will exceed $39,000 plus more than $4,200 that the insurer paid for a claim in March 2010.
working in the shop also saw Mardesich smearing mud on the SUV’s right headlight and windshield. A secretary in the shop viewed a local TV news report about the hit-and-run and noted the suspect’s vehicle matched Mardesich’s damaged vehicle. He was busted and confessed and now faces up to six years in prison when sentenced.
Laid-off workers kept seeking unemployment
coverage but officials could not find any record of their former employer. The gap triggered a probe that earned Steven Morales seven years in prison. The Wildomar, California man erected a network of shell firms to hide employees and duck paying $3.1 million in workers’ comp premiums. His company supplied framers for home-building jobs. Whenever insurers grew suspicious, Morales set up another shell to hide workers, or just found another insurer. He paid some workers’ medical bills with credit cards to avoid detection, and paid wages in cash. The premium savings allowed Morales to underbid competitors. He landed several big contracts,including the framing for a car agency in Riverside. About 40 percent of workers in Riverside County are paid in cash, officials estimate. The statewide underground economy robs California of $1 billion a year in unpaid workers’ comp premiums and payroll taxes.
A human hair on a broken windshield helped
break up a panicky insurance scheme by a driver who was covering up his hit-and-run killing of a bicyclist. Tony Mardesich’s SUV accidentally rammed cyclist Rick Magee who was out for a spin. The Gridley, California, cyclist died from head injuries and Mardesich sped off. Mardesich told his insurer that a falling limb had damaged his SUV’s windshield, right headlight, and corner panel. But a mobile windshield repairman alerted the body shop that he found what appeared to be a human hair on the windshield. An auto painter
Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund Provides Aid in Wake of Sandy. As families and businesses in the Northeast begin the clean-up and recovery process from Superstorm Sandy this week, the Trusted Choice® Disaster Relief Fund is there to help. The fund, established by the IIAA Educational Foundation, distributes cash grants to victims and surviving family members of natural disasters to help provide for their immediate or ongoing financial needs when other resources aren’t available. It is also used to fill a gap until other funding sources can be accessed and to provide insurance agents with supplies and resources to aid victims and surviving family members in their communities.
Why American West Insurance?
LOOKING FOR A MARKET? WE CAN HELP! LET OUR EXPERIENCED UNDERWRITING STAFF PROVIDE YOU WITH A QUOTE! LONG HAUL /INTERMEDIATE/LOCAL ADMITTED CARRIERS EXCELLENT MARKETS AVAILABLE FOR PERSONAL UMBRELLA EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES CONTRACTORS MANUFACTURERS GUIDES/OUTFITTERS MOBILE HOME LARGE INLAND MARINE SCHEDULES PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY CALL OR EMAIL US TO DISCUSS ANY TYPE OF RISK YOU MIGHT HAVE
• Local company with over 60 years agriculture insurance experience • Quality products • Competitive pricing • Expert claims and underwriting services
Be Protected. Be Sure®. yourawi.com To learn more about AWI contact Bruce Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 605-929-2782.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON TRUCKING ACCOUNTS PLEASE CALL TIM AGETON email@example.com www.ins.facilities.com FOR COMMERCIAL ACCOUNTS CONTACT STEVE AKKERMAN firstname.lastname@example.org PERSONAL LINES CONTACT email@example.com
Agribusiness • Farm & Ranch • Farm & Ranch Auto • Personal Auto Excess Liability • Watercraft • Crop-Hail • Multi-Peril
Obama Administration Releases New Details on PPACA
Last Friday, the Obama Administration released two major rules intended to provide additional guidance on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The first was written by HHS and details a variety of important exchange-related topics (http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-29184_PI.pdf ), and the second is on Multi-State Plans and was released by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) (http://www.ofr.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2012-29118_PI.pdf ). The HHS rule, totaling 373 pages, is intended to give additional guidance on numerous topics, most notably it contains some long-awaited information on Federal health insurance exchanges. In addition, the new regulation provides new specifics on the PPACA's risk adjustment, reinsurance and risk corridor programs, cost sharing reductions, advance payments of premium subsidies, as well as some conforming and technical changes to the Medical Loss Ratio rules. In a win for agents and brokers, the regulations envision producers selling health insurance through the Federal exchange(s). Although many details will still need to be released on exactly how producers will function within the exchanges, this is a positive step. This is especially true since so many states will forgo setting up their own exchange, instead letting the Federal government step in. The regulations also address producer compensation on page 240 when HHS proposes that agent and broker compensation must be the same both inside and outside of exchanges for "similar health plans". The regulation states that this is an effort to create a "level playing field", and that federal exchanges will only certify an insurer if its plans comply with these new compensation rules. Also, the regulation stipulates that only agents and brokers who complete registration and training stipulated by the federal exchange may have their information displayed on the exchange's website (pg. 244). In other notable developments from the new HHS regulations, the Department proposes insurers pay a user fee of 3.5% of premiums for each plan they sell through an exchange. This is intended to cover the administrative cost of running the exchange(s), among other things. The regulations also build off previously issued guidance on a trio of new programs-- the risk adjustment, reinsurance and risk corridor programs-- intended to reduce the impact of adverse selection created when exchanges are up and running. In the MLR portion of the regulations, HHS intends to change the MLR formula to adjust for the monetary impact of the three risk adjustment programs. The rule also proposes a two month delay in MLR rebate payments for consumers while the new MLR formula is administered. The second set of regulations, written by the OPM, provides new details on the Multi-State Plan Program (MSPP), also created by the PPACA. Multi-State Plans are health plans to be offered through exchanges on a national level, the terms of which will be negotiated directly by the OPM which will then also administer the plans. By 2017 all exchanges must carry at least two Multi-State Plans, one of which must be a non-profit. The Multi-State Plan concept was created by the drafters of the PPACA with the stated intention of increasing competition and giving consumers access to the same health care as federal government workers. Many worry these plans could compete on an uneven playing field with other private plans in the exchanges, since they are administered by the federal government and do not have to comply with many of the rules that a normal plan would. Big "I" government affairs is working to continue analyzing these new regulations, and will have additional information in IN&V this week. In the meantime please call Ryan Young, Wes Bissett or Charles Symington with any questions.
HELP WANTED Dakotaland Community Insurance in Huron, SD has an insurance agent opening. Experience and Property/ Casualty, Life and Health license preferred but will train the right person. Full benefits included with full time employment.
Send your resumes to:
Dakota Community Insurance PO Box 907 Huron, SD 57350
HELP WANTED: Established bank-owned agency in southeastern South Dakota seeking Property /Casualty and Multi-peril Crop insurance agent. Offer a very good compensation package with an excellent working environment. Prime opportunity for advancement and growth. Send resume to: IIASD, Box 327, Pierre, SD 57501 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
HELP WANTED : NWGF Mutual Insurance Company has an immediate opening for a Marketing Representative to service our South Dakota Agents. NWGF is a South Dakota domestic company who specializes in developing strong service oriented personal relationships with our South Dakota Independent Agents. This is a unique position which offers reduced hours, flexible scheduling and field office environment, not requiring relocation for current South Dakota residents. This position presents an ideal opportunity for the mature agent or CSR desiring a transition from the hectic pace of full time employment into a more manageable balance of work and personal time. Responsibilities include supporting and training our NWGF agents on all aspects of NWGF product lines and technology necessary for the placement and maintenance of personal and farmowner lines of business. Preference will be given to candidates possessing agency experience and knowledge of personal and farmowner product lines. Candidates should be experienced in the “on-line” placement of business and possess familiarity with a variety of carrier technology offerings and environments. Strong written and verbal communication skills with excellent customer service skills required. Benefit package and company vehicle included.
Please send your resume to:
NWGF Mutual Insurance Company - Attn: Sharon Kunz - P.O. Box 100 – Eureka SD. 57437-0100 email@example.com
HELP WANTED: Large West River agency looking to fill two producer positions. Please send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. Questions may also be directed to this email address.
---- FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ---New Branch Manager Returns to Home Town OMAHA, NE – December 3, 2012 – Columbia Insurance Group (CIG) welcomes Omahanative Mark Dale to their team as Branch Manager of the Omaha Branch office location. Dale has over 25 years' experience in the underwriting, marketing and management of property/casualty commercial insurance operations at the branch, region and Home Office level. Having developed and maintained many agency relationships through his career within CIG’s branch territory, he will quickly become a great asset to the company in this role. “Given Mark’s extensive property/casualty background, long-time industry contacts and familiarity with the Omaha Branch territory, there’s no doubt in my mind he’s the right man for the job,” says Gary Thompson, President/CEO of CIG. “We’re pleased to welcome him to our dedicated team.” Throughout his career, Dale has worked for a number of leading regional and national insurance carriers. He’s also spent part of his career on the retail and wholesale side of the industry. Dale will temporarily serve as Assistant Branch Manager until the current Omaha Branch Manager, Jim Beerman, retires on February 15, 2013, after which he will officially assume the Branch Manager position. Beerman retires after 25 years with the company. CIG has five branch locations: Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Columbia, MO (Home Office); Omaha, NE; Salina, KS. The Omaha Branch office serves independent agents and policyholders in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. For nearly 140 years, it’s been the mission of CIG to build enduring relationships with customers by providing value and exceptional service in fulfilling the promise of all CIG insurance products. Contact: Gary Thompson, President/CEO
Phone: (573) 474-6193 ext. 1281 December 3, 2012
BIG “I” APPLAUDS NCOIL’S PASSAGE OF CERTIFICATES OF INSURANCE MODEL ACT Association has tirelessly worked to clarify and improve these important documents.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 19, 2012 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) applauded the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) for adopting the “Certificates of Insurance Model Act” yesterday during NCOIL’s annual meeting in Point Clear, Ala. “The Big ‘I’ commends NCOIL for its timely adoption of the ‘Certificates of Insurance Model Act’,” says Wes Bissett, Big “I” outside senior counsel, government affairs. “A certificate of insurance is an informational document that provides a courtesy snapshot of an insurance policy and useful information about the coverage in place, and the model responds to the serious certificate-related problems that confront many agents and brokers today. Many third parties exploit their marketplace leverage to demand the issuance of certificates that do not accurately reflect the underlying insurance policies, and the model is designed to eliminate such practices and ensure that certificates are utilized for their intended purpose.” Addressing the improper use of certificates has been an IIABA priority in recent years, and the Big ‘I’ has successfully secured the passage of laws similar to the new NCOIL model in numerous jurisdictions. Yesterday’s action is the latest step in that national effort, and NCOIL’s action is expected to bolster these ongoing advocacy efforts. Perhaps most notably, the “Certificates of Insurance Model Act” prohibits a person from requesting the issuance of a certificate that has not been filed with insurance regulators or one that does not accurately reflect the underlying policy. This important element also enables insurance departments to issue cease and desist orders and assess fines against parties that request false or misleading certificates. Among other provisions, the model act also: •Prohibits a person from issuing a false or misleading certificate or one that purports to alter, amend, or extend the coverage provided by the insurance policy, •Prohibits the use of a certificate to warrant that a policy of insurance complies with the insurance or indemnification requirements of a contract, and •Confirms that a certificate of insurance is not a policy and does not independently confer rights to its recipient. “The new model has been thoughtfully crafted after months of discussion, and it ensures that certificates of insurance may only be used for their intended purpose and will help prevent their abuse and misuse in the marketplace,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “Agents and brokers across the country are oftentimes asked to issue false or misleading certificates by third parties, and this new model law will hopefully eliminate or significantly reduce such problems in the marketplace.” The model law was developed by NCOIL’s Property-Casualty Insurance Committee, chaired by Kentucky State Representative Steve Riggs, and Rep. Riggs sponsored the proposal that was adopted by the committee yesterday. Bissett added, “The Big ‘I’ thanks Chairman Riggs for his strong leadership and for thoughtfully overseeing the committee’s deliberations on this important issue.”
Mergers and Acquisitions Checklist This is a suggested list of issues to consider during mergers and acquisitions. It should not be relied upon as the sole source for reviewing and implementing mergers and acquisitions. Be sure to consult with qualified legal counsel.
1.) Has a careful and thorough due diligence been completed on the agency, brokerage, or book of business being acquired?
Yes No 2.) Has there been a thorough investigation and analysis of why the agency for sale is, in fact, up for sale? Yes No
3.) Is the selling agency’s retention lower than average?
4.) Are the current agency-company relationships in jeopardy?
5.) Does the selling agency have a higher than average staff turnover?
6.) Is there either frequency and/or severity of E&O claims against the selling agency?
7.) Have outside contacts and sources been discreetly tapped to determine relative strengths and weaknesses of the agency for sale?
8.) Have the documentation and file retention practices of the selling agency been audited?
9.) Have you engaged a lawyer experienced in handling the purchase and sale of insurance agencies?
10.) Does the purchase contract include indemnification language protecting your agency from claims relating to negligence of the seller before the sale closing?
11.) Has your E&O insurer agreed to accept the risk of the acquired or merged operation?
Yes No 12.) Has a timeline been defined to fix gaps or non-concurrencies in coverage, inadequate liability and/or first-party limits and/or other potential coverage deficiencies in an acquired agency’s book of business? Yes No
13.) Have the necessary resources been confirmed as available to service the acquired accounts on a basis that is consistent with your agency’s current level of service?
14.) Has the selling agency purchased tail coverage for the protection of the acquiring agency or brokerage and its own protection?
15.) Has a timeline been defined to integrate the acquired agency into the existing practices and procedures of your agency?
Copyright © 2008, Big “I” Advantage, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be used or reproduced in any manner without the prior written permission from Big “I” Advantage.
Five Key Ideas for New Insurance Agents by John Chapin Success in any venture begins with the proper mindset. As a new insurance agent, there are five key “truths” about the insurance industry and your role in it that will help ensure you have the correct mindset and the best chance at success.
Five “Truths” About Your Role as an Insurance Agent Truth #1: You are a salesperson.
In order to be a successful insurance agent over the long haul, you have to accept your role as a salesperson and you need to be good at selling. No, sales does not mean selling someone something they do not need, or otherwise manipulating or taking advantage of someone. When you sell, your objectives are: to help people, to be a trusted advisor, and to educate and lead people down the path they need to go. For example, if you are talking to a qualified prospect with a young family and you don’t convince that person to protect their family with life insurance, and something bad happens, it’s your fault that person’s family is not protected. You did not do your job as a salesperson. The bottom line is: you need to get great at selling by both making sales a study and by finding out what the top, most successful agents do, and then do the same things.
Truth #2: You are running a business.
You are self-employed in your own individual small business. You are your only job security. If you do your job well and generate sales and profit, you will have a job and a business, if you don’t generate enough sales and profit, you will be out of business looking for another job. As a business, your highest priority is: making a profit and staying in business. There are only three activities that will ultimately make you money: prospecting, closing, and servicing accounts. Those three activities are where most of, if not all of, your prime selling time should be spent. If you can’t pay someone to do the other non-profit generating activities and thus have to do them yourself, you must do them off-hours, not during prime calling time. Note: While your highest priority is making a profit and staying in business, this is never done at the expense of taking advantage of another person or doing something that is not in their best interest.
Truth #3: You can’t wing it.
This relates to both your activity during the day and your interaction with prospects and customers. You must have a plan to follow every day. It’s imperative that you know how many calls and contacts you need to make in order to get the prospects and the sales you need. When you talk to prospects and customers, you need to know exactly what you’re going to say. Script out everything, this will ensure that you say exactly what you need to say in as few words as possible, while using the most effective words possible. Once you have your scripts, practice, drill, and rehearse them until they are second nature and flow naturally, you don’t want to sound canned or unnatural.
Truth #4: You have to work really hard.
You have to be a self-starter and you must be willing to push yourself harder than anyone else will push you. As Zig Ziglar, the famous motivational speaker, once said, “The harder you are on yourself, the easier life will be on you.” Of course the converse is also true. While you want to work smart: follow the best practices of the successful agents and not reinvent the wheel, in the beginning you simply must work hard until you figure things out and build a successful business. You must put the hours in and be willing to do whatever it takes. Once you have your daily plan in place and know how many sales you need to make and how many people you need to contact, you have to work hard to carry out that plan and make those numbers a reality. You have to be willing to cold call and do other similar difficult, unpleasant activities if that’s what it takes. By the way, these are the activities that the failures rarely or never do. Your objective is to be known as the hardest working person in the office.
Truth #5: You must take 100% responsibility for your business.
If your sales numbers are dismal, own them, take responsibility for them. See your results as a warning sign that you need to make some changes in your activity and your approach. Don't make excuses or blame anything outside of yourself such as: the economy, the market you’re in, or the people you work with. You are completely responsible for your success or failure. If you would like access to John’s free white paper on what it takes to be successful in sales along with a monthly newsletter, you can visit John’s website at http://www.completeselling.com For permission to reprint, or to reach John, email him at email@example.com. John Chapin’s specialty is helping salespeople and sales teams double sales in 12 months. He is an award-winning sales speaker, trainer and coach, a number one sales rep in three industries, and the primary author of the gold-medal winning “Sales Encyclopedia”. In his 24 years of sales, customer service and management experience, he has sold in some of the toughest markets and economies.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH By: Jay Leno
With hurricanes, tornadoes and fires out of control, flooding and severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from the East Coast to the West Coast, and with the threat of Bird Flu and Terrorism in America are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance.
A NEW ACA FEE FOR EMPLOYERS AND INSURERS, TUCKED AWAY IN NEW REGS Employers should take note - there's a new fee on the horizon. Beginning in 2014, for a three-year period that starts January 1, the HHS will collect, on an annual basis, a reinsurance contribution fee, from self-insured group health plans and health insurance issuers (as well as any third party administrators acting on behalf of group health plans), based on a per capita assessment of each contributing entity. The per capita fee that the HHS has come up with, for 2014, can be found in relatively new proposed HHS regulations (77 FR 73118, December 7, 2012). It's $5.25 per month, which works out to $63 dollars per year, for each of your employees that's covered by your company's medical plan. Certain grandfathered health plans are excluded. It doesn't seem like much, but very large employers may feel the pinch. They can comfort themselves with the fact that it all goes to a good cause, however. This is because one downside to universal coverage can be the high expense associated with covering individuals with chronic conditions or certain medical histories, called high-risk individuals, or high-cost enrollees. A transitional reinsurance program created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed to provide issuers with greater payment stability as insurance market reforms are implemented, and to reduce the uncertainty of insurance risk in the individual market by partially offsetting risk of high-cost enrollees. Therefore, no later than January 1, 2014, every state must establish or contract with a nonprofit reinsurance entity that will operate during 2014 through 2016. These reinsurance entities will use funds collected by the HHS as part of those $63 per capita fees to make payments to insurers that cover high-risk individuals (see ACA Sec. 1341). Under the proposed regulations, the HHS would also require each contributing entity to submit an annual enrollment count of the average number of covered lives of reinsurance contribution enrollees for each benefit year, by November 15, 2014, and continuing in benefit years 2015 and 2016. Here's how the HHS came up with that $63 figure. The government says that the total amounts it needs to collect from contributing entities, known as the reinsurance pool, is $10 billion in 2014, $6 billion in 2015, and $4 billion in 2016. Then, there are contributions that must be deposited in the general fund of the U.S. Treasury, which will not be used for the reinsurance program. Those total $2 billion in 2014, $2 billion in 2015, and $1 billion in 2016. On top of that, administrative expenses, at least for 2014, are estimated to be $20.3 million. Assuming that contribution collections for 2014 will be less than or equal to $12.02 billion, that means that 83.2% of money collected will go to reinsurance payments, 16.6% will go to the U.S. Treasury, and approximately .2% will go to administrative expenses. That $12.02 billion figure, divided by the number of health plan enrollees in plans required to make reinsurance contributions, works out to $5.25 per person, per month, according to the HHS. It should be added that the HHS is seeking comments on this calculation (www.regulations.gov. Follow the "Submit a comment" instructions) by December 31, 2012. Later, the HHS will come up with the national per capital contribution rate for 2015 and 2016 using the same formula. Regarding the administrative fee of $20.3 million, the HHS estimates that the cost of administering the reinsurance program will be approximately 11 cents per capita, and has stated that, if the HHS operates the reinsurance program on behalf of a state, it would retain the entire per capita fee. For states operating their own reinsurance programs, 5.5 cents per capita would be transferred to each state to pay its own administrative expenses, and the HHS would keep the other 5.5 cents to "offset the costs of contribution collection." The collection and payout of reinsurance funds will be done annually, says the HHS, both to minimize the costs of administering the program and to minimize the burden on contributing entities.
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