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January 2020

IIASD Legislative Days Each one of our stories are different but we are all involved in this crazy industry of insurance. This is an industry that is forever changing, being updated from year to year, and can even catch us with overnight changes of rules and regulations. All of these changes come from the state or national government level. How do the legislators know how these proposed changes are going to change the economy or the insurance industry? The answer to that question is a popular quote that we have heard since we were a kid: ‘Use Your Voice.’ But how? Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota (IIASD) supports independent insurance agents like yourself across the state and sets everything up for us to ‘use your voice’ at the IIASD Legislative Open House. Our Legislative Open House will take place in the evening on January 28th. Legislators from all over the state will flock to the meet and greet to acquire professional input on various insurance topics. January 29th we will have our Day at the Capitol it starts off with a tour of the South Dakota Division of Insurance to meet the staff and see how they embrace their mission for the people of South Dakota. IIASD Lobbyist Randy Moses will give us a in depth tour of the legislative process, including taking us to committee hearings and a balcony view of the Senate and House in session. Grants are available for Young Agents and First-Time Attendees. Please contact Daschle Larsen, YAC Chairman– 605-670-9369 or IIASD at 605-224-6234 or for more details about the grants.

Holly Rounds

HUB International Mountain States Limited Huron, SD




John Meyen Rosholt Insurance Agency Rosholt, SD

PRESIDENT-ELECT Deana Taylor Agents of Insurance Rapid City, SD





Melanie Parsons Parsons’ Insurance Agency Viborg, SD Derrick Linn Leavitt Heartland Ins. Services Sturgis, SD


Josh Gilkerson Fischer Rounds & Assoc. Pierre, SD


Josh Gilkerson Fischer Rounds & Assoc. Pierre, SD

Dan Maguire Black Hills Agency Inc Rapid City, SD

DISTRICT # 5 Elizabeth Nepodal Fidelity Agency Platte, SD







Eric Payne Insurance Plus Aberdeen, SD

Doug Leighton Dakotah Gold Ins. Volga, SD

Melanie Parsons Parsons’ Insurance Agency Viborg, SD

Amy Bailey Starr Insurance Custer, SD Rich Maguire Black Hills Ins. Rapid City, SD

Ryan Karst Dakota Financial Services Sioux Falls, SD



Cheers to a New Year and another chance to get it right!

Great Plains Brokerage, Making Excess & Surplus Lines Insurance Quick & Easy. Specializing in Hard to Place Property & Casualty, Dwellings, and Farm/ Ranch Exclusively through independent Agents.

Jason Kelling Commercial Broker 605.274.7129


Every end marks a new beginning and so it is true of a New Year. On the road to success, the rule is to look ahead as you can’t go back in time to change what has happened. There is truth in that theory; however, we learn from our mistakes and our successes. It is hard to determine where we are going unless we recollect where we have been. We have an opportunity to Celebrate the past and look to the future this year at IIASD. We will be hosting our 90th Anniversary of Convention in Deadwood on October 4th – 6th. The independent insurance agency system is a true example of remembering where we came from to guide us to where we want to go in the future. The success of the independent insurance agency was built on strong relationships with clients and a strong desire to help others. Even with the changes in the details of marketing, connecting and communicating with consumers, those two pillars of the independent agency system must always be at the forefront of any and all goals and objectives. Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota has been guided by many great mentors and leaders. My connection goes back a long way and I could fill a page with the names of men and women who had a hand in the success of IIASD and the insurance industry. Their reputations paved the way for the success of today. This year, at our 90th Convention Anniversary, we hope to celebrate and recognize the leaders of the past and recapture their journey to take us to our 100th Anniversary. We encourage you to scour through your archives and send us photos and stories that we can share throughout the year. Provide us with contact information of retired agents so we can invite them to join us on our 90th Anniversary.

Save the Date – October 4th – 6th IIASD 90th Convention Anniversary


Megan Linn, E&O Program Manager The Text Trap: Why 160 Characters is Not Enough Approximately, 40% of the U.S. population is under the age of 30, which means that a significant part of our workforce is composed of young people who bring new ideas and technology to the workplace. This is as true in insurance agencies as it is in any other business. People are growing up in a world where their primary forms of communication include texting, Snapchat and Instagram. Forget about emailing or calling someone on the phone. Our young employees want immediate responses, which is what they have come to expect from technology. I challenge you to find one person under 30 years old who does always not have a smartphone with them. Unfortunately, with these forms of communication, agencies open themselves up to significant potential exposures. Take the case of a 21-year-old producer who had just obtained his license and was starting out in the world of insurance. A longtime friend reached out to him to procure coverage for a newly purchased Dodge Charger. The friend had contacted the producer via text as that is how they always communicated. These texts, which were limited to 160 characters, included pertinent information about the car’s make and model, vehicle identification number, coverages and available limits. The producer didn't think there was anything unusual about getting information in this manner as that was how the pair always shared information. Once the producer received the initial quote, the key information was transmitted via text. Within that text, the producer indicated that he would be able to obtain better coverage but never explained what the better coverage included. In another text, the producer advised that there was an option for lesser coverage at a lower premium. Again, coverage differences were never explained to the client. Most significantly, the client rejected UM/UIM coverage via text and never actually signed the mandated rejection form because the producer never sent him an email or met him in person. You won’t be surprised to hear that the client was involved in an accident where the at-fault driver had the state-required minimum liability limits and the medical bills alone far exceeded those limits. A New-York minute later, a lawsuit was filed that named the producer

and the agency as defendants. The plaintiff and former client will be able to submit all the text messages as evidence, which means they become public documents. In addition to the fact that the producer’s method of gathering information was inadequate, much of the language within the texts was very unprofessional, which will undoubtedly cast a poor light on the producer before a jury. As composer Libby Larsen observed, "The great myth of our times is that technology is communication." That's particularly true when you allow the means of communication to dictate your message instead of the reverse. An insurance producer must communicate fully with a client to accurately determine the client's needs and clarify what they are requesting from the agency. Texting does not lend itself to fulfilling the duties of an insurance agent. Moreover, by foregoing in-person, email and telephone communication, an agency opens itself up to error & omission claims. ******************* Barbara Rocco is an assistant vice president and claims specialist with Swiss Re Corporate Solutions and works out of the Chicago office. Insurance products underwritten by Westport Insurance Corporation, Kansas City, Missouri, a member of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. This article is intended to be used for general informational purposes only and is not to be relied upon or used for any particular purpose. Swiss Re shall not be held responsible in any way for, and specifically disclaims any liability arising out of or in any way connected to, reliance on or use of any of the information contained or referenced in this article. The information contained or referenced in this article is not intended to constitute and should not be considered legal, accounting or professional advice, nor shall it serve as a substitute for the recipient obtaining such advice. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent the views of the Swiss Re Group ("Swiss Re") and/or its subsidiaries and/or management and/or shareholders. Copyright © 2018, Big “I” Advantage, Inc. and Westport Insurance Corporation. All rights reserved.


Division of Insurance News and Views 2020 Legislative Session Underway South Dakota’s 95th Legislative Session began at Noon on Jan. 14 with Governor Kristi Noem’s State of the State address. The 37-day session runs through March 30. The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation requested the introduction of 13 bills, including four specifically addressing state insurance law. Senate Bill (SB) 8 is an act to revise certain provisions regarding insurance holding companies. This legislation updates model holding company law to allow the Division of Insurance to fully participate in and lead group-wide supervisory colleges for internationally active insurance groups. SB 8 is based on National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) model law required to maintain financial accreditation. SB 11 updates South Dakota insurance law governing third party administrators (TPA). This proposed legislation provides a pathway for newly established (less than two years) TPAs meeting financial requirements to do business in our state. The bill also clarifies TPA registration requirements for certain self-funded plans. House Bill (HB) 1017 increases disclosure requirements of insurance company corporate governance structures to better understand and evaluate the risks posed to consumers purchasing their products. This is a model law update from the NAIC. HB 1018 updates laws governing the South Dakota Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association. This bill supports a broader assessment base increasing the equity of assessments for potential future long-term care company insolvencies between life and health insurers.


This is a model law drafted nationally with the broad support of the insurance industry. Interested parties can follow the daily action of the South Dakota Legislature via the Legislative Research Council website at

Division of Insurance Contact Information: Larry Deiter, Director South Dakota Division of Insurance 124 S. Euclid Ave. 2nd Floor Pierre, SD 57501 Phone: 605.773.3563 Fax: 605.773.5369

Kayla’s Article 3 Reasons Google Ads Are Essential to Your Agency BY: CAM BOB III

In the digital age, many insurance agencies are left wondering how their businesses will be affected by the rapidly changing marketplace. Every day, it seems like a new competitor appears, looking to steal your meal ticket and siphon your customers away. The No. 1 way to combat competitors from siphoning off your customers is to adapt. Here are three ways Google Ads could be the missing link in your marketing strategy: 1) Takes your business directly to the market. When a consumer needs to buy a new insurance policy for their boat, home or new contracting business, where are they most likely going to go? If you answered “Google” then you are correct. In 2016, approximately 74% of consumers turned to the internet before buying an insurance policy, according to J.D. Power. When prospects begin their quest for a policy, it will start with a search for insurance on Google and likely end on the first page of results. If you want to attract online prospects in your local area who are ready to buy, your best bet is to go direct—you’ve got to advertise with Google. Inbound leads generated from Google are highquality because they demonstrate the intention to make a purchase. How do we know that? Because your advertisements only appear after people have searched for terms based on buying insurance. Unlike other marketing channels, prospects acquired through Google engage. You know without a shadow of a doubt that they are ready and looking to buy insurance in the near future. 2) Improves sales productivity. When you advertise on Google, you are employing Google’s algorithm as a salesperson to prospect for ready-to-buy leads.

Essentially, you just brought on a team of agents who will scour the web and reach searchers across your service areas. These agents aren’t restricted by time and geographic locations, and they’ll never get tired or call in sick. With Google Ads campaigns, you can prospect for new buyers all day, every day—a feat even the greatest producers cannot replicate. 3) Accurately reports and attributes. One of the biggest problems for every agency is marketing attribution. In other words, which marketing investments are driving the biggest results. A well-known marketing saying sums it up: “Half the money I spend on marketing is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.” With Google Ads—and digital ads in general—you get unmatched transparency in reporting efficacy. You’ll have a clear idea of how much you invested, how many quotes it sent your way and how many quotes turned into new customers. You’ll be able to form fact-based strategies around expanding and contracting your marketing investments. And, based on the robust data these platforms provide, you’ll know exactly which half or your marketing spend you wasted! Want to become the first-choice agency for insurance in your local market? You’ve got to go where your prospects have gone: online. With Google Ads, you can attract prospects on autopilot and expand the reach of your agency statewide or even nationally. Cam Bob III is founder of Infinity Leads, a customer acquisition agency for independent insurance agencies. In 2018, Bob III was named Young Innovator of the Year by British private equity firm CVC Capital in the development of a cutting-edge digital lead generation system for insurance agencies. Bob III is also the author of “The Digital Insurance Agent,” a step-bystep guide to generating exclusive leads online.


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EMC offers comprehensive coverage tailored to the needs of 98 different types of light manufacturers producing everything from buttons to bread to electronic components. This line offers optional coverage for manufacturers and delivery errors or omissions, plus employment practices liability. Certain coverages are even bundled automatically — meaning whatever your clients make, EMC makes insuring their businesses easier.

Count on EMC ® to make light work of light manufacturing coverage. ©Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2018. All rights reserved.


Highland Conference Center 2000 Highland Way, Mitchell, SD

• Crop Carrier Panel on MPCI Prevent Plant • Crop Outlook and Challenges for 2020 • Property Casualty Sessions – total of 6 hours CE

Join us for a great Spring Event! Connect with Company Reps, network with agents and have a great time. Rooms available at Comfort Inn (990-2400) & Hampton Inn (995-1575) –IIASD block

Register online at after February 1st

LOOKING FOR A LONG-TERM CAREER? Financial Markets, Inc. is now seeking candidates to join our great team!

• Internal Wholesaler • Contracting Associate • New Business Associate Paid Training • Paid Vacation • Education Assistance • Continued Education Hours: Mon-Fri, 7:30 am to 4:00 pm • Competitive Salary + Commission Health, Vision, & Dental Insurance • 401(k) with Employer Match Financial Markets, Inc. is an insurance brokerage with locations in Rapid City and Spearfish, South Dakota that markets and distributes life insurance annuities and long-term care products to insurance and financial professionals in 49 states. Financial Markets, Inc. is a growing company with the ambition to expand our exemplary team.

Apply online today!



Save the Date:

The Lodge in Deadwood (605) 584-4800 $99 Room Rate

1752 Club Spring Clinic

Springhill Suites or Tru (605) 571-1001 $79 Room Rate

When: Thursday, March 26, 2020


Where: Ramkota Hotel 3200 W Maple St Sioux Falls

When: October 4th-6th, 2020 Where: The Lodge in Deadwood This is our 90th Convention Anniversary!


This is an event you won’t want to miss!











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For a quote, ask your agent to contact one of the State Directors below depending upon your location. WEST of the river Dan Maguire and Levi Olivier Black Hills Insurance Agency 605.342.5555

EAST of the river Daschle Larsen and Taylor Jacobsen McKinneyOlson Insurance 605.335.7777

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued. Continental Western Group is not liable for any loss resulting from use of information in this advertisement.. | Copyright © 2018 Continental Western Group®. All rights reserved. | 2005CWG-FDK-06-18

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2019 Dues Deductibility Note that dues are not deductible as a charitable contribution but may be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense. The percentages listed below represent the portion of your dues that are related to lobbying expense and are NOT DEDUCTIBLE as an ordinary and necessary business expense.

IIABA – 18.52%* IIASD – 28.13%* When using these percentages, please note that 35% of your dues go to IIABA and 65% of your dues stay with the IIASD.

Why American West Insurance? • Local company with over 60 years agriculture insurance experience • Quality products • Competitive pricing • Expert claims and underwriting services

Be Protected. Be Sure®. To learn more about AWI contact Kelly Sunde at or call 605-880-5563.

Agribusiness • Farm & Ranch • Farm & Ranch Auto • Personal Auto Excess Liability • Watercraft • Crop Hail • Multi-Peril

Questions? Carolyn Hofer at

EXCELLENT CAREER OPPORTUNITY Looking for a professional, self motivated insurance agent to be actively involved in a well-established agency in north central South Dakota. Located in a small, rural, family friendly community. Agency has a good, loyal customer base with excellent companies and loss ratios. Experience preferred but will provide training if qualified. Owner's intent is to transition agency to new agent as soon as possible. If interested contact IIASD. Phone: (605)224-6234 SERIOUS INQUIRIES ONLY PLEASE

For all your insurance needs. We support Independent Agents who serve the South Dakota farm and ranch community. Our national footprint helps us weather the challenges across the U.S. and provide unique solutions for farms and ranches of all sizes. Partner with the Nation’s #1 Farm Insurer today.

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Sales Manager, Agribusiness

701-298-9277 Products underwritten by Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Affiliated Companies. Home Office: Columbus, OH 43215. Subject to underwriting guidelines, review, and approval. Availability varies. Nationwide, Nationwide Is On Your Side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. ©2019 Nationwide GCO-0531AO 11/19



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AmTrust is AmTrust Financial Services, Inc., located at 59 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038. Coverages are provided by its property and casualty insurance company affiliates. In TX, coverage is provided by AmTrust Insurance Company of Kansas, Inc.; AmTrust International Underwriters Designated Activity Company; Associated Industries Insurance Company, Inc.; First Nonprofit Insurance Company; Milford Casualty Insurance Company; Republic Underwriters Insurance Company; Republic-Vanguard Insurance Company; Security National Insurance Company; Southern County Mutual Insurance Company; Southern Insurance Company; Technology Insurance Company, Inc.; or Wesco Insurance Company. In WA, coverage is provided by AmTrust Insurance Company of Kansas, Inc.; AmTrust International Underwriters Designated Activity Company; Associated Industries Insurance Company, Inc.; Developers Surety and Indemnity Company; Milford Casualty Insurance Company; Security National Insurance Company; or Wesco Insurance Company. Consult the applicable policy for specific terms, conditions, limits and exclusions to coverage.


Enhance your marketing in 2020! Get up to $1500 back via the Marketing Reimbursement Program!

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Visit for more info!

Legislator Meet & Greet IIASD Legislative Open House January 28th & 29th Drifter’s Conference Center 325 Hustan Ave, Ft. Pierre, SD Don’t miss this opportunity to get involved with the South Dakota Legislative process. Legislative advocacy is one of the top values provided to Independent Insurance Agents and YOUR participation makes a difference in how your representation votes. Legislators appreciate your professional input on pros and cons on insurance issues. All members are invited to attend.

5 Grants Available for 1st Time Attendees and Young Agents Schedule Opportunities: • Visit IIASD office and Board of Directors meeting • Legislative Open House • Socialize with Young Agents and Board of Directors • Division of Insurance Tour and Overview of Operations • Capitol Visit with Lobbyist Randy Moses – sit in on Committee Hearings • Learn about the legislative process • Lunch at the Capitol • See the House and Senate in session YOU are the strongest link to getting the best information to legislators. Join us in getting to know those who can regulate our industry and your future. For more information, contact Daschle Larsen -605-670-9369 or Carolyn Hofer – 605-224-6234 – . We need to know you are coming to hold your room.

14 18

Western Dakota Job Openings:

You’re Hiring New Talent, Make Them Feel Welcome!

New hire season is here! You put so much time in selecting the candidates, interviewing and proposing the offer. It’s not done yet! Next up…the real planning – their first day, week, month, three months etc. 1. Day One- Impression Matters! Make your new hire feel welcome; create a plan. Nothing is worse then a new employee showing up for work and feeling lost. Here are some ways to make a great impression that first day: • Make them feel they are part of the team – introductions are a must. • Leave them a welcome basket at their desk. • Schedule lunches for their first week. • Can you assign a different buddy for the first three weeks? (That’s only one per week.) • Include them in staff meetings (and then ask them post-meeting to share questions with you). 2.A Training Plan for the First Month.

Insurance Producers (Full-Time) Western Dakota Insurors, is actively seeking sales producers for property and casualty, employee benefits and life insurance. The perfect candidate will possess a talent for working with people, seeking out new leads and new clients, enjoys sales, and has an established history of sales success. Benefits for qualified candidates include Producer equity in business produced and a deferred compensation package, 401k plan, paid vacation, dental, health, vision, and life insurance. Trips, Travel & Expenses, and Continuing Education paid. Benefits Producer (Full-Time) Western Dakota Insurors is hiring for a Benefits Producer. As a Benefits Producer with Western Dakota Insurors, you will work closely within your community to build customer relationships and promote Insurance products. The Benefits Producer will be responsible for selling health, life, disability, and other benefit insurance products to businesses and individuals. The ideal candidates will have sales experience within a commercial team and hold a valid Life and Health license. If you believe you have what it takes please apply today! Account Manager (Full Time) We are seeking an energetic, strong team player with excellent verbal and written communication skills. The Account Manager is someone who works with a sales producer in all aspects of the renewal and new business process, including but not limited to: data entry, rating, review of quotes and preparing proposals. A Property & Casualty license is preferred. How To Apply:

Next step is to have a training plan in place. Whether it’s online training, classroom training, or a combination of both, a plan will communicate your expectations and provide them with the opportunity to grow. Training will help immerse them in their new role and give them confidence to take on new tasks. 3.Engage with the New Employee Daily. As a leader, be sure to check-in daily – this can be a longer meeting on Monday morning to reset the plan for the week and then at lunch or end of day to discuss questions. Employees value leadership and guidance. They want to know that they are on the right track. Giving them support and training will motivate them to succeed. Need help with a training plan? Please visit https:// for more information.

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Business Etiquette for Agents – Some Finer Points By: John Chapin

Most business etiquette is common sense. The following are some finer points: • If someone tells you that you didn’t get the business, smile, find out why, thank the person for his or her time, make sure the door is open for the next opportunity, and exit courteously. • Always allow the customer or prospect to decide where you’re going to eat unless she is visiting your home turf and asks you to choose. At that point, ask what kind of food she prefers, and give her a choice of locations. • If you have someone else from your company with you, always let the customer or prospect sit in the front seat of the car, unless he begs you to sit in back. • Always pick up the check. • Know the rules of any game you’re going to play with a customer or prospect. Walking across someone’s putting line in golf can really tick some people off. • Don’t be overly competitive, you might even let the customer win if possible. • Make sure you’re at least of average skill before you try bonding over any kind of game. • Extend common courtesy to everyone you encounter. This includes all people at the company you’re calling on, not just the person you’re there to see. In addition, be polite to the competition, people you pass on the street, and even the in-laws you don’t particularly like. You don’t have to go overboard—just be pleasant and professional. • Don’t sit down until the customer or prospect is seated. • Never assume anything, and always give the customer or prospect a chance to save face. • Never argue with the customer or prospect. • Never walk into a customer’s facility with a competitive product that is sold on the premises. General rules for social situations: • Watch what you say. Don’t say anything you don’t want someone to hear. For the most part, avoid any controversial topics. • Be sociable. • If you’re unsure of what to wear, it’s always better to overdress. You can always take something off. • Don’t drink too much. • Be selective about whom you hang out with. • Watch what you do and how you act. Items You Present to the Prospect or Customer Brochures, proposals, business cards, gifts, and other items speak volumes about you, your company, and your product. They may not make or break the sale, but they can dramatically affect your image. Keep these rules in mind: • Brochure pictures and the brochure itself should be in color and professionally printed. • Make sure all spelling and grammar is correct. • Have the prospect’s name and title correct. • Proposals should be thorough but not overwhelming. If you are answering a request for proposal (RFP), follow the instructions completely. • Make sure all gift items are clean, brochures and proposals are not wrinkled or soiled, and written information is clear, concise, and professional.


Don’t skimp on business cards. Here are some quick rules: • Get your cards printed by a professional, not on your home computer. • Use raised print. • Use color. • Add your picture to your business card. • Add distinguished honors, club memberships, etc., to your business card. • If you are a member of the 100 Percent Club, the Inner Circle, or any other specially recognized group within your industry, have these printed on your card. • If you would like to present an image that’s out of the ordinary and a “cut above,” try: o A card that is twice as thick as a standard business card. o A larger card than usual. o A shape other than rectangular. o A magnetic business card. o A folded card with details inside. Use good judgment with your business card design. If you’re selling to conservative bankers, you don’t want hot pink business cards. At the same time, if you’re in the flower business, a scented and colorful card might work. The Pen You Use Have a high-quality pen and make sure it works. Also, have a backup pen. By high quality, I mean a Cross pen or something similar. Note 1: Many businesses give out company pens. If you have a good-quality pen from the company you’re calling upon, bring the pen with you and use it while you’re on the call. Note 2: All the pens you use should have black or blue ink unless you have a great reason related to your business that dictates another color. The Car You Drive If you have a company car, you can disregard this part. The car you drive projects a certain image. You can impress people with a car, turn people off with a car, and you can make people jealous with a car. Some potential customers will decide you make too much money or, perhaps not enough money, based solely upon the car you drive. When selecting a car, your objective is to drive a business car that is appropriate for what you are selling and one that puts you in a position where you are least likely to be judged negatively. A fire-engine red 700 Series BMW may not be the best car for calling on bankers, yet it would be appropriate for calling on dentists, doctors, or lawyers. A Ford Taurus may not be the best car to drive if you’re selling Lear jets, but it is fine if you’re selling office products. If you sell Cadillacs, you’d better be driving one. Look at what customers and other salespeople in your industry drive. Keep your car as clean as possible. Fuzzy dice and other idiosyncrasies probably aren’t a great idea. There aren’t too many bumper stickers I’d recommend either, especially political or religious ones. Keep the car smelling good. One more note: out-of-state license plates can be a potential red flag. Make sure the out-of-state plates are appropriate or that you have an appropriate answer for why you have them. Your approach to a sales call begins in the prospect’s parking lot, sometimes even before. One person I know got cut off in traffic and gave the other driver a “not so nice” gesture. The driver followed him into the parking lot of the company he was calling on. It was the CEO’s secretary. Article Continued on Page 23


Not good. You never know who can see you from which window or who is in the parking lot with you. Act as if you have a camera and microphone focused on you at all times. We all know of situations where people have said something inappropriate, not realizing that others were listening. Watch what you say about the competition and other people anytime you are in public. It’s a small world—as many of us have learned the hard way. Where You Park Your Car Do not park up front in the prime parking spots. These are reserved for customers and sometimes upper-level management. You should park in spots at the back of the lot or spots that are the farthest from the facility. John Chapin is a motivational sales speaker and trainer. For his free newsletter, or to have him speak at your next event, go to: John has over 32 years of sales experience as a number one sales rep and is the author of the 2010 sales book of the year: Sales Encyclopedia. You can reprint provided you keep contact information in place. E-mail:

IIA Newsletter 2017_Layout 1 2/16/2017 3:47 PM Page 1

WHERE A HANDSHAKE IS STILL GOLDEN Building on the foundation of Midwestern values, where a handshake is still golden, we take great pride in being a local business and are proud to be the

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WE DIDN’T KEY THE CAR. BUT WE’RE THE KEY TO FIXING IT. AUTO INSURANCE THAT’S DESIGNED TO BE WORRY FREE Wheels are the way around life. Protect vehicles with auto insurance from the Worry Free Company — IMT Insurance. Learn how you can represent IMT Insurance at and help your policyholders Be Worry Free with IMT.


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Our customers include: • Food Processing • Small Business Owners • Manufacturers • Agribusinesses

The companies of

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• Bulk Petroleum Companies • Contractors

Products and services are provided by one or more insurance company subsidiaries of W. R. Berkley Corporation. Not all products and services are available in every jurisdiction and the precise coverage afforded by any insurer is subject to the actual terms and conditions of the policies as issued. Continental Western Group is not liable for any loss resulting from use of information in this advertisement. | Copyright © 2018 Continental Western Group®. All rights reserved. | 1688CWG-AD-06-18

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06/25/18 12:57 PM


Agency Website Privacy Policy Did you know you need to have a Privacy Policy listed on your agency website? Click HERE for a free template you can download and use for your agency.

A CAREER You Can Count On……. Security First Bank believes that attention to detail, flexible and innovative services and remarkable customer care are the pillars of successful community banking, and we’ve been committed to those standards since our founding in 1898. We look for people who will embrace our values: Service Quality * Teamwork * Integrity * Adaptability * Accountability

Note: You must have a Big 'I' ID & password to access this.

As a Security First employee, you’ll be challenged to be better every day, while encouraged, supported, and valued, with your career growth as a consistent priority and focus.

INSURANCE AGENT Location(s): Rapid City, SD Seeking a Dynamic individual that will sell and assist customers will all their personal, commercial, and farm insurance needs. This individual will be a team player, with strong marketing, organization and communication skills. Must currently hold a license in property and casualty insurance or willing to obtain one within 90 days. APPLY ONLINE: WWW.SECURITY1 STBANK.COM/CAREERS

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Visit or call 605-763-8077.

Significant Wins for Independent Agents through Big ‘I’ 2019 Federal Advocacy BY WYATT STEWART

2019 was a banner year for Big “I” federal advocacy with tangible results for Big “I” member agencies. The year started with a huge win giving independent agencies access to significant tax relief and ended with a trifecta of longtime Big “I” priorities being signed into law by President Trump. While the accomplishments were significant on their own, they were even more impressive as they were completed during a heightened sense of partisan gridlock in Washington, D.C. with the specter of impeachment hanging over Capitol Hill for much of the year. Throughout the year, the advocacy efforts by the government affairs team included countless meetings with members of Congress and their staff, providing testimony to key committees and sending numerous letters to congressional offices on important issues. In addition, nearly 1,000 independent agents advocated during the annual Big “I” Legislative Conference in May. These efforts by Big “I” members were vital in achieving so much this year. In January, the IRS issued final regulations governing Section 199A of the tax code to implement a new small business tax deduction. The rule confirmed that owners and shareholders of insurance agencies and brokerages organized as pass-through entities are eligible for the new deduction of up to 20% on “qualified business income”—regardless of taxable income level. The deduction is available for taxable years through 2025 and reduces the top effective rate from 37% to 29%. The final regulation was a significant victory for Big “I” members. When the tax reform legislation was first signed into law there was concern that insurance agencies would be considered a “specified service trade and business,” and therefore owners and shareholders with annual taxable income above certain levels would be prohibited from utilizing the new deduction. Once the law passed, the Big “I” spent the next year aggressively and successfully advocating that agencies and brokerages organized as pass-throughs should be able to fully benefit from tax reform. The Big “I” met with the administration and congressional offices on numerous occasions, submitted multiple written comment letters to the administration before and after the release of the initial draft regulations and submitted congressional testimony. Another big win for the Big “I” included securing an exclusion for agents and brokers from proposed new federal reporting requirements. Legislation introduced in both the House and Senate would require nearly every small business with fewer than 20 employees to file new reports on their “beneficial ownership” with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). All businesses would have to comply annually, starting within two years of the law’s enactment for existing businesses or upon incorporation of a new business. The penalties for failure to comply are severe, with both bills imposing a civil penalty of up to $10,000. For criminal penalties, the House bill imposes up to three years in prison while the Senate bill calls for up to four. The bills have momentum going into 2020 and could be law soon. The Big “I” was the only producer group to advocate for the exemption for agents and brokers in both bills. Throughout the year, the Big “I” continued to defend the state-based system of insurance regulation from federal interference. The Big “I” supported eliminating or significantly restricting the Federal Insurance Office (FIO) housed within the U.S. Treasury Department. Over the years, the FIO has proven to have questionable value for insurance markets and consumers.

The Big “I” also sought to defend a state's ability to regulate their individual insurance markets, opposing legislation that would prevent the use of credit scoring in the underwriting process for auto insurance. Currently, credit scores are one of many tools used in the underwriting process and states have flexibility to determine whether insurers may use the information as a rating factor. The Big “I” was able to thwart efforts to move legislation to preempt state underwriting discretion to prohibit the use of such scores.

Similarly, the Big “I” opposed expansion of Risk Retention Groups (RRGs) into the commercial property market. Congress created RRGs through broad federal preemption of state regulation in the 1980s in response to a specific market crisis. Currently, there is no evidence of a market crisis and needlessly expanding RRGs would put consumers at risk and undermine the state-based insurance system. While government affairs staff was able to stave off efforts to push legislation to allow RRGs into property insurance, it promises to be an issue of concern in 2020. The Big “I” also continued to advocate for a robust and strong Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP). With the farm bill signed into law, the Big “I” focused on strengthening its relationship with the Risk Management Agency (RMA) and educating members of Congress and their staff on the critical role the FCIP plays in our country. While still illegal at the federal level, cannabis has become an increasingly hot button issue as more states allow varying levels of usage. Due to the legal gray area associated with cannabis businesses, the Big “I” sought to protect agents and brokers from civil or criminal liability regardless of whether they have direct or indirect contact with state-legalized cannabis businesses. In the SAFE Banking Act, which passed the House in the fall, the Big “I” helped obtain a federal “safe harbor” to financial services providers including insurers, agents and brokers. While not yet signed into law, the Big “I” will continue to stay engaged. As 2019 drew to a close, the Big “I” government affairs team successfully lobbied to have three longtime priorities added to government funding legislation that was signed into law by President Trump. The first was the reauthorization of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA). That provision would reauthorize the program for seven years without significant changes. The Big “I” spent much of 2019 pushing Congress to reauthorize TRIA well in advance of its scheduled expiration at the end of 2020. The Big “I” provided testimony to both the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services requesting a clean, long-term reauthorization of the program and also worked closely with other insurance industry stakeholders, meeting with numerous members of Congress and their staff and sending multiple letters to congressional offices advocating for the reauthorization. The year-end legislation also included an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through Sept. 30, 2020. The program had been scheduled to expire on Dec. 20, 2019. While not perfect, this provides more certainty to a program that has seen several short-term extensions recently, with some as short as a few weeks. The Big “I” provided testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services on the NFIP and met with members of Congress and their staff throughout the year to make sure the program didn’t lapse. The Big “I” will continue to advocate for modernization and long-term reauthorization of the NFIP in 2020. In addition, the government funding legislation included a provision to repeal the “Cadillac” tax, a 40% excise tax on employer-sponsored health insurance plans that exceed a certain cost threshold. The tax was previously delayed twice and was set to take effect in 2022. Over the years the Big “I” has consistently advocated for repeal of this onerous tax and has worked with the Alliance to Fight the 40, a broad-based coalition comprised of businesses, patient advocates, employer organizations, unions, local governments, health care companies, consumer groups and other stakeholders to repeal the “Cadillac” tax. Our efforts included numerous meetings with members of Congress and their staff as well as sending several letters to congressional offices showing broad support for repeal. With 2019 “in the books” we will look toward 2020 and the continued work to be done on behalf of independent agents.

Bringing you 30 years of promoting safe, healthy, and productive workforces. Workers' Compensation. It's What We Do. It's Who We Are.

Sponsored By: Financial Markets, Inc. Date:

Friday, January 24, 2020


11 AM - 1 PM

Presented By:

Edward Bartling


Where: Black Hills State University Address: 4300 Cheyenne Blvd.


Rapid City, SD

Chief Operating Officer Financial Markets, Inc.

Room: 108 Lunch: Provided by Financial Markets, Inc.

Space is limited!


'The world is changing at a rapid pace. Turbulence, uncertainty, and volatility are the new status quo.'

IIASD 2020 Schedule of Events

January 15th - 18th January 28th & 29th

Big “I” Winter Board Meeting New Orleans, LA Board Meeting & Leg Open House Day at the Capital

March 31st & April 1st

Farm & Small Town/Spring Crop Seminar Highland Conference Center, Mitchell

May 12th – 16th

Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

June 1st – 4th

E&O Seminars

June 24th & 25th Date changed from first date that was set.

July 12th – 13th



River Days/Walleye Classic in Pierre Board Meeting

Mid West Young Agents Conf. Omaha, NE


September 15th (tentative date)

October 4th – 6th 90th Convention Anniversary

IIABA Fall Leadership Conference & Nat’l BOD meeting Kansas City, MO

Crop Insurance Conference SDSU

Annual Convention The Lodge in Deadwood


January 2020


IIASD Service Corp Risk Administration Services


Acuity Doss & Associates Farmers Mutual of Nebraska Financial Markets Inc. Graber & Associates Great Plains Brokerage Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. North Star Mutual Insurance Co. United Fire Group


Auto-Owners Insurance CGB Diversified Services, Inc. Columbia Insurance Group Continental Western Group Dakota Claims Service EMC Insurance Co. Farmers Mutual Hail of Iowa Great American Insurance Co. Infotech Solutions, LLC Intek Cleaning and Restoration IMT Insurance Liberty Mutual Insurance Midwest Family Mutual NAU Country OneBeacon Insurance Group Pro Ag Rain & Hail, LLC Rural Community Insurance Services SFM Mutual Insurance Co. Western National Insurance


Accident Fund Ins Co. of America American West Insurance ArmTech Insurance Services Berkshire Hathaway Guard Insurance Capital Premium Financing, Inc. Concorde Generaal Agency Farmers Alliance Mutual Mid-America Risk Managers, LLC Missouri Valley Mutual Insurance Co. North American Software Associates Northwest GF Mutual Insurance Progressive Insurance Co. Risk Placement Services Swiss Re State Auto Insurance Co. Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield


Bjornson/Sentinel E & L

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January 2020 Newsletter  

January 2020 Newsletter  

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