INDEPENDENT INSURANCE AGENTS OF SOUTH DAKOTA
Farm and Small Town Conference February 15-16, 2012 Cedar Shores Resort & Hotel Chamberlain, SD Call for motel information: (605) 734-6376
Happy New Year ! From the Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota
Big “I” Markets
Partnership with Markel opens door to insuring sportsmen Big “I” Markets was created primarily to offer member agents access to specialty niche markets that they otherwise might not want, need, or could not find access to through a direct carrier appointment. The recent expansion of new markets fits that strategy perfectly. Big “I” Markets, in partnership with Markel Insurance Company, is pleased to introduce its new niche program for Outfitters & Guides, Rod & Gun Clubs (includes shooting clubs) and Hunting and Fishing Lodges & Plantations. Marketed through Big “I” Markets, this outdoor insurance program is available on a licensed and admitted basis in all states except Alaska and Hawaii.
Program Features and Coverage Highlights: o Liability limits available: $300,000 occurrence/$900,000 aggregate $500,000 occurrence/$l million aggregate $1 million occurrence/$3 million aggregate o Property insurance forms available are Basic, Broad, and Special. Deductibles start at $1,000. o Inland Marine coverage for insureds’ and customers’ personal property, equipment, etc. o Excess liability limits to $5 million, umbrella, business interruption, and equipment breakdown. o No liability deductibles.
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 First Western Insurance 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 The more I get into the economics of the United States and especially South Dakota, I find more and more reasons why this is the best state to do business in and live. I always wondered why some states have less negative impact in downturns or recessions until I read an article by Bloomberg News that pointed out how, in the third quarter of this year, Wyoming and South Dakota benefited from the demand for commodities and automobiles while many other states struggled. In general, Bloomberg’s report illustrates how agriculture and petroleum states fared better than the rest of the nation.
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! ®
Wyoming, as you know is the biggest coal producer and the home of the third largest natural gas reserve. With North Dakota developing the Bakken Valley oil reserves, I am sure they will be surpassing South Dakota in the next year. It all comes down to the fact that South Dakota has the products to produce and the agriculture to keep us on an even keel. As long as there is a strong demand for the products we produce, there will be jobs. Jobs result in more spending for even the small-town merchants and, yes, even money to pay insurance premiums and commissions. Isn’t it great to be part of a great state like ours?
United Fire Group Cedar Rapids, Iowa www.ufgAgent.com Follow us on Facebook!
E&O EDGE – Carolyn Hofer, E&O Administrator Are You Watching ??? -Insurance Carrier Ratings – Insolvency – according to Webster, it means the
inability to pay your debts. In the insurance world, when a carrier becomes insolvent, it means the agent is stuck with clients who have no coverage – cannot pay claims or returns on unearned premiums. Who steps up to the table when the protection you promised your client disappears?
SD Insurance Guaranty Association –
The SDIGA is a non-profit statutory entity created by the SD Legislature in 1970 to protect SD policyholders and claimants from losses due to unpaid claims under policies issued by an insolvent insurance company. Virtually all insurers licensed to sell property/casualty in the state are required to be members of the SDIGA and pay assessments to fund the organization. SDIGA is enabled by law to provide protection on claims that should have been covered under the policy up to policy limits or a maximum of $300,000, whichever is less. The law also provides reimbursement of unearned premiums less a $100 deductible. The SDIGA is administered and governed by an industry board elected by member insurers and subject to approval by the director of the Division of Insurance. The director has oversight authority.
E&O Coverage –
So, what happens if your client is involved in a large lawsuit that will undoubtedly exceed the limit provided by SDIGA? When first notified of carrier insolvency, you need to notify your E&O carrier of any open claims with that carrier so they can properly protect you and work with the SDIGA. How will your E&O respond? If you are covered with Westport Insurance Corporation or Fireman’s Fund, you can rest assured that your E&O policy does not exclude insolvency claims – even if the carrier had prior A.M. Best ratings of B or below. As part of the IIASD Member program, the enhanced policy forms have a revised insolvency exclusion clause that adds coverage back for carriers who are under the State Guaranty Association.
Independent Claims Services to the Insurance Industry
P.O. Box 291 Aberdeen, SD 57402-0291 (605) 225-0725 Fax (605) 226-1618 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 149 Chamberlain, SD 57325 (605) 734-6011 Fax (605) 734-6013 Email: email@example.com
P.O. Box 201 Huron, SD 57350 (605) 352-5000 Fax (605) 352-5173 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 400 Pierre, SD 57501 (605) 224-6155 Fax (605) 224-4735 Email: email@example.com
P.O. Box 2138 Rapid City, SD 57709 (605) 343-3764 Fax (605) 343-1274 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 611 Sioux Falls, SD 57101 (605) 338-3561 Fax (605) 338-0257 Email: email@example.com
P.O. Box 435 Spearfish, SD 57783 (605) 642-4769 Fax (605) 642-4760 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
P.O. Box 203 Watertown, SD 57201 (605) 886-2318 Fax (605) 886-2335 Email: email@example.com
P.O. Box 265 Yankton, SD 57078 (605) 665-3886 Fax (605) 665-3899 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
www.dakotaclaims.com What Should You Do??
1. Watch your carrier A.M. Best ratings. You can access this information on our website at: www.iiasd.org.– scroll down and click on AM.Best 2. Make sure you write all standard business with admitted carriers. This means they are licensed to do business in SD, their forms are filed with the SD Division of Insurance and they are a member of the SD Insurance Guaranty Association. 3. Have a procedure in place to notify insureds of carrier ratings or adverse change. This is generally required by E&O carriers who provide insolvency coverage. 4. Communicate with carriers who experience a downgrade in ratings. There are many factors to consider in carrier ratings. Give them the opportunity to explain the situation and then keep
a watchful eye!
Division of Insurance News and Views Meet the Division of Insurance The Division of Insurance only has 6 bills in its 2012 legislative package. While this is a relatively light year for insurance legislation, the Division’s bill package does contain some important changes. These are the Division’s bills with a short explanation included for each. The bill numbers are hyperlinked for ease of reference.
SB 33 is merely a clean-up measure to revise an
incorrect cross reference in the current law. Traditionally attorneys and rental car agents have not been subject to the licensing examination. Correcting the cross reference will allow the Division to continue their examination exemption. SB 28 revises the statute dealing with renewals of TPAs (third party administrators). The current statute lacks clarity and does not provide for an automatic lapsing of the license if the TPA fails to renew. This bill would change the TPA renewal process to work similarly to other licensees and registrants and require TPAs to complete the renewal process to keep their license or registration in force. SB 32 deals with suitability of annuity sales. The current law is based upon the NAIC model which has since been updated. This bill would bring our existing law into conformity with the current NAIC model and provide for enhanced consumer protection. One of the most significant features of this bill for insurance agents is that the bill would shift some of the required oversight functions from general agents to insurers. These new provisions would apply to both fixed and variable annuities. HB 1034 deals with life and health insurance applications. Under current law applications may not be altered by insurers except for administrative purposes. The bill clarifies what constitutes administrative purposes and expressly prohibits insurers from altering the amounts and types of coverage applied for.
HB 1033 deals with examinations and clarifies an
unintended error made when the statute was previously revised. The bill clarifies that the records subject to examination are those records of the person being examined. For example if an insurer is being examined the insurer’s records are subject to examination by the Division. HB 1035 allows the Division to inform those that file complaints about the status and the outcome of any investigations or examinations that result from that complaint. Current law prohibits the Division from disclosing the existence of examinations or investigations to the public. This would be a narrow exception only apply to the person that filed the complaint and only for the status of any investigation or examination that was related to that complaint.
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.
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 Computer Advice 5 Steps to Productive Computing By: Kayla Longbrake Administrative Coordinator
Everyone at one time has had a problem with a computer or has wanted to pull out their hair because their computer isn’t doing what they want it to. With that said, I have put together a list of 5 ways to make operating your computer less stressful and more enjoyable.
5 Steps to Productive Computing:
1)Relax and Enjoy your computer a.One thing to remember is that if you are relaxed it is a lot harder to let yourself get frustrated. When you use your computer be as relaxed a possible. Tension will only make the job more difficult for you. Expect the unexpected. What I mean by this is accept and try to work through the problems without getting upset; remember you aren’t the only person who has ever faced similar computer difficulties. 2)Learn the basics a.Always remember that learning how the computer works will help you in many ways. You can use the internet to help you find your way through the computer maze. The best resources are either how-tosections or actual tutorials of what you are looking to find more information on. Another thing to remember is one of the most difficult parts of computing is knowing the proper terminology. If you don’t understand a computer term just go ahead and look it up in a glossary. After all, it is difficult to use a help section in a computer program if you don’t know what word to look up in the first place. 3)Organize the files and folders on your computer. a.There is a feature on your computer called Windows Explorer which helps you keep your files organized. This program allows you to locate and manage your files with very little effort. Windows Explorer lets you move, copy, delete, and rename files and folders that are on your computer. Files and Folders can be organized by creating new folders, moving existing ones, renaming any that need it, and by deleting the ones that you will never use again.
4)Learn and use some computer shortcuts a.If you have ever watched a computer professional at work, it is hard to imagine how they can speed through work like they do. If you would like to speed up your work process like the professionals do, try to learn some computer shortcuts. By pressing the CTRL key and the S key at the same time when working on a document this shortcut will SAVE the work that you have done so far. By pressing the CTRL key and moving the wheel in the middle of your mouse, this shortcut will make the text on your screen become larger or smaller. If you are interested in more computer shortcuts you can just search computer shortcuts using www.google. com and it will provide a list of shortcuts for you to try. 5)Have fun with your computer a.Whether it’s a new screensaver, animated icons, or decorative wallpaper, have something on your computer screen that makes you smile. It is a proven fact that when you smile you bound to work better than when you frown. So be happy and enjoy learning easier ways to use your computer to get things done at home or work more quickly and with ease.
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
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
Summary of Life
GREAT TRUTHS THAT LITTLE CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED:
1) No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats. 2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair. 3) If your sister hits you, don’t hit her back. They always catch the second person. 4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato. 5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food. 6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair. 7) Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time. 8) You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. 9) Don’t wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts. 10) The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandma’s lap.
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
Our Focus. Your Opportunity. SM
I DIDN'T KNOW THIS DID YOU?
ATM PIN Number Reversal - Good to Know If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN # in reverse. For example, if your pin number is 1234, then you would put in 4321. The ATM system recognizes that your PIN number is backwards from the ATM card you placed in the machine.. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to the location. All ATM’s carry this emergency sequencer by law. This information was recently broadcast on by Crime Stoppers however it is seldom used because people just don't know about it..
Insuring the Midlands Since 1891 Les Hileman, CPCU, AIC Vice President of Agencies 800-742-7433 email@example.com
Please pass this along to everyone.
Agent & Customer Service Oriented
This is the kind of information people don't mind receiving, so pass it on to your family and friends.
State Auto provides • Financial Strength • Quality Products • Competitive Prices • Market Stability • Overwhelming Service
For more information about our products and services, please contact Business Insurance Manager Dave Schaack at (800) 645-2265
PROVIDING INSURANCE FOR 97 YEARS: Personal & Commercial Automobile
Homeowners & Mobilehome
Fire & Allied Lines
Personal & General Liability
Contact Mel Juran 605-775-2636
IIASD Announces New Board Member
Mindy Huntington is our new District II IIASD Board Member. Mindy entered the insurance industry in 1993 in Sisseton, South Dakota, where she grew up. In 1994, she moved to Watertown and worked at Roby Agency Insurers until the agency was sold to Great Western Insurance. Mindy currently holds the position of Agency Manager for Fischer Rounds & Associates at the Watertown location which they purchased from Great Western in 2009. Mindy and her husband, Tracy, have two children – Tanner, 13; and Morgan, 10. “Thank you” to Mindy for taking time out to help in governing IIASD.
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
New Rule for the Trusted Choice Marketing Reimbursement Program Marketing Reimbursement Program
The Marketing Reimbursement Program (MRP) will reimburse on a one-time basis up to $500 for expenses incurred by Trusted Choice® agencies to co-brand materials with the Trusted Choice® logo & Pledge of Performance. Reimbursement is retroactive to the start of the program. PRINTING - Up to $250 MRP will reimburse Trusted Choice agencies 50% of the initial cost of co-branded items, up to a maximum of $250. Acceptable items include: •Business Cards •Letterhead •Envelopes •Sales Proposal •Folders/Presentation Kits •Outdoor Signage •Pledge of Performance Plaque •Logo Plaque •Logo-wear (shirts, lapel pins, etc.) •Pens/Pencils • Calendars •Appointment diaries •Banners •Decals •Koozie-Kooler •Magnets •Postcards •Tote bag •Tradeshow booth •Umbrellas •Tent WEBSITE - Up to $250 You can also receive up to $250 to cover the initial setup fee for creating a website or the fee for updating an existing one. The website must include: • Trusted Choice® logo • Link to Trusted Choice® website (www.TrustedChoice.com) • The Pledge of Performance (or link to the online version at www.trustedchoice.com/pledgeofperformance.htm)
IMPORTANT RULES & REQUIREMENTS The full Program Guidelines document (which includes the application) is available here. •MRP does not reimburse for any type of direct advertisement (radio, TV, print ads, yellow pages, billboard, etc.) •Limited funds are available so reimbursements are on a first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted. •Materials produced under the MRP must use the Trusted Choice® logo in a manner that is consistent with the guidelines set forth in the Trusted Choice® Signature Guide. Trusted Choice® reserves the right to deny a request for reimbursement that is not consistent with the Trusted Choice® Signature Guide or the guidelines of the MRP. •Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, MRP reimbursements will be subject to a lifetime maximum of $500, retroactive to the start of the program. HOW TO SUBMIT FOR REIMBURSEMENT 1.Get a proof of the letterhead, business card, etc. artwork or screenshot of the website from your vendor. 2.BEFORE you place an order, e-mail the proof or screenshot to: firstname.lastname@example.org. 3.You will receive a response with an approval or what modifications are needed based on the logo usage rules. 4.After you receive approval from Trusted Choice®, place the order with your vendor. 5.Once complete, submit the MRP form, a copy of the paid invoice, and a sample or proof of item for reimbursement.
Farm and Small Town Conference The annual Farm and Small Town Conference is less than four weeks away. It is a great opportunity to bring the Property/Casualty and Crop Agents together. There is something for everyone as you can update your education and take time out to compare notes and bounce ideas off one another. As you look at the itinerary, you can see it is jam-packed with great speakers on a variety of topics to fit all. We even pulled off talking Russ Fischer (an Ex-Regional Vice President)to return to South Dakota. Now retired, he will give us his views on insurance “Then and Now” and maybe what to expect in the future. A special farm columnist will join us at the banquet to enlighten and entertain us. You won’t want to miss her – she if full of spunk and inspiration. Our girl, Kelli Potter, has made sure there will be at least four South Dakota made gifts to be given away randomly during the conference. In addition, we will be holding a drawing for one free registration to the Annual State Convention coming up this fall in Deadwood. The cost is minimal; rooms are only $79. Great speakers, lots of continuing education and a great time to socialize. SO WHAT’S THE HOLD UP??? REGISTER TODAY!!!!
The Lessor’s Risk insurance your clients need to cover any slip up. When it comes to Lessor’s Risk coverage, Burns & Wilcox is the top banana. We offer coverage for virtually any tenant occupied building. Plus, our unlimited access to admitted and non-admitted markets means we offer the broadest protection possible. So remember, when it comes to Lessor’s Risk, there’s one company who never slips up – Burns & Wilcox, the largest independent wholesale broker and underwriting manager. Minneapolis, Minnesota | 612.564.1880 toll free 800.637.7318 | fax 612.564.1881 minneapolis.burnsandwilcox.com • Commercial • Personal • Professional • Brokerage • Binding • Risk Management Services
Dues Deductibility: Dues to the Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota are not deductible as a charitable contribution but may be deductible as an ordinary and necessary business expense.
The Worry-Free Bucket
For the Fiscal Year of 2011 77.81% is deductible as a business expense for your taxes. 22.19% is not deductible for taxes because that is the percentage that National uses for Lobbying.
West Des Moines, IA
EST’S RA .B
LO OK !
L EL E XC
We are seeking quality agency appointments to become part of our “Worry Free” family. Simply bundle your customer’s auto, home and business insurance into IMT’s “Worry Free” bucket, and you will be worry free too.
If you have any questions please call 703-706-5456.
EN UT T S TA B L E O
IMT TradeAdSD-4c.indd 3
10/26/11 2:37 PM
“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
Other Findings Related to Health Reform: The survey finds that 56 percent of covered workers are in “grandfathered” plans as defined under health reform. Grandfathered plans are exempted from some health reform requirements, including covering preventive benefits with no cost sharing and having an external appeals process. To obtain this status, employers cannot make significant changes to their plans that reduce benefits or increase employee cost. One in four covered workers (23 percent) are in plans that changed their cost-sharing requirements for preventive services as a result of a requirement of the health reform law that non-grandfathered plans provide certain preventive benefits without cost sharing. In addition, 31 percent of covered workers are in plans that changed the list of preventive services due to health reform.
Other Findings from the Study Include:
•Worker-only coverage. Premiums for worker-only health coverage increased 8 percent in 2011 to reach $5,429 annually. Workers on average pay $921 toward this coverage. •Offer rate. The share of firms offering health insurance to their workers is 60 percent this year, comparable to the levels in 2009 and earlier years. Last year’s survey found an unexplained sharp increase in the share of the smallest firms (3-9 workers) offering coverage, boosting the overall offer rate; this year’s results suggest that the one-year bump did not reflect a change in the long-term trend. •Cost-sharing for office visits and drugs. Covered workers facing copayments for in-network physician office visits on average pay $22 for primary care and $32 for specialty care. For covered workers with three- and four-tier drug plans, average copayments are $10 for generic drugs, $29 for preferred brand-name drugs, $49 for non-preferred brandname drugs, and $91 for specialty drugs. •Retiree health benefits. Among large firms (200 or more workers), about one in four (26 percent) offer retiree health benefits in 2011, unchanged from last year and down significantly from 32 percent in 2007. Full survey results are available online at http://ehbs.kff.org.
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 MEMBER CORNER:
Meet new members of our Association We look forward to providing services to: Member Agencies: Doug Schmidt Insurance Bowdle, SD Doug Schmidt, Principal
Stateline Insurance Agency, Inc. Canton, SD Peggy VanDekieft, Principal
Timber Lake, SD Crystal Lind, Principal
The Johnston Agency Aberdeen, SD Jackie Best, Manager
Professional Insurors Rapid City, SD Ken Asheim, Principal
Associate Member Agencies: D & D Crop Service
THE RIGHT PIECE.
Brookings, SD Patty DeZeeuw, Principal
Crop Management Services Ipswich, SD Julie Burgod, Principal
Western Benefits Group, Inc. Rapid City, SD Mark Vickers, Principal
Log on to SPOT, our online rating tool at:
Join us in welcoming them to IIASD!
We have been solving specialty insurance puzzles with excellence since 1980. Call us for the right fit.
Excellence & Leadership
&SJDLTPO-BSTFO *ODt #KPSOTPO4FOUJOFMo&-t &SJDLTPO-BSTFO *ODo8*t
Trusted Choice Pledge of Performance Trusted Choice agencies are insurance and financial services firms whose access to multiple companies and commitment to quality service enable us to offer our clients competitive pricing, a broad choice of products and unparalleled advocacy. As a Trusted Choice agency, we are dedicated to you and are committed to treating you as a person, not a policy. This commitment means we shall:
• Work with you to identify the insurance and financial services that are right for you, your family or your business and use our access to multiple companies to deliver those products. • Guide you through the claims process for a prompt and fair resolution of your claim. Help you solve problems related to your coverage or account. • Explain the coverages and options available to you through our agency, at your request. • Return your phone calls and e-mails promptly and respond to your requests in a timely manner. • Provide 24/7 services for our customers, offering any or all of the following: emergency phone numbers,internet account access, e-mail and call center services. • Use our experience and multiple company relationships to customize your coverage in serving you. • Commit our staff to continuing education so they may be more knowledgeable in serving you. • Treat you with respect and courtesy. • Conduct our business in an ethical manner. We pledge this to you, our clients and ask that you let us know if we fail to meet our commitment, so we can take correction action.
BENEFITS OF LIVING THE TRUSTED CHOICE® BRAND Trusted Choice® is the national marketing brand created exclusively for Big “I” members to help consumers understand the value that an independent insurance agent offers. This is not a market access program but a brand that is designed to highlight the strengths of independent insurance agents: Choice, Customization, and Advocacy. Trusted Choice® agencies benefit from the following: 1.Licensed use of the consumer tested Logo & Pledge of Performance •Resonates with consumers and reinforces the value of doing business with Independent Agents 2.Personal Exposure through a local and national advertising and public relations campaign •National cable TV ads run 2 weeks out of every month •Extensive online/Facebook presence: www.facebook.com/TrustedChoice •Be a part of IIASD’s Trusted Choice Ad campaign – Sign up for filming today 3.Customizable advertising materials •Agency contact information can be included on all ad materials •Four TV ads, 14 radio ads, 10 print ads and five billboard ads available 4.Inclusion on the online Agency Locator, so that consumers can find your agency when visiting www.TrustedChoice.com 5.Informative consumer articles •Use in newsletters, on websites, social media or as part of a mailing •Share how-to articles (Prepare Your Home for Winter), consumer interest articles (Pool Safety, Flood Insurance) and consumer guides (Graduate’s Guide to Insurance) 6.Customizable press release templates •Helps garner local press coverage for your agency •Positions your agency as local authority on insurance 7.Syndicated Content Feed (RSS) for website •Automatically refreshes consumer content •Articles contain topical insurance content that is seasonally appropriate and completely vetted for accuracy and readability 8.Support from our many Trusted Choice® Company Partners •Marketing Reimbursement Program (MRP) •Get up to $500 back for co-branding your website and promotional items with Trusted Choice
JUST FOR FUN:
Farm and Small Town February 15-16 Cedar Shores Hotel and Conference Center Chamberlain, South Dakota
E & O Loss Control Seminar June 4 - Rapid City, SD June 5- Pierre, SD June 6- Aberdeen, SD June 7- Sioux Falls, SD
Reporters interviewing a 104-year-old woman: ‘And what do you think is the best thing about being 104? the reporter asked.. She simply replied, ‘No peer pressure.’
September 9-11 Annual Convention The “Big Event” will be held at the Lodge in Deadwood, SD. For room reservations please call 605-584-4800 be sure to tell them you are with the IIASD as we have setup a block of rooms for the event.
We Are The Calm Before The Storm
One Size Definitely Does Not Fit All Every one of your customers with a home or business needs flood protection, no matter where they are. Even those who think they are covered may find out they are drastically underinsured. Big “I” Flood Program and Wells Fargo Special Risks now offer Excess over Primary flood as well as flood in Non-participating Communities and Coastal Barrier Resources Act designated properties. Submit your quote request on Big “I” Markets at www.bigimarkets.com. Linda Mackey, Program Manager n 800.221.7917, ext. 5380
Wells Fargo Special Risks
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
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FRAUD CONVICTIONS The botched boat boondoggle went belly-up. Erik James was part of a hapless crew that tried to sink a cohort’s commercial fishing boat for a $400,000 insurance payday. The Goshen, NJ, man helped crew the Alexander II. The sorry bunch took the vessel 86 miles off Cape May, then tried to sink it, but the boat would not go down. They sent a distress signal, abandoned ship on a life raft, and were rescued by the Coast Guard. They did not disguise their con very well. The damaged vessel had little fuel, ice, food, or other supplies for a lengthy fishing trip. The log also was doctored to read that more than 50 fish weighing 3,000 pounds total were caught, but no fish were found aboard. James pleaded guilty Monday and faces up to five years in federal prison when sentenced. The boat’s owner was convicted earlier this year.
New Office in Rapid City, SD Bruce Eleeson & John Keffeler Ph: 605-791-5565 Assignments: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Brad Wilson AIC SDWCS Case Managers Donna Passick RN CCM Kelly Rud RN BA LNCC Deb Whipple RN BA CCM Brenda Whiting RN 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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A squatting vagrant burned up Randall Craig Shook’s mobile home, the Las Vegas-area man lied to his insurer. The mobile home park’s manager smelled smoke and entered Shook’s home. Heavy smoke was billowing from the rear bedroom. Fire fighters discovered discarded food wrappers, clothes, and a sleeping bag, sure signs of a fire-starting squatter, Shook hoped his insurer believed. But the fire was started in four places. Shook also had turned off the home’s power and put the place up for sale. Shook claimed mental illness caused him to burn his home. He pleaded guilty Tuesday and must repay $6,296, the AG announced. Fessing up did not keep Christopher Roach from a felony conviction. The Philadelphia-area man called his insurer, saying he was driving his 2005 GMC Sonoma truck when it hit a school bus after sliding on ice. Capitol Insurance paid Roach $3,808. He called back six months later and admitted he had lied about being the driver. The truck was registered to him but a woman was behind the wheel during the crash, the state AG says. Local police at the crash scene had cited her for driving without a valid driver’s license. Roach received three years of probation and must repay Capitol Insurance. Tamara Thompson-Johnson was attending a professional conference at the Las Vegas Hilton when an intoxicated patron dislodged a vase that whacked her, the Maryland woman claimed. ThompsonJohnson refused medical treatment at the scene, but told security that she was hit. She then checked into a hospital. But the vase missed her, surveillance footage showed. She is seen talking on her cell phone when the patron knocks over the vase. She helps people clean up the debris then leaves the scene. The Hilton denied her claim and her lawyer stopped representing her. Thompson-Johnson then made a workers comp claim against her employer’s insurer, Travelers Insurance. She was disabled when the vase struck her on her back, back of her head and neck, she lied. Travelers paid $20,000 on her claim. Thompson-Johnson received 2 1/2 years in a Nevada prison, the state AG announced Wednesday.
A disgraced lawyer used his crooked legal instincts for a crooked insurance claim. William Bouda had been disbarred for exhibiting a pattern of deception. Next working as a claims examiner, the Omaha, NE, man fabricated a claim to have the insurer issue a $160,000 check. Bouda’s plan: use the money to pay off a judgment against a former client. The check was sent to a law firm, which grew suspicious and contacted the insurer. Bouda received six months in federal prison Monday. A bogus home health-care firm in Miami tried to rob Medicare of $60 million with claims for worthless services. Nurses and office staff at Nany Home Health falsified patient files by documenting fake symptoms that made Medicare beneficiaries seem qualified for home health care and therapy. The symptoms suggested the patients could not self-inject insulin and were homebound. Recruiters and purported “staffing agencies” actually brought patients to the firm. Roberto and Olga Gonzalez and their son Fabian lodged the $60 million in claims in just three years. The federal agency paid them about $40 million. The trio pleaded guilty Monday. The convictions stem from investigations by a Medicare strike force which operates in nine locations around the US and has busted more than 1,140 suspects since March 2007. Prison could not keep chiro Dean Ziegler down on the fraud farm. The Allentown, PA, man was in prison on unrelated charges but billed insurers more than $3,300 for 10 phantom appointments while in the slammer. Ziegler also inflated bills for 12 manualtherapy treatments before going to prison. He pleaded guilty Wednesday and faces up to seven years in prison when sentenced in January.
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6 Sales Tips to Help You Stand Out From the Crowd When Selling In sales you simply must stand out from other salespeople, not just the ones in your industry, but ALL the salespeople that are calling on your prospects and customers, as they are also competing for their time, attention, and money. Here are several ways to be unique in sales. 1) Exceed customer expectations. Go above and beyond; under promise and over deliver. Do more than the customer would ever expect you to do. You exceed customer expectations by delivering more, better, and/or faster. Deliver earlier than expected (assuming the customer can take delivery sooner) and deliver more than expected. If your customer tells you they need it within five weeks, deliver it in three, or sooner, if you can. If possible, include a little something extra that the customer wasn't expecting. Focus on always delivering a little more than you are being paid for. If you make a habit of going above and beyond and delivering more than is expected, you will have happy customers. 2) Focus on your unique selling proposition. You, your company, and your product have advantages that your competition does not. What are those advantages and unique benefits? You, for one, are the one thing your competition doesn't have. With a simple decision to do so, you can be more focused on and more committed to your customers and prospects than anyone else. Sell the unique value that you, your company, and your product have to offer. 3) Do the things that most other salespeople don't. Send personal, hand-written thank you notes, followup promptly, and do what you say you'll do, when you say you'll do it. Send holiday gifts, ask better questions, and know the industry and how it affects your customers and prospects better than the competition does. Be a true business partner with customers and prospects.
4) Stay in touch and build solid relationships with your customers. Obviously the better your relationships with your customers, the better customers they will be. Work hard at getting customer and prospect information, and use that information to build strong relationships. Show a sincere interest in what your customers and prospects are interested in. Reach out to customers via mail, e-mail, phone, and in-person visits. Focus on building solid personal relationships with all your contacts. 5) Dare to be different. Be unique in your approach. Here are some quick examples: •One salesman we know has a unique way to get to “tough to reach prospects”. He buys small plastic skeletons at a Halloween Store and puts them in envelopes with his business card and a note attached; the note reads, “This is me waiting for you to call.” •A woman who is the top salesperson at her company buys cheap baby shoes then attaches a business card and note, “Just trying to get my foot in the door.” •One woman sings to “difficult to reach” prospects on their voice mail. •A top salesperson for a pharmaceutical company dresses up for Halloween and brings candy. •A top computer salesperson puts helium balloon in a box with his card attached. NOTE: Make sure the ceiling isn’t too high. •Another top salesperson sends his customers six cards a year: Thanksgiving, holiday, birthday, anniversary (the anniversary date of the day the customer started doing business with him), the start of Spring, and the start of Summer. Yes, some of these ideas are a bit out there, but they absolutely work and will definitely set you apart.
6) Be more committed than everyone else. Decide that you are willing to work as hard as you need to in order to help your prospects and customers be successful. In addition to working hard, commit yourself to working smart to find creative solutions for prospects and customers. Dedicate yourself to professional and personal growth and commit yourself to your success as well as that of your customers. Be the one that comes to mind when customers think of: professionalism, work ethic, and integrity. With the speed of business today and the vast amounts information and people all begging for our attention, you MUST greatly differentiate yourself. These six tips will help you stand out and thus garner you more time, attention, and business from prospects and customers. John Chapin is a speaker, sales trainer, and co-author of the gold-medal winning “Sales Encyclopedia” a comprehensive how-to guide on selling. “Sales Encyclopedia” is written for sales professionals in any industry at any level of experience. Utilizing more than 21 years of sales experience and as a number one salesperson in three industries, John co-founded Complete Selling Incorporated, a company helping salespeople significantly increase their sales and find their motivation. If you would like free 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
HELP WANTED : North Star Mutual Insurance Company of Cottonwood, MN has openings for Claims Adjusters in Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. See Careers tab at www.nstarco.com for more information.
Just a guppy when it comes to selling flood?
For permission to reprint, or to reach John, email him at email@example.com.
ALWAYS REMEMBER THIS: You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, You grow old because you stop laughing.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 221-7917. Let us explain how we operate in, above, and outside the NFIP!
FLOOD In, Above, and Outside the NFIP!
TOP 10 benefits IIASD provides For You 1.E&O Insurance, education and support
IIASD works with two premiere agent’s errors and omissions insurance writers. Both Westport and Fireman’s Fund offer solid core coverage policies which can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your agency. These carriers are noted for their stability and strength in the field. Coverage with either company can be written through IIASD with alternate markets available for those who do not qualify. In addition to the actual E&O policy, IIASD offers services to help you make the most of your coverage. The association holds up to four loss prevention semianrs each year in locations around the state. The seminars provide loss control credit for your policy premiums. as well as CE credit to keep your license current. Our administrator is available to assist you with any questions or policy service you may require.
2.Political alliance and advocacy
Insurance is one of the most highly regulated industries in the U.S., but as a member of IIASD, you can rest assured that an entire network of people are representing your interests in the South Dakota State Legislature and the U.S. Congress, as well as with judicial and regulatory bodies and industry groups. IIASD Legislative Day is our annual event where members come together in Pierre to learn the details of pending insurance legislation and to meet with elected officials. Legislative and regulatory updates are also available by email during the legislative session and special notices or action alerts are brought to your attention for immediate action and response when urgent issues arise. IIABA offers a national legislative conference to which we send delegates who meet with federal representatives. Two political action groups are also working on your behalf: IPAC supports agent-friendly legislation in South Dakota and InsurPac works on the national level.
With events and seminars scheduled throughout the year, IIASD provides a valuable networking experience you can’t get on your own. The Farm & Small Town Conference, River Days/Walleye Classic and Annual Convention draw hundreds of agents, company partners and vendors to relaxed yet business-like atmospheres where trade ideas and tips are shared. Each event targets a different demographic, so you’re never looking for someone who understands your point of view.
4. Industry specific education
No one but IIASD can offer you such an array of practical courses and at the same time, earning the CEC needed to maintain your specific insurance license. Our education calendar addresses the P&C agent, Life Agent and Crop Insurance Agent’s needs. We are always attempting to keep you current on technical issues, marketing and ethics as well.
5.Information at your fingertips
Whether it’s a question about the application of a policy exclusion, the use of coverage checklists, cross-selling or small business regulations, the IIASD staff is there to help. If we are unable to answer your question, we will do our best to find someone who can. IIABA’s Virtual University is another invaluable resource for all your agency needs. The VU is an electronic library of articles, sample policy forms, white papers, checklists and charts. There are sections to address everything from business practices to industry hot topics. The VU “Ask an Expert” feature allows you to send technical questions to faculty members for their expert insight.
DON’T GET BITTEN BY AN E&O CLAIM YOU COULD HAVE AVOIDED.
Big “I” Risk Management Website
www.independentagent.com/EOHappens Big “I” members whose agency E&O insurance is written by Swiss Re through the Big “I” Professional Liability Program have access to an exclusive risk management web site.
DON’T BE ON THE HOOK FOR: Failing to procure coverage requested by the client Not adequately identifying client exposures Failing to provide timely notice of a claim to the carrier
Log on today to fish for E&O claims frequency data, real-life case studies and analysis, sample client letters, sample agency procedures, agency E&O self assessments, podcasts on important E&O topics, and much more.
Misrepresenting or not explaining policy provisions Providing inaccurate information to carriers Failing to properly add additional insureds or loss payees
Top 10 Benefits IIASD provides you continued:
6.Risk management tools
As an insurance agent, you know all about risk, but you may still need help managing your own. The Virtual Risk Consultant, the Agency Shield Program and the E&O Happens website are all tools available to help you do just that. The VRC is an online resource that will help you evaluate prospects and find the right coverage by identifying the operations and risk in specific industries. Try the VRC demonstration online at www.iiaba.net/ vrc. The Agency Shield Program for Swiss RE E&O policyholders is an easy, efficient way to bring a risk management consultant into your own office. You complete an online survey, which ASP coordinators use to develop an action plan that will lead you to better productivity, increased profits and reduced E&O claim exposure. As an added bonus, agencies that complete the program receive a 10% credit on their E&O policy premium for three years. “E&O Happens” is a risk management website created for Swiss RE E&O policyholders. Resources on the site include claims data, sample client letters, agency self-assessments, case studies and more. “E&O Happens” also includes information on ASP and VRC.
7. IIASD Newsletter
Published monthly, the IIASD electronic newsletter is available at www.iiasd.org. With a click of your mouse, you can view this great publication which offers the diversity of local and national news and views. Each issue contains information about the association, state and national news, tips for your agency operations and updates on the industry at large. Technology, E&O, News from our State Division and a Letter from the Executive VP are feature columns each month.
8.Specialty and alternative markets
As an independent agent, you want to cover all of your clients’ needs and IIASD helps you do that with access to the RLI Umbrella Program and Big “I” Markets. The stand-alone Personal Umbrella Liability Policy gives your clients an additional layer of liability insurance protection with broad underwriting guidelines and competitive premiums. Big “I” Markets is yet another outstanding way to broaden the options available to your clients. The program gives you access to specialty and niche coverage, program business and hard-to-find markets with no minimum volume commitment and generous commissions. Big “I” Markets offers access to both commercial and personal coverages.
9. Industry links
IIASD has developed strong company partnerships with the carriers that do business in our state. These relationships and support assist us in providing our member agents with quality services and resources. Links to valuable industry contacts can be found on our website. When looking for new markets, IIASD can assist you with locating carriers.
10.Unified brand for independent agents
Independent agents compete for business against advertising giants with massive brand recognition. Trusted Choice is your answer. Your IIASD membership includes access to the national Trusted Choice branding campaign, which includes tag-able advertising, marketing reimbursement, use of the Trusted Choice logo and much more. Be a part of our television ad campaign by signing up to be taped for our “Find a Trusted Choice Agent” TV ads. If you have agreed to the Pledge of Performance by paying your 2012 IIASD Membership Dues, your agency is also included on the Trusted Choice agency locator used by consumers across the country. By marketing your business as a Trusted Choice agency, you tell your clients and potential clients that you are working for their best interests.
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Open an account online and fetch a return with our IRA.
IIABA offers you an IRA product comprised of leading mutual funds, as well as a guaranteed fund through Prudential Retirement, Insurance and Annuity Company which currently pays an annual 3.35% rate of return. Direct your own assets through an innovative online platform along with a toll-free access to IRA customer service representatives 7 days a week. With the IIABA IRA, you also enjoy:
Online account access The ability to trade among investment options as
often as you want with no transaction fees 24/7 account access via a toll free voice response system Superior Customer Support
Get started today at www.theiracenter.com/IIABA! Please note 3.35% rate is effective January 1, 2011 through June 30, 2011.
FLOOD INSURANCE GRANTS ADDITIONAL TIME TO FILE CLAIMS FOR SUMMER 2011 FLOOD LOSSES RELATED TO THE MISSOURI RIVER The Federal Government has announced a Limited Waiver of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy to Extend the Time for Sending Proofs of Loss in the States of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri. The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) requires a policyholder to send the insurer a complete, signed, and sworn-to proof of loss within sixty (60) days after the date of loss. To assist policyholders, FEMA issued NFIP Clearinghouse Bulletin W-11050, dated July 20, 2011. That Bulletin provided a limited waiver of the 60-day time frame within which to file the SFIP required signed and sworn-to proof of loss and authorized an additional 60-day extension of the proof of loss deadline. Because NFIP policyholders continue to encounter difficulties filing timely proofs of loss, FEMA is providing a second limited waiver of the 60-day time period and an additional extension of time for filing the proof of loss. The authority for this waiver is found in Paragraph D of the General Conditions section of each SFIP. For example, under the SFIP, the NFIP policyholder who incurred a flood loss on June 1, 2011, was required to send the proof of loss to the insurer by July 31, 2011. Now that same policyholder would have until January 27, 2012, to send the required signed and sworn-to proof of loss.
SOFT MARKET MIGHT BE ENDING FOR SEVERAL LINES, ACCORDING TO RIMS BENCHMARK SURVEY Average renewal premiums in three of four lines of business tracked by the Risk and Insurance Management Society’s Benchmark Survey increased in the third quarter, strongly suggesting that an eight-year period of falling commercial insurance rates is at its end. The RIMS Benchmark Survey tracks changes in average program renewal premiums for director & officer’s liability, general liability and property and workers’ compensation, as reported by risk managers. The survey is administered by Advisen Ltd.
Of the four lines, only D&O posted a decrease, falling 1.9 percent. The average renewal premium increased 1.2 percent in GL, 1.6 percent in property and 2.1 percent in workers’ compensation. “Indications have been strong over the past couple of quarters that the market was near bottom, so it’s not surprising to see premiums drifting upward a bit now,” says Dave Bradford, President of Advisen’s Research & Editorial Division and editor-in-chief of the survey. “Sharply higher rates like we saw in 2001 are nowhere in sight, though. The market is still quite competitive. ”Premiums skyrocketed in 2001 and 2002, following a deep and prolonged soft market. The stock market crash of 2000-2002 and massive insured losses from the September 11 terrorist attacks are often cited as catalysts for that hard market, according to RIMS. “Average premiums may be showing modest increases, but it seems pricing generally is still quite favorable in most lines,” says Frederick Savage, FCII, ARM, RIMS Board of Directors. “It would likely take a very large catastrophe or series of catastrophes to trigger a hard market along the line of what we saw a decade ago. Of course, that could happen at any time, but at the moment the insurance market seems to be behaving rationally. Risk managers should budget for somewhat higher insurance costs, but capacity remains abundant, which should help to dampen rate increases.”
2011 CONGRESSIONAL TRACK RECORD With a lot of focus on the failure of the “Supercommittee” to come to a deal on the budget, and Iowa agents concerned with budget ramifications to crop insurance in the next farm bill, it is interesting to look at Congress’s track record for 2011. As of December 1st, a total of only 44 bills and joint resolutions have cleared both the House and the Senate. Thirty-one of the bills were minor pieces of legislation. For example, eight named Federal buildings after people (many buildings are named after Members of Congress), three appointed or reappointed Smithsonian Institution board members, five involved continuing appropriations, one bill extended the FBI director’s term to 25 months, and another changed the due date of the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act final report, four other bills were broken into small parts of the same act – the Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2011. Nine bills were extensions of previous laws scheduled to sunset (for example the flood insurance program).
If you don’t have a direct appointment with Travelers commercial, but think you would benefit from having online access to its Select Accounts products, then keep reading!
There are dozens of classes that qualify including accountants, dentists, lawyers and…insurance offices!
Big “I” Markets and Travelers Select Accounts are partnering to provide you a complete range of coverage solutions, services, competitive products and pricing that offer your insureds and you both value and flexibility. You can now write the Master Pac SM Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) starting with Office PacSM and soon to be expanded to more than a dozen segments of the commercial marketplace.
As a registered user of Big “I” Markets you have access to Office Pac right now!
Office Pac is designed for a variety of firms providing including insurance offices, medical, legal, financial or other professional services for their clientele. Travelers’ proprietary BOP product, Master Pac, includes a broad array of industry-specific coverage options and coverage extensions that can be tailored to your clients’ needs.
To review a complete listing of eligible classes or to retrieve your Big “I” Markets password, please visit www.bigimarkets.com. P.S. Why not quote your own agency and see if you can save some money on your own business insurance while paying yourself commission to do so!
Travelers’ exposure-based definition makes it easy for you to prequalify a risk, saving you time and increasing your revenue. Simply review the industry-specific exposure guidelines in the Product Resources section of the Office Pac product on Big “I” Markets to quickly determine accounts that are eligible for Master Pac. The time you save by pre-qualifying accounts can be allocated towards growing your business and servicing larger clients.
There were 13 bills that appear to be of some significance, and it is understandable these take some time to craft into their final versions. Four were trade pacts with Colombia, Panama and South Korea which have been waiting for action for years. Three more bills relate to budgets – the most noteworthy was S.365 as it was the Budget Control Act of 2011 passed this summer in part creating the Supercommittee! HR1473, the Department of Defense and Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act, and the HR754 which made appropriations for intelligent activities of the government. Two more bills dealt with the veterans, HR2647, the Veterans Health Care Facilities Capital Improvement Act of 2011 (names two facilities after people and addresses health care for veterans) and HR1383, the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011. Two more bills passed that deal with consumers or children HR 2883, the Child and Family Services Improvement Act, and HR2715 which amends the Consumer Product Safety Act by addressing lead in toys. Finally, two more bills HR1249 the Leahy-Smity America Invents Acts, which impacts patent system, and HR4 which repeals the expanded Form 1099 information reporting which was fixing a problem in a previous passed bill. This is a total of only 44 pieces of legislation making it to the President’s desk. Less may be better though, don’t forget the last Congress passed The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which was 2,074 pages that now is being challenged by 26 states claiming it is unconstitutional. Latest polls show that 53% of Americans want the legislation repealed. So maybe less is better after all?
2011 AVERAGE ANNUAL HEALTH INSURANCE PREMIUMS FOR FAMILY HEALTH BENEFITS TOP $15,000, UP 9 PERCENT After several years of relatively modest premium increases, annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage increased to $15,073 this year, up 9 percent from last year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust 2011Employer Health Benefits Survey. On average, workers pay $4,129 and employers pay $10,944 toward those annual premiums. Premiums increased significantly faster than workers’ wages (2.1 percent) and general inflation (3.2 percent). Since 2001, family premiums have increased 113 percent, compared with 34 percent for workers’ wages and 27 percent for inflation.
"This year’s nine percent increase in premiums is especially painful for workers and employers struggling through a weak recovery," Kaiser President and CEO Drew Altman, Ph.D. said. According to Maulik Joshi, Dr.P.H., president of HRET and senior vice president for research at the American Hospital Association, "survey findings related to the impact of early provisions in health reform provide valuable insight for employers, providers, consumers, and policymakers as they prepare for additional provisions to take effect by 2014." In particular, the survey estimates that employers added 2.3 million young adults to their parents’ family health insurance policies as a result of the health reform provision that allows young adults up to age 26 without employer coverage of their own to be covered as dependents on their parents’ plan. Young adults historically are more likely to be uninsured than any other age group. The study also finds 31 percent of covered workers are in high-deductible health plans, facing deductibles for single coverage of at least $1,000, including 12 percent facing deductibles of at least $2,000. Covered workers in smaller firms (3-199 workers) are more likely to face such high deductibles, with half of workers in smaller firms facing deductibles of at least $1,000, including 28 percent facing deductibles of $2,000 or more. These numbers in part reflect the rise of consumer-driven plans, which are high-deductible plans that include a tax-preferred savings options such as a Health Savings Account or Health Reimbursement Arrangement. Over the past two years, more firms have started to offer these plans, and the share of covered workers enrolled in this type of plan has doubled, from 8 percent in 2009 to 17 percent in 2011. Plans that can be used with a Health Savings Account have lower premiums than other plan types, but must have annual deductibles of at least $1,200 for an individual and $2,400 for a family this year. www.iiaba.net/Flood
It’s time to upgrade to Big “I” Flood. Individual attention. Education and guidance. Timely response. Going above and beyond. These are the hallmarks of excellent service you strive to provide your clients every day. Are you getting the same kind of treatment from your current flood carrier? 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!
FLOOD In, Above, and Outside the NFIP!
FARM & SMALL TOWN AGENTS CONFERENCE 2012 SPRING CROP INSURANCE UPDATE CEDAR SHORES RESORT- OACOMA/CHAMBERLAIN February 15-16, 2012
4 Seminars Offering Continuing Education Credits (pending approval) Call 605-234-6376 for reservations and let them know you are with the Independent Insurance Agents of SD. The 2012 Farm and Small Town Agents Conference and Spring Crop Update will be held in Oacoma, SD on February 15 and 16 at the Cedar Shores Resort and Convention Center. 2012 South Dakota Legislative Update1 hour General CEC Presenter: Merle Scheiber, Director, Division of Insurance
2012 Spring Crop Insurance Update- (State & Federal) - 4 hours Crop CEC (pending) Instructor: Doug Hagel and Staff of Risk Management Agency
Is Our Homeowners Insurance in Crisis? -
Instructor: A.W. (Jeff) Jeffus, CPCN, CAM, AAM, AIM
Where Have All the Years Gone?
Presenter: Russ Fischer of Fischer Unlimited
3 hours Property/Casualty CEC 1 hour General CEC
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 15
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 3:00 p.m. - 4:30p.m. 5:00 p.m. - 7:00p.m. 7:00 p.m.
Registration Spring Crop Update - 4 hrs Crop CEC (pending) Where Have All the Years Gone?- Russ Fischer of Fischer Unlimited 1 hr. Gen. Legislative Update -1 hr. Gen. CEC The Brand-The Name- Trusted Choice- Dave Evans IIABA Hospitality Room- Poolside Banquet with Special Farm Columnist/Speaker
7:00 a.m. - 7:45 a.m. 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. 11:15 a.m.
Breakfast Buffet Is Our Homeowners Insurance in Crisis? - 3 hrs. P&C CEC Noon Luncheon
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16
Payment must be received with registration. Send form in with payment or you can also go to www.iiasd.org and register online. Payment must be sent with this form. (Checks payable to IIASD) Payment:
Check Enclosed; or
Card No. ______________________________________________Card VeriďŹ cation No.______ Exp. Date _______ Billing Address ________________________________________________________________________________ Cardholder Name_____________________________ Signature __________________________________________ Independent Insurance Agents of South Dakota, PO Box 327, Pierre, SD 57501 Phone 605-224-6234; Fax 605-224-6235
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2012 FARM & SMALL TOWN AGENTS CONFERENCE NAME/NAMES: __________________________________________________________________________________ AGENCY/CO (if any): ______________________________________PHONE # _____________________________ ADDRESS:____________________________________________CITY & ZIP: _______________________________ _____$75
Choose one of the following:
IIASD Member/Company Registration
_____$150 Non-member Registration
_____$50 Crop Seminar Only _____$50 Crop Seminar with hospitality & banquet
POWER IN PARTNERS
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