ION T N E V N O EC H T E R O F BE P U G N I M WAR RS O S N O P S NY A P M O C W IIA 4 1 0 2 3 1 0 OUR 2
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
APRIL 2014 | 1
The things people care about the most are the things they just
can’t afford to lose.
INDEPENDENT AGENT APRIL 2014 Eric Schwartz, Editor
2013-14 Exclusive Company Profiles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Open Door Policy Navigator Regulations Protect Consumers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 News From ACT A Decade Of Progress With Enormous Opportunities Ahead. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
On The Cover… Our 115th annual convention is next month (May 7 and 8!) and Growth By Association is what it’s all about. Our company sponsors on the cover make
Commentary From Counsel The Risk Of Driving School Forgiveness. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Government Affairs RRG Bill Challenges State Insurance Regulation. . . . . . . . . . 33
our convention (and many other events) possible throughout the year. For this, we are grateful for their continued support. Check out their business profiles starting on page 4 and register
Errors & Omissions Mind Your Business: New Risks Are On The Horizon. . . . . . . 36
for the convention at www.iiaw.com.
Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin 725 John Nolen Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53713 Phone: (608) 256-4429 or (800) 362-7441 ■ Fax: (608) 256-0170 ■ Web: www.iiaw.com
Most people are looking to save money any way they can. Especially on things they can’t even see. Like insurance. But inferior insurance is just plain useless. That’s why West Bend’s Home and Highway® policy makes sense. It protects just about everything your customers own: their homes, condos, or rental units, as well as their cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, even their family pets. It’s all on one policy with one bill and one deductible. And with West Bend, it’s backed by your knowledge and experience.
Executive Vice President - Matt Banaszynski 2013-2014 Executive Committee
2013-2014 Committee Chairs
President........................................................ Dave Dunker P.O. Box 443, Brookfield, WI 53008-0443
Agency Operations........................................ Kim Dandrea 1300 South Green Bay Rd. #100, Racine, WI 53406
President-elect............................................ John Wickhem P.O. Box 1500, Janesville, WI 53547-1500
Automation/Technology................ Cathleen Christensen P.O. Box 949, Fond du Lac, WI 54936-0949
Secretary-Treasurer.......................................... Steve Leitch P.O. Box 85, River Falls, WI 54022
Employee Benefits.............................................. Tim Bever 555 Main St. #320, Racine, WI 53403
Chairman of the Board...................................... Mike Froh P.O. Box 1320, Sheboygan, WI 53082-1320
Finance & Compensation............................... Steve Leitch P.O. Box 85, River Falls, WI 54022
State National Director................................. Linda Steiner 555 Main Street #320, Racine, WI 53403
Government Affairs........................................Skip Hansen 100 North Corporate Drive #100 Brookfield, WI 53045
2013-2014 Board of Directors
Industry Relations.............................................. Tom Sitter P.O. Box 2424, Oshkosh, WI 54903-2424
Mike Ansay 101 East Grand Ave. #11, Port Washington, WI 53704 Jason Bott 330 East Kilbourn Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53202
West Bend. Insurance your customers buy when they can’t afford anything less.
Thomas Holter P.O. Box 938, Beloit, WI 53512-0938 Lise Meyer Kobussen P.O. Box 633, Sauk City, WI 53583 Bruce Kommers P.O. Box 66, Antigo, WI 54409-0066 Brian McClone 505 North Westfield Street, Oshkosh, WI 54902 Jeff Rasmussen 525 Junction Road, Madison, WI 53717 Michael Walston P.O. Box 236, Kewaunee, WI 54216-0236 Matthew Weimer 100 North Corporate Drive #100, Brookfield, WI 53045
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
Membership Development.................................. Jeff Thiel P.O. Box 1610, Waukesha, WI 53187-1610 Smaller Agencies..................................... Michael Walston P.O. Box 236, Kewaunee, WI 54216-0236 Technical.......................................................Andy Burkart P.O. Box 1320, Sheboygan, WI 53081-1320 Young Agents............................................. Janelle Higgins 6200 Mineral Point Road, Madison, WI 53705-4504
> OUR ADVERTISERS AAA................................................................. 46 ACUITY Insurance............................................ 20 Applied Underwriters.........................Back Cover Badger Mutual................................................. 43 Burns & Wilcox................................................ 29 Capital Remediation........................................ 45 Guard Insurance.............................................. 47 IIAW Continuing Education............................... 41 Insurance Associates of America.................... 44 Integrity Insurance......................................... 30 Northern Underwriting Managers................... 39 Partners Mutual.............................................. 43 Pekin Insurance............................................... 45 Project Cap....................................................... 8 Robertson Ryan.............................................. 27 SECURA Insurance........................................... 32 SFM Insurance................................................. 34 The IMT Group.................................................. 31 West Bend......................................................... 2 Western National Insurance............................ 22 Wilson Mutual.................................................. 40 APRIL 2014 | 3
2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
AAA Wisconsin, a member of the Auto Club Group Location of Company Headquarters: Madison, WI Founded: 1902 Officers:
Chuck Podowski, Chief Executive Officer Terry McElroy, ACG Executive Vice President John Tomlin, ACG Chief Operating Officer Robert Jacobson, ACG Chief Underwriting Officer Steve Brown, Senior Vice President Steve Wagner, President - ACG North Field Operations Fausto Martin, Vice President and Chief Claim Officer
Products Company Specializes In: The Auto Club Group Insurance Co. and Auto Club Insurance Association underwrite the insurance offered by AAA Wisconsin, which is part of the Auto Club Group, the largest affiliation of AAA clubs in the Midwest and South with more than 8.8 million members in 11 states. We offer personal lines auto, home, umbrella and recreational vehicle products. Through our affiliate, AAA Life Insurance Company, we also offer Term, UL, Whole Life and annuities. Our Independent Agents also sell the safety and security of our AAA membership. The membership offers 24-hour emergency road service, exclusive member discounts of up to 20 percent or more on hotels, dining, shopping, free maps, and discounts off of auto and home insurance.
Robert Jacobson, VP and Chief Underwriting Officer Tom Frymark, Regional President, Wisconsin Heidi Nienow, Regional Sales Director, Wisconsin Other Comments AAA is the insurance industry leader when it comes to advocating for the motoring public. Since AAA was formed on March 4, 1902, the organization has been campaigning for better roads, safer automobiles and uniform traffic laws and signage. Today as one of the largest membership organizations in the nation, we continue to advocate for all motorists, from our youngest citizens and the need to keep them secure in car seats, to our teen drivers in our driver training classes, and to our seasoned drivers and their desire to remain mobile for as long as safely possible. We are also proud of the fact that AAA is the largest leisure travel agency in the country. Company Website: AAA.com
ACUITY Location of Company Headquarters: Sheboygan, WI Founded: 1925 Officers: Ben Salzmann, President & CEO Ed Felchner, Vice President - Marketing & Personal Lines Jamie Loiacono, Vice President - Claims Sheri Murphy, Vice President - Services & Administration Pat Tures, Vice President - Actuarial & Strategic Information Marcus Knuth, Vice President - Enterprise Technology Joan Ravanelli Miller, General Counsel and VP - HR
Products Company Specializes In: Commercial Lines: ACUITY writes accounts of virtually any size, from small Bis-Pak (BOP) policies to accounts generating millions of dollars in premium. We emphasize underwriting discipline and utilize loss control to help pre-qualify accounts. This enables us to be open to many classes, including the best of tougher classes other companies won’t write. Our Bis-Pak program is one of the broadest of its kind in the industry and includes 10 different plans. Our Internet rating tools make it easy for agents to quote and apply online, and ACUITY ASIST delivers actual policies within seconds. Because of these capabilities, a full 80 percent of new policies are rated and submitted electronically. We write a wide range of classes, placing emphasis on contractors, manufacturers, mercantile, service, truckers, and offices and offering specialized coverages to those accounts. Although we are a standard market, our ACUITY Edge commercial auto product provides agents a terrific market to write business that does not fit our regular guidelines.
Outlook For The Company’s Future In Wisconsin where we have 620,000 members, AAA ranks as the 10th largest writer of personal automobile and the 11th largest homeowners writer. Our goal is to become a premiere personal lines insurer and we plan to do that by providing a wide range of competitively priced products and excellent service to our 165 independent agencies in Wisconsin. We value our brand and work toward building strong partnerships with our independent agents and at the same time continue our commitment to public service and traffic safety. AAA is committed to the independent agency distribution channel.
Personal Lines. ACUITY is one of the broadest personal lines markets in the industry. We emphasize package policies, including our PerPak and Road and Residence, but we also write many monoline accounts. ACUITY is known for offering coverages many carriers will not, such as Home-Biz, UM-PD, Car Damage Replacement Cost, and OEM Parts. We provide enhancement endorsements to expand our competitive basic programs and also have two motorcycle programs and a broad nonstandard auto market. Because of the robust online capabilities we offer agents, 99.9 percent of applications come to us electronically. In addition to real-time online rating, we deliver actual policies to agents within seconds with ACUITY ASIST.
Ben Salzmann Wally Waldhart, Vice President - Sales & Communications Ed Warren, Vice President - Commercial Lines Wendy Schuler, Vice President - Finance Laura Conklin, Vice President - Business Consulting
Outlook for the Company’s Future In 2013, ACUITY recorded an incredible 92.4 combined ratio. We also passed the $1 billion revenue and $3 billion assets marks, achieving strong growth across all lines of business and throughout our 22-state operating territory. ACUITY had a record-setting gain of more than $140 million in written premium revenue, which represented a growth of 14.4 percent over 2012 and continued a fiveyear trend of annual increase in net written premium. In December 2013, we broke ground on a $130 million, 260,000-square-foot addition to our corporate headquarters. ACUITY expects to maintain this momentum into the future. A key reason for our optimistic outlook is our faith in and support of the independent agent distribution channel. We lead the industry in interfacing our online capabilities with management systems agents already use. ACUITY’s technology leadership is proven not just by the high level of system usage by our agents, but by the recognition we have received. We have earned more technology awards from industry standards association ACORD than any carrier in the nation. We have been named by InformationWeek magazine as one of the top technology firms in the country among all industries. ACUITY also offers financial strength and stability. We are rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s and are one of the top 65 P&C insurers in the country based on size. In addition, we have been named by Ward Financial Group, an independent industry benchmarking organization, as one of the 50 best-run insurers in the nation for the past 14 years, putting us in the top 2 percent of companies nationwide. With our voluntary staff turnover averaging less than 2 percent, ACUITY also offers agents a stable workforce. This low rate is directly attributable to the quality workplace we offer employees. ACUITY was selected as the best medium-sized workplace in America by Great CONTINUED ON PAGE 21
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
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2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Wisconsin Location Of Company Headquarters: N17 W24340 Riverwood Drive, Pewaukee, WI 53188 Founded: Proud resident of Wisconsin since 1940 Officers: Lawrence G. Schreiber, President & GM - Wisconsin Paul Nobile, Regional Vice President Sales & Account Management - Wisconsin Christy Neuber, Director State Underwriting - Wisconsin Matt Shumlas, Director Account Management Doug Arnold, Manager, Individual & Small Group Sales
At Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield we’re committed to transforming health care with trusted and caring solutions. We believe the best health insurance helps people stay healthy. That’s why our health plans go beyond simply providing health care coverage; Anthem encourages health and wellness by doing the following:
Cutting-edge technology a Online enrollment and self-service tools that save time for employers and members.
a O ffering large networks with outstanding physicians, specialists and hospitals.
360° Health Our innovative 360° Health® Program provides a customized health coverage solution for each employee. By identifying and providing the right programs and engaging employees to use them — we can help improve health and reduce medical claims.
a Issuing helpful reminders when it is time for preventive screenings. a Providing programs and information to help individuals take control of their health and manage chronic conditions. a O ffering comprehensive, “total body” insurance solutions including dental coverage, life insurance and pharmacy benefits management. Our value. We’ve been serving our members in Wisconsin since 1940. Located in Pewaukee, we have 1,377 associates on staff with over 1 million members in Wisconsin. Our parent company has over 60 years of experience and, for four years in a row, has been recognized among all health insurers as a Top 3 “America’s Most Admired Company” by Fortune magazine. Service that exceeds expectations a 97% of claims are processed in 30 days. a 99% claims dollar accuracy. a Live service hours: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. a Claims status available 24/7 online or by phone. Extensive provider networks a PPO: 4,458 primary care physicians, 5,606 specialists and 127 hospitals. a H MO: 3,384 primary care physicians, 4,686 specialists and 122 hospitals. a T he BlueCard® Program provides Blue Cross and Blue Shield members access to health care services when they’re traveling throughout the country — in addition to providers in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. a A ccess to a network of about 62,000 participating retail pharmacies across the country, including most major chains and many independent neighborhood pharmacies.
a Simplified claims processing.
Online tools Anthem.com offers health and wellness tools to help your employees make the most of their health care. It includes MyHealth Assessment, an online questionnaire that helps members look for health risks and ways to be healthier. Your employees can also find up-to-date health information, watch videos about health and wellness topics, and take advantage of health-related discounts. Integrated products and services a Pharmacy Benefit Management. a Behavioral and EAP. a Dental. a Vision. a Life and Disability. a Productivity Solutions. Benefits to employer a One account management contact. a Single renewal process. a Administrative efficiencies. Consumer-driven health plans Our Lumenos plans give your employees more control over their health care costs and choices. They can lower costs without giving up the quality of their care.
Capitol Insurance Companies Location Of Company Headquarters: Middleton, WI Founded: 1959 Officers: Stephen Sills, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Allen, President – Surety and Fidelity Dan McGinnis, President – Property & Casualty and Professional Liability John Rzepinski, Vice President - Finance John DiBiasi, Vice President – Distribution David Finkelstein, Vice President – Agency Field Operations Albania Lara, Vice President – Communications/Marketing Kevin Klestinski, Vice President – Underwriting Kathy McCarney, Vice President – Property & Casualty Operations Larry Seymour, Vice President – Actuarial Diane West, Vice President – Human Resources/Administration
About the Company Capitol Indemnity Corporation, Capitol Specialty Insurance Corporation and Platte River Insurance Company are subsidiaries of Alleghany Insurance Holdings LLC, whose parent company – Alleghany Corporation – is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol “Y”). Capitol Insurance Companies (Capitol) is licensed to underwrite insurance and surety products in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia through a national network of insurance agents and brokers. It is also a U.S. Treasuryauthorized company for surety bonds with an underwriting limit of up to $21 million per bond. Products Company Specializes In Capitol has been insuring business owners and meeting agents’ needs since 1959. Today, our experienced team underwrites specialty insurance products in niche areas of commercial property, casualty, professional liability and environmental liability market segments on either an admitted or surplus lines basis; miscellaneous professional liability insurance (e.g., Errors & Omissions), as well as fidelity and surety bonds. Our products are tailored to the needs of customers in more than 500 classes of businesses, including apartments/condominiums, banquet halls, beauty salons, campgrounds, contractors, day spas, day-care centers, detective agencies, hotels/motels, insurance agents, medical facilities, mobile home parks, resorts, restaurants, security firms, special events, sports leagues, surgical centers, taverns, and vacant buildings. In addition to providing contract surety bonds in the construction sector, our commercial fidelity and surety product offerings include business service bonds, employee dishonesty coverage, judicial bonds, probate bonds, and public official bonds.
Future Outlook Capitol has consistently produced an underwriting profit and has an A (“Excellent”) rating from A.M. Best Corporation. In 2009 and 2012 it was named one of the Best Places to Work in the Insurance Industry by Business Insurance. Building on our leadership position in the market, our committed team of experienced professionals, and strong agency relationships, we are optimistic about the future and keenly positioned to meet the demands of an ever-changing insurance marketplace. Other Comments Capitol’s focus is on the agent; delivering products that meet their needs, providing ease of business and quality customer service. We offer a host of ePortal services, including an Internet-based rating system, electronic transmission of applications, claims reporting, quick quotes, online billing, loss information, and agency reporting, as well as flexible billing options and unique coverage enhancements. Capitol’s employees are equally committed to the communities they serve, participating in various charitable events and sponsoring organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, and United Way. Company Website: www.capitol.net
a Allowed trend: down 5.6% vs. traditional plans. CONTINUED ON PAGE 21
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
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Investing in each otherâ€™s future.
2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
HANOVER INSURANCE GROUP INC. Location Of Company Headquarters: Worcester, MA Founded: 1852 Officers: Frederick H. Eppinger, President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Mueller, President - The Hanoverâ€™s Midwest Region Todd Bavery, Vice President - Regional Distribution Leader Andy Knipfer, Regional Vice President - Commercial Lines John Vose, Assistant Regional Vice President - Personal Lines The Best Partner for Independent Agents Over the past 10 years, The Hanover has made unprecedented investments, building a unique and distinctive organization staffed by talented professionals, exclusively focused on the needs of its agent and broker partners. The goal was to deliver innovative products and services to a select group of agents and brokers through an experienced and locally committed field force.
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Today, The Hanover offers a broad, innovative product portfolio across commercial, personal, and specialty lines. The Hanoverâ€™s commercial lines business has distinctive offerings in small commercial, middle market, and specialized industry segments. The companyâ€™s total solutions approach is executed locally by expert underwriting professionals, managing with responsive agent service. Through its international member company, Chaucer, The Hanover also underwrites business at Lloydâ€™s of London in several major insurance and reinsurance classes including political risk, marine, aviation and energy. In personal lines, The Hanover is a leading account writer of homes, autos, recreational vehicles and other personal coverages. In 2013, the company launched its new Platinum Experience, which offers a unique value in the marketplace by bundling homeowners and auto coverage with concierge service capabilities to help its agent partners win more account-oriented business. The Best of Both, Plus a Focus on Partnership Today, the company offers its agent partners and their customers a truly unique value. This comes from combining national carrier capabilities and strengths that are delivered with the local responsiveness of regional carriers. Each branch operates in their market with local decision making and underwriting authority to provide agents relevant products and services, informed by strong local market knowledge and deep agent relationships.
its selective distribution strategy focused on appointments and partnerships with the best local agents in each market, the company delivers greater franchise value to agents. The Hanover partnership philosophy is aimed at developing deep, long-term relationships that enable the company and its agents to create mutually sustainable long term value and differentiate in their local markets. At a Glance The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. is one of the top 25 property and casualty insurers in the United States and is one of the fastest growing P&C companies over the past decade. For over 160 years, The Hanover has provided quality products and services to businesses, individuals, and families â€“ and has consistently delivered on its promises to faithfully pay its claims. Since 1852 The Hanover has never missed paying a dividend. The Hanover is a leader in supporting local communities, with 85% employees contributing to United Way, thousands of hours of volunteering, and millions of dollars given to education and youth oriented charities. The Hanover is also environmentally responsible, with 100% of the electricity used on its Worcester, MA headquarters offset by certified wind energy, and nearly 700 tons of paper, 15 tons of cardboard, 40 tons of batteries and 1.3 tons of electronic equipment recycled last year alone. A.M. Best Company Rating The Hanover Insurance Groupâ€™s member insurance companies are rated â€œAâ€? (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company. Wisconsin agents interested in learning more about The Hanover can contact Andrew Knipfer at (262) 796-6735 and John Vose at (262) 796-6743. Company Website: For more information, please visit hanover.com.
The Hanover distributes its products and services exclusively through independent agents and brokers. Furthermore, with
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
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2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
INTEGRITY INSURANCE Location of Company Headquarters: Appleton, WI Founded: 1933 Officers: Jill Wagner, President Brent Hammer, Controller & Corporate Financial Manager Cindy Heindel, Vice President — Human Resources/Administration Steve Klingemann, Vice President — Personal Lines Christian Martin, Vice President — Claims Tim McAdow, Director of Communications Andy Ott, Vice President — Commercial Lines Integrity Insurance — A Partner of Choice Integrity Insurance, along with our network of Independent Agents, consistently provides high-quality service to our customers. Our brand promise is focused on service, trust, relationships and a commitment that our decisions and interactions will provide the ultimate customer experience – the way it should be®. Focused on being your Partner of Choice, Integrity’s vision is to set the industry standard for independent agency/carrier partnerships through exceptional service, entrepreneurial business ventures and customized, innovative opportunities based on agency expertise. Our Voice of the Customer program gathers feedback from customers, both agents and policyholders, who have experienced our service and allows us to continually improve on that service, establishing that we are a company that listens. Results from our December 2013 Agent survey revealed our satisfaction level increased year over year by over ten points – even though we were already performing at a high level. These measures confirm Integrity’s strategy and business approach has continued momentum in the marketplace. Integrity insurance is delivering marketing innovation to agents and policyholders. With the development of our commercial and personal lines based blogs, agents and their customers have access to industry information written by our front-line associates, eager to share their knowledge on a host of pertinent topics. Integrity provides support for social sharing of high-value content that not only makes a positive impact on our agents’ business, but we believe the information can improve the lives of all our customers. We believe delivering outstanding service – whether it be formalizing a consultative business model with our agents or processing claims for our insureds – is the key to our success. Our Claims associates continually work to deliver upon key metrics such as cycle time, estimate accuracy and a positive customer experience, all contributing to our high marks in customer satisfaction ratings.
We’re rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best and in partnership with Ohio-based Grange Insurance, a partner with $2 billion in assets and more than $1 billion in annual revenue. The affiliation with Grange is in the thirteenth year and continues to drive high value for agents and policyholders served by the entire enterprise. When you deal with Integrity, we’ll take care of your needs today and we’ll be here for you tomorrow. Commercial Lines We continue to write the best in class in almost any segment with underwriters ready to take your call. Our field underwriter program continues to be a strong asset for Integrity, complementing our service with personal assistance at the agency level, making it even easier to do business with Integrity. We continue to offer unique products such as our Business Owners Policy enhancement, BusinessAssure®, with intuitive access to quoting, competitive rates and 400+ classes. BusinessAssure opens up many new business opportunities for our agents in the small market arena while complementing our growing presence in the middle market arena. Our non-standard AutoAccel® product answers the need for those small businessowners who have less than 10 power units and require broader eligibility criteria. Integrity’s Loss Control representatives each boast over 30 years of experience in the industry and are well equipped to work with agents and insureds to help prevent losses that have an adverse impact on their business operations. Loss Control representatives are able to conduct onsite inspections and job-site surveys to identify loss drivers, assist in the development of workplace and fleet safety programs and offer OSHA compliance information. Personal Lines Agents look to us to provide products and coverages they can offer their clients to attract and retain customers. And they can do just that with IntegrityOne®, our “package” policy. This policy provides enhanced coverage, additional discounts and customer CONTINUED ON PAGE 21
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
THE IMT GROUP IMT INSURANCE COMPANY & WADENA INSURANCE COMPANY Location Of Company Headquarters: 4445 Corporate Drive, West Des Moines, IA 50266 Founded: 1884 Officers: Richard Keith, President & CEO Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President Dennis Patterson, Senior Vice President – Information Systems Richard Keith Greg Blythe, Vice President – Finance Brian Neitzel, Vice President – Research & Development Brad Buchanan, Vice President – Personal Lines Chris Owenson, Vice President – Claims Dalene Holland, Corporate Secretary Mark Vasey, Vice President – Commercial Lines Rich Nauman, Vice President – Marketing Ann West, Vice President – Information Systems Products Company Specializes In The IMT Group, consisting of IMT & Wadena Insurance Companies, is proud of its partnership and relationship with the Wisconsin Independent Insurance Agents. Together, we strive to meet and exceed the personal and commercial insurance needs of the residents of Wisconsin. Our companies offer the products needed for a well-rounded property and casualty agency at a competitive price. Wadena insurance has an advanced and modern auto program and a cutting-edge Businessowners policy including many specialty ‘PAKS’, along with Workers’ Compensation, Power Sports and Boatowners policies. IMT Insurance offers a wide array of personal and commercial lines products including Farm Liability, Homeowners, Bonds, Commercial Auto, Commercial Property, and Commercial Liability. Outlook For The Company’s Future We are proud of our Midwest heritage and our long, steadfast history as we have been doing business since 1884. We understand the needs of the people and agencies that reside in your area. We continue to be financially stable as both IMT and Wadena Insurance Companies received A (Excellent) ratings by A.M. Best. Our employee force also continues to be stable as 41% of our workforce has been with us for 10 years or longer. In addition, we’ve increased our employee base 14% since 2012, including a large number of Generation Y employees who have generated a high energy level within the company. Voted the Midsized #4 Top Workplace in Iowa in 2013, we firmly believe that in order to be successful, you must enjoy what you are doing. Our friendly, family-oriented employees carry the same Midwest values that our agents and insureds carry. We remain focused and committed to our 850+ Independent Insurance Agents across our six state territory (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota, Wisconsin) and look forward to a strong, continued partnership! WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
Other Comments Technology is a vital part of our business at IMT. We develop and maintain our own policy systems – all from our home office. Our systems are company-tested and agent-approved. In addition, we are committed to Social Media through our presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube. We are committed to our independent agents and the future! We’re differentiated from our competitors by the simple things. As a Midwest regional mutual company that values our relationships with Independent Insurance Agents, we do not have to answer to stockholders. Instead, we are able to actively listen to our Independent Insurance Agents. People buy their insurance from independent agents because they know them, like them, and trust them. That is exactly the reason Independent Insurance Agents do business with The IMT Group. When you think of The IMT Group, you can be sure it is a stable company with an eye on the past and a keen sense for the future. We will continue to live up to our slogan, “Be Worry Free with IMT!” Local Independent Insurance Agents interested in learning more about The IMT Group can contact Matt Casey at (800) 274-3531, ext. 897. Company Website: www.imtins.com
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2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE Location of Company Headquarters: Mayfield Village, OH Founded: 1937 Officers: Glenn Renwick, President & CEO John Barbagallo, Commercial Lines President John Sauerland, Personal Lines President Products Company Specializes In: Progressive is the number one writer of auto insurance through independent agents, with a network of more than 35,000 agents. Progressive is a leader in commercial lines and special lines, with coverages for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, boats, snowmobiles, personal watercraft and RVs. Additionally, umbrella and homeowners products are available for preferred customers at competitive rates.*
QBE REGIONAL INSURANCE Location of Company Headquarters: One General Drive, Sun Prairie, WI 53596 Founded: 1925 Officers: Jeff Post, Senior Vice President, Midwest Region Scott Cummins, Branch Vice President, Sun Prairie Roger Kaland, Branch Vice President, Milwaukee
Outlook For The Company’s Future Progressive provides innovative solutions for customers and agents. Snapshot®, the industry’s leading usage-based insurance program, offers drivers personalized rates and discounts for safe driving. Customers can even test drive Snapshot to see if they can save with the program before switching carriers.
Products Company Specializes In: QBE has partnered with Wisconsin’s independent agents to meet the needs of main street and personal lines clients for over 80 years. With local management and claims handling, the company is represented by over 275 agents across Wisconsin and has developed commercial and personal lines products to protect consumers’ most important assets.
Progressive continues to offer industry-leading technology, exceptional claims service, online and toll-free customer referrals and a co-op marketing program to leverage its highly recognizable national brand. Company Website: www.ProgressiveAgent.com *Progressive Home Advantage is underwritten by American Strategic Insurance and is available on a limited basis. John Sauerland
Commercial Lines: From small storefronts to high-value multilocation corporations, QBE’s US Middle Market Division provides insurance protection across a wide spectrum of Wisconsin properties. We leverage our Underwriting Expertise, Loss Control, Products and Services to make it possible. Our experts see opportunities where others don’t, looking at every way to contribute to your success. In fact, our understanding of risk and ability to manage it better gives your customers the reassurance they need to be successful. Our FlexBizSM program includes coverages, limits and extensions to meet the needs of over 400 classes of business. Personal Lines: QBE offers products to meet the needs of almost every household in Wisconsin. The introduction of a new processing system has improved agency efficiency and is the foundation for our FlexAuto® and FlexHomeSM products. In addition, our Crowne CondominiumSM product has been designed and priced to offer superior features and protection compared to a standard HO-6.
through other QBE member companies. These include NAU, the third largest crop insurer in the US, QBE Aviation, QBE Programs and in the near future, QBE Specialty. QBE continues to maintain the local presence, approachability and individual service agents have come to expect from us. We are committed to maintaining healthy products that are open for business, enabling Wisconsin agencies to quote and close more customers, with confidence. Other Comments QBE has insured Wisconsin autos, homes and businesses since 1925. Our heritage continues with QBE Insurance Group Limited, one of the top 20 insurers and reinsurers worldwide, with operations in all key global insurance markets. QBE is an Australian listed company based in Sydney, with operations in 47 countries and over 13,000 staff worldwide. QBE’s gross written premium was $17.98 billion in 2013. In 2013-14, new leaders with successful track records in US P&C were appointed, including David Duclos as CEO, Bob James for US P&C and Jeff Grange for QBE Specialty. Company Website: qbena.com FlexAuto, FlexHome, FlexBiz and Crowne Condominium are registered service marks of QBE Regional Companies (N.A.) Inc
Outlook for the Company’s Future As a member of QBE North America, with gross written premium of $5.85 billion in 2013, the company offers Wisconsin agents financial strength, stability and access to additional products and markets
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
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2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
SECURA INSURANCE Location Of Company Headquarters: Appleton, WI Founded: 1900 SECURA Leaders: John Bykowski, CEO & Chairman of the Board David Gross, President & COO Kathryn Sieman, Executive Vice President & CFO Scott Huiras, SVP–Claims Martin Arnold, SVP–Underwriting Jeffrey Bemis, VP & CIO Diana Buechel, VP–Personal Lines Underwriting Daniel Ferris, VP–General Counsel and Corporate Secretary Steve Miller, VP–Commercial Lines Underwriting Products Company Specializes In: Agents are true partners of SECURA, and that reflects in the company’s success year after year. Agents know its employees are easy to work with, responsive, and resourceful, which supports them in delivering top-notch products and service to their customers. The company offers a broad selection of Commercial, Personal, Farm-Ag, and Specialty insurance to agents, and works with more than 430 agencies in 12 states.
John Bykowski Robert Van Beek, VP–Agency Automation Jean Van Den Brandt, VP–Marketing Garth Wicinsky, VP–Human Resources Shane Roh, RVP–Sales Jeffrey Kargus, Controller
Risk management professionals at the company show policyholders how to improve working conditions for their employees. Their consultative method results in safer work environments, fewer losses, and lower premiums. Complementing this team approach is Prevention ConnectionSM, the company’s online risk management resource that provides agents and policyholders 24/7 access to safety videos and articles.
Commercial Lines represents 52 percent of its business. Agents rely on the company’s industry-specific expertise to offer coverages for retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, contractors, restaurants, and numerous other markets. Its Work Comp Nurse Hotline continues to offer a valuable, unique service that provides immediate medical guidance to policyholders’ injured workers. Not only is this service better for the injured worker, policyholders see less lost time and fewer claims that translate to lower premiums, and agents gain a more profitable book of business.
Agency training is a cornerstone of the company’s agent partnerships. Relevant topics and skilled presenters, as well as training that travels to agents, are key differentiators in its program offerings.
The carrier’s MILE-STONE® home and auto package policy offers the best combination of value, coverage, service, and convenience for Personal Lines policyholders. Lifestyle enhancements such as Pet ProtectorSM, Roadside Rescuer, Travel RescuerSM, and Identity Theft and Restoration Coverage give agents an edge attracting new customers.
The carrier’s financial strength is evident in its “A” Excellent financial rating by A.M. Best. It also is ranked as a Top 10 carrier nationwide by agents in the Making Business Easy survey.
An agribusiness product introduced in 2010 successfully expanded the company’s Farm Lines by meeting the needs of businesses that support farming operations, like grain haulers, seed dealers, and milk haulers. Its Farms Lines is the foundation of the company’s heritage and continues to be profitable. Agents help maintain the momentum of SECURA’s Specialty Line, which is a rapidly growing segment of the carrier’s portfolio. This line covers niche programs like sports and recreation, non-profit organizations, and special events such as hole-in-one insurance. These programs present more opportunities for agents to grow their books of business.
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Outlook for the company’s future SECURA reached new levels of growth and profitability in 2013. Its policyholders’ surplus increased to more than $321 million, a 17.7 percent gain; direct written premium (DWP) grew by nearly 11.6 percent to more than $466 million; and a combined ratio of 92.7 percent reflected the reward of profitability.
Leadership changes take place in July of this year. John Bykowski, CEO, will retire and remain the company’s Chairman of the Board. He’ll hand over the reins to Dave Gross, who will assume the role of President and CEO. Dave’s dedication to agent relationships and guidance in new product development and state expansions during his 17-year career with SECURA position him well to take over. His proven character and credentials will carry on in his new role.
SFM Mutual Insurance Company Headquarters: Minneapolis, Minn. Branch: Milwaukee, Wis. Founded: 1984 Officers: Bob Lund, President and CEO Terry Miller, Chief Financial Officer Scott Brener, General Counsel Steve Sandilla, Vice President – Strategic Business Operations Nick Marino, Director – Wisconsin Operations
Products Company Specializes In: SFM is a customer-owned mutual insurance group providing workers’ compensation coverage to more than 15,000 employers based in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota. SFM also insures their operations in many other states. The company specializes in claims, medical, legal and loss-control service, and is supported by in-house attorneys, doctors and other professional specialists. Convenient policyholder services: CompOnline® Risk Management System, online injury reporting, premium e-payments, online payroll reporting and audit, pay-as-you-go wage reporting, extensive education and loss control resources. Offers employment practices liability coverage, easily endorsed onto the SFM policy.
Chairman of the Board Gene Merriam and President and CEO Bob Lund
manage your entire book of business online; access client data. No minimum premium. SFM is financially strong with a growing surplus, positive net income, low expense ratio, low combined ratio, conservative investments, and debt-free. Helping Others SFM Foundation, now 6 years old, has committed more than $430,000 to help children of parents killed or injured on the job go to college. Agents are a main source of fundraising. Scholarships awarded so far involve workers’ comp claims handled by 26 different insurers. Company Information: Visit www.sfmic.com, or call (800) 937-1181.
SFM enjoys the highest levels of customer satisfaction: 93 percent of SFM policyholders renew each year. Outlook SFM is expanding in Wisconsin and has recently added additional claim and underwriting professionals to its already strong team. The company insures organizations of all types and all sizes— small, mid-size and large. The largest area of growth has been in Allied Health Care, defined as Retirement Living, Skilled Nursing, Group Homes and Hospital classes. SFM provides agents with a reliable market, competitive commissions and satisfied customers. It’s easy to do business with SFM: quote and bind online through SFM Agency Manager (SAM);
The company’s strength goes far beyond the CEO. Its long-term leadership team and deep talent pool are proof of a people-centered culture. Most recent promotions in 2013 included Kathryn Sieman to Executive Vice President and CFO, Marty Arnold to SVP – Underwriting, and Steve Miller to VP – Commercial Lines Underwriting. CONTINUED ON PAGE 21 WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
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2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
SOCIETY INSURANCE Location Of Company Headquarters: Fond du Lac, WI Founded: 1915 Senior Managers: Rick Parks, President and CEO William Reeves, Senior Vice President and COO Mike Zajicek, Vice President – Workers Compensation Claims Bill Bunzel, Vice President – Property, Auto and Liability Claims Amy Collett, Vice President – Human Resources Thomas Konop, Vice President – Information Systems D. Holly Lifke, Vice President – Commercial Lines Underwriting Dina S. Schultz, Vice President – Sales and Marketing Edwin Storer, Vice President – Finance and Treasurer Dominic Weber, Vice President – Actuary Products Company Specializes In: Society Insurance writes only commercial lines. As a niche market leader, the company has developed in-depth expertise in its core classes of business. Supported by long-term trade association endorsements from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and the Tavern League of Wisconsin, Society writes policies for more than 25 percent of the food and beverage establishments in Wisconsin. Society’s strong tradition of association partnerships and niche expertise also extends into hotels and motels, grocery and convenience stores, artesian contractors and food processors, auto repair garages and health care clinics. The protection Society offers for its core classes of business are consistently some of the most comprehensive on the market. Workers compensation insurance was the first coverage Society wrote when it was founded in 1915, and the company maintains a strong presence in this complicated and specialized line of business. Society’s claim management process keeps costs low for policyholders by stressing early intervention, advocating a quick return to work and obtaining the best medical provider discounts. Loss control services are customer-focused and tailored to the needs of both small and large businesses. Society also offers a number of internet-based safety tools for customers of all sizes. This combination of strong claim management and tailored loss control is a true competitive advantage that eliminates many problems business owners and agents may otherwise experience with workers compensation insurance.
Outlook for the Company’s Future Society Insurance continues to build on its strength as a regional carrier committed to service and value for its customers. In 2013, this focus helped Society Insurance increase policyholder surplus by nearly 14 percent, while total assets grew by nearly 7 percent. As a niche market leader, Society does not try to be all things to all businesses. Rather, the company concentrates on doing what it does better than anyone else — insuring its core niches — and will continue to do so going forward. Because of this focus on niche markets, the company better understands the lines of business it writes and has exceptional knowledge and experience with issues that are likely to arise. Other Comments In an industry not known for its creativity, Society isn’t afraid to be different. And it’s the small details at Society — they’re in each policy and they’re in the way the company underwrites and handles claims — that set the company apart. Society knows that agents and policyholders have unique needs that don’t always fit neatly within a strictly defined category, so Society offers insurance uniquely tailored to the businesses they write. Sharing core values and a commitment to service with agency and association partners defines Society Insurance as a company where the small details make a big difference to agents and policyholders. Company Website: societyinsurance.com
THE TRAVELERS COMPANIES INC. Location Of Company Headquarters: Hartford, CT Founded: 160 years ago Officers: L orie Kates, Regional President George Hogan, Regional Director Linda Petrillo, Regional Vice President - Personal Insurance Lorie Kates Karen Eckert, Regional Vice President - Select Paul Kyrilis, Regional Vice President - Commercial, Technology, Construction, Public Sector Mark O’Brien, Regional Vice President - National Accounts Casualty Mike Powers, Regional Vice President - National Property Brendan Dunican, Regional Vice President - Ocean Marine Allen Warner, Regional Vice President - Inland Marine Beth Printz, Regional Vice President - Claims Dave Wolfe, Regional Vice President - Boiler & Machinery Steve Ringler, Regional Risk Control Director Gail Schroeder, Regional Vice President - Bond & Financial Products Brendan Dunican, Regional Vice President - Ocean Marine Gregg Jeffers, Regional Vice President - Global Accounts Beth Printz, Regional Vice President - Claims John Tsourmas, Zonal Vice President - Excess Casualty Steve Ringler, Regional Risk Control Director Products Company Specializes In: Travelers provides a full breadth of insurance and surety products, as well as risk management services, to numerous types of businesses, organizations and individuals. Our products are distributed by independent insurance agents and brokers throughout the United States. Business Insurance: The business insurance segment offers a broad array of property and casualty insurance and insurance-related services to its clients, which range from “main street” businesses to Fortune 100 corporations. Business insurance is organized into marketing and underwriting groups with a specialized focus on particular markets or products. Travelers is the second-largest writer of commercial U.S. property and casualty insurance. Financial, Professional & International Insurance: The financial, professional and international insurance segment includes surety and financial liability coverages, which require a primarily creditbased underwriting process, as well as property and casualty products that are primarily marketed on an international basis. Travelers is the largest writer of surety business in the world. Personal Insurance: Travelers is the second largest writer of U.S. personal insurance through independent agents. We offer a broad array of property and casualty insurance products to individual customers under the Travelers brand.
carrier through one of the best-staffed field offices in the state. We are local, allowing our staff to understand the Wisconsin marketplace and to develop deeper relationships with you and our insured’s. With almost 200 people in Wisconsin, Travelers is proud of our commitment to you and the positive impact we have on protecting the industry and individuals here. Our national scale means that we can deliver many advantages to you, including: • Financial strength and long-term market stability • Broad underwriting appetite • Innovative product development • Cutting-edge technology efficiencies that save you money • Risk capacity to accommodate your largest accounts • Specialist expertise to understand your most complex exposures • Professional delivery of claim, risk control and audit services that improve your account retention Travelers understands that life and business are inherently dynamic and that the best way to serve customers is to deliver insurance that behaves the same way — evolving to keep in step with life and business as they change. Protect your clients under the red umbrella! Company Website: www.Travelers.com
Outlook For The Company’s Future Travelers is uniquely positioned to help Wisconsin agents grow and be successful! We know that you value timely and professional service—our people are experts at what they do. We’re able to deliver the many attributes of a large national
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2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS
WEST BEND MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY Location of Company Headquarters: 1900 South 18th Avenue, West Bend, WI 53095 Founded: April 1894 Officers: Kevin Steiner, President and Chief Executive Officer Dale Kent, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Tracey Berg, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Bill Hutchison, Senior Vice President - NSI® Gary Alexander, Vice President - NSI Bonds Jim Blair, Vice President - NSI Claims Kevin Steiner David Ertmer, Vice President - Claims Rick Fox, Vice President and Chief Actuary Peter Hans, Vice President - NSI Legal Paul Hingtgen, Vice President - Argent® Debra Cahoon, Assistant Vice President - Human Resources Rob Jacques, Vice President - Commercial Lines Mike DeLaney, Assistant Vice President - Argent Loss Control Gary Klein, Vice President - NSI Underwriting Heather Dunn, Assistant Vice President - Accounting and Reporting Jim Pauly, General Counsel Scott Grinna, Assistant Vice President - PAS Program Management Dan Roskopf, Vice President - Finance Jim Keal, Assistant Vice President - Argent Operations Jim Schwalen, Vice President - Personal Lines & Marketing Jason Moore, Assistant Vice President - IT Business Application Services Kelly Tighe, Vice President - Sales David Nettum, Assistant Vice President - Argent Claims Christopher Zwygart, Vice President - Chief Risk Officer John Reyzer, Assistant Vice President - NSI Finance
Products Company Specializes In: Personal Lines: West Bend offers a broad personal lines coverage package (Home and Highway®) with multiple rating tiers for home and auto. Many innovative coverages and features are also available. Commercial Lines: West Bend offers a full range of commercial products and services. In addition to products such as Workers’ Compensation and Commercial Auto, SMARTbusiness™ substantially expands our businessowners’ policy and provides agents with automated solutions and a more efficient process. Specialty Lines: NSI offers insurance programs for such specialty lines as social services, sports and leisure, special events, childcare, and bonds.
their most critical workers’ compensation needs and improve results through loss control, medical cost containment, and education. Outlook for the Company’s Future West Bend is well positioned to capitalize on the current market conditions. In 2013, our company was rated A (Excellent) and recognized as one of the 100 largest property/casualty insurers in the country by A.M. Best. West Bend was also listed as a top company in a nationwide ease-of-doing-business survey. We will continue to make it easy for our agent partners to do business with us by advancing our technology, products, and services, while retaining our small-company, relationship-driven culture. Company Website: thesilverlining.com
WILSON MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY Location of Company Headquarters: Sheboygan, WI Founded: 1872 Officers: Mike Lappin, President Karen Schultz, Vice President - Personal Lines and Product Development Roxanne Freeman, Vice President of Information Technology Tim Kemmel, Vice President - Claims Jeff Jacobs, Vice President - Commercial Lines Mike Lappin
Wilson Mutual, founded in 1872, has a deep-rooted history of exceeding agent expectations and supporting agent efforts by developing new, innovative products and services with a focus on ease of doing business. The company takes pride in providing superior customer service, outstanding claims service and having a team of professionally trained independent agents determined to help their customers find the right insurance products. “Our People Make the Difference” is more than a company slogan; it’s the secret of the company’s success.
Other Comments Wilson Mutual is a Wisconsin-based property and casualty insurer with a strong presence in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, marketing personal and commercial insurance products through a network of independent agents.
Products Personal lines products include: homeowners, personal auto, mobile homeowners, dwelling fire, inland marine, personal umbrella and farmowners (Wis.). Flexibility and common-sense underwriting are key philosophical approaches practiced by the personal lines underwriting staff.
Outlook For The Company’s Future A member of The Motorists Insurance Group, The Group’s financial strength is rated A (Excellent) by A.M. Best, which reflects a strong financial position as well as a solid record of profitable growth. Development of new products and improved services will continue to be the company’s focus, providing even greater market opportunities for agents.
Commercial lines products include: commercial package policy, businessowners, commercial auto, workers compensation (Wis) and commercial umbrella. Wilson provides several value-added services and products, such as risk management tools, to assist its agency force in meeting the needs of today’s business owners.
Mike Lappin, president of Wilson Mutual, provides strong leadership and highly values the company’s relationships with independent agents. Mike is dedicated to continuously improving service to ensure the ease of doing business with Wilson Mutual.
Company Website: www.wilsonmutual.com
Providing risk management services also to policyholders continues to be a focus for Wilson Mutual. Creating a culture of safety within policyholders’ businesses has made a significant impact in assisting agents with retaining quality business. Wilson helps customers establish successful risk management programs with an emphasis on employee safety, training and documentation.
Argent: Argent specializes in monoline workers’ compensation. Argent works closely with agents and policyholders to determine
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2013-14 EXCLUSIVE COMPANY SPONSORS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
Place to Work® in 2004, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 and is the only company in the nation to be ranked in the top five for 10 consecutive years. Our service-focused claims operation offers the ability to file a claim online and even page an ACUITY adjuster with the click of a button. We consistently receive a 95 percent claims approval rating from policyholders and 99 percent from agents. Because we offer an expansive selection of products backed by leading-edge technology, we provide our agents a viable and efficient market. ACUITY is strongly committed to the independent agency system because we believe it is essential to the continued growth of the property and casualty industry. We are excited about our
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convenience. Further enhancements have been implemented since introduction, making this a premier product for customer satisfaction and agency retention, Meeting the needs of a diverse client base is important. That’s why we offer PinPoint® products targeting a broad auto and home market, including renter and condo owners to help you increase sales. These products continue to be reviewed and enhanced, making them more competitive in the marketplace. Try Integrity’s non-standard auto product called Passport Auto® — it’s easy to quote, features low-cost coverage with low down payment options. Passport Auto also offers a variety of discounts for
IT’S A THIN GRAY LINE.
collective future. Other Comments Our mission is to provide a broad range of products for diverse risks that will protect and enhance our customers’ wellbeing. We will distinguish ourselves by consistently leveraging our underwriting discipline, claims expertise, and efficient technology and service, which follows the direction set by our sales and marketing orientation. The word “acuity” means sharp focus. Our tag line, “For All That Matters,” not only describes our philosophy of rebuilding shattered lives after a catastrophic loss, but also describes our keen focus on providing our customers and agents with world-class service. Company Website: www.acuity.com
additional savings. Life — Strengthen Relationships Retaining customers is especially important in today’s economy. That’s why cross-selling is so important. Grange Life makes it easy with people ready to help you cross-sell life insurance to your personal and commercial lines customers. We also offer discounts on auto policies with the purchase of a qualifying Grange Life Policy. Ask about Grange Life’s new electronic application process. Contact Name for Further Information: Tim McAdow Contact Phone Number: 920.968.8327 Company Website: www.IntegrityInsurance.com
WHERE DO YOU
STAND? NEXT IN A NEW SERIES OF C E C R E D I T C O U R S E S E X C L U S I V E LY FOR ACUITY AGENTS! For All That Matters
W W W . A C U I T Y U . C O M
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For the future, the focus remains on providing agency partners a solid, established market; new growth opportunities; and exceptional service to continue writing and retaining quality business. The company continues with
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leaders able to take it successfully into the future. Company Website: www.secura.net
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a P reventive care usage: up 3% overall, up 8% for men. a Office visits: down 9.3% overall. a Prescription drug usage: down overall with no negative impact on medications taken by members with chronic conditions. Designated Blue Distinction Centers This is a strong network of recognized specialty centers across the country that are committed to providing better clinical and cost outcomes. Blue Precision A network of providers with cost and quality in mind for these specialties: cardiologists, OB/ GYN, endocrinologists, rheumatologists and pulmonologists. Dental Blue Dental Blue offers great value with less hassle. Dental Blue members get extra savings with our negotiated pricing when they visit an in-network provider for: a Services that aren’t typically covered, like porcelain veneers and treatment for TMJ. a Services you get after reaching your annual maximum. Blue View Vision Blue View Vision can give your employees coverage to help maintain healthy eyes, while giving you coverage to help maintain a healthy bottom line. Anthem Care Comparison Employees can make better choices and save money by comparing actual costs for common procedures at hospitals and facilities nearby. They can also see procedure and quality comparisons that focus on quality and safety at each facility. That means they have access to cost data on nearly 40 inpatient and outpatient procedures and quality measures for more than 150 inpatient procedures. Outlook For The Company’s Future Anthem is currently advancing strategies to improve quality, which can help to manage costs and improve insurance coverage. By working together with government, employers and providers, we are working to build a health care system that is accessible to all and provides quality care for those who need it most. Contact Phone Number: (800) 258-0012 Company Website: www.anthem.com
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OPEN DOOR POLICY
NAVIGATOR REGULATIONS PROTECT CONSUMERS According to HealthCare.gov, the website of the Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act (aka ACA or Obamacare), a Navigator is: An individual or organization that’s As we look to other states, the evidence is trained and able to help consumers, small mounting that these protections are necessary. businesses, and their employees as they look In November 2013, after working briefly for health coverage options through the Marketplace, including completing eligibility and enrollment forms. These individuals and organizations are required to be unbiased. To perform these duties, Navigators are able to access private information, including Social Security numbers, financial data, and health Navigators are able to access private information, including Social Security records of millions of numbers, financial data, and health records of millions of people. This access people. I know they to sensitive, personal information was a driver for the Independent Insurance have a job to do but Agents of Wisconsin to champion legislation regarding Navigator regulation, that last sentence gives including a criminal background check. me pause. This access to sensitive, personal information was a driver as an in-person Navigator, Rasmieh Yousef for the Independent Insurance Agents of Odeh had her license revoked by the Illinois Wisconsin to champion legislation regarding Department of Insurance. Navigator regulation. Who exactly is looking According to the National Review, Odeh at this information? Are the Navigators was convicted in Israel for her involvement working for the federal government credible? in several bombings, including a 1969 attack Fortunately, last summer, Wisconsin enacted on a grocery store. Two college students were rules regarding the licensing of federal killed in this attack and Odeh served 10 years Navigators. These rules were among the first in prison for the crime. Records reveal that she in the country. In order to become a licensed has had as many as nine aliases. individual navigator in Wisconsin, individuals This example may be extreme in its level of must: violence but criminal activity is not isolated a Be at least 18 years of age. regarding Navigators. a Reside in or maintain his/her principal In New Mexico, working certified Navigators place of business in Wisconsin. have been charged with crimes including a Complete any training and course of study domestic abuse, aggravated battery, aggravated mandated by the exchange. assault of a household member, larceny and a Complete 16 hours of prelicensing training. child abuse. In fact, a public records search by a Successfully pass a written examination. the National Review found that one in seven a Successfully complete a regulatory and of New Mexico’s Navigators had a match in criminal background investigation. the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National a Pay the applicable licensing fee. Crime Information Center database. a Provide proof of financial responsibility. “People who commit child abuse [or] In a January 30, 2014, article in the Isthmus domestic violence may not always be the best weekly newspaper, OCI spokesman J.P. Wieske people to provide assistance to others who said of the rules: “We certainly did right by our are vulnerable,” said Pam Wiseman, executive consumers. I don’t think we impeded people director of the New Mexico Coalition Against from using the exchanges.” Domestic Violence. “These are not minor
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
crimes, and they need to be scrutinized carefully.” In Texas, as reported by the Dallas Morning News, videographer James O’Keefe evidently showed three Navigators advising a client (a man posing as a university student) to lie about his income so he could get a better deal on coverage. “He says he has a $15,000 a year job and unreported income from odd jobs,” the News said. “They tell him not to report the outside income on his health insurance application, if he has not disclosed it on his income taxes.” When the incident came to light, the Urban League of Greater Dallas and North Central Texas fired three navigator trainees and another employee. This was the right move. With these reports of fraud and criminal activity (and others across the United States), it is imperative that potential Navigators go through the aforementioned licensing process. Considering what’s at stake with access to personal health information, this state’s oversight provides a reasonable layer of protection for consumers against corrupt, unqualified, or criminal Navigators. Even though, according to a recent decision by the Obama administration, Navigators are not required to carry E&O coverage, Wisconsin’s licensing rules anticipated this to some extent. A question that has been raised by agents and brokers for more than a year is who bears the liability if a Navigator makes a mistake? Navigators must provide proof of financial responsibility. The definition of financial responsibility was written in a manner to allow for flexibility in case the feds decide to change the rules again in the future. In this ongoing challenge from the federal government, the Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin is > Matt Banaszynski is working hard the Executive Vice President of the to address the Independent Insurance questions and Agents of Wisconsin. concerns of our Contact him at matt@ iiaw.com. agent members.
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NEWS FROM ACT
NEWS FROM ACT
ACT: A DECADE OF PROGRESS WITH ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD
As I turn over the reins as ACT Executive Director to my very capable successor, Ron Berg, it is a great time to take stock of the progress ACT and the industry have made over the last 13 years and to provide my thoughts on how ACT can achieve even greater things in the future. A Decade of Progress Sometimes we all get frustrated with how long it takes to see a timesaving technology implemented broadly within our distribution system. But when you view it with a longer term perspective and look over the last decade, the progress we have made is amazing and is impacting every employee in almost every agency across the country.
manner through their management system or comparative rater for decades. Real Time is the vehicle that will get us there.
There has been enormous progress in download in the last several years. Personal lines download is almost universal and commercial lines download has been much improved. It is time for agencies which have not implemented commercial lines download to take another All of us need to do a better job of look at it and to use it at least for small commercial business with publicizing the new technologies that those of their carriers that are we do implement, so that the industry able to send clean downloads. IVANS reports that 14,000 begins to understand the level of agencies are currently receiving innovation that is going on within the 639,000 commercial lines download messages a month independent agency system. from 95 carriers. In other words, commercial lines download is We are seeing the agencies of the future emerge working today for many agencies and brokers! right before our eyes. And the best thing is that these agencies are willing to share their Direct bill commission statement download innovations and experiences with the rest of and claims download are two additional the industry, so that the whole distribution innovations over the last decade that are system benefits. saving incredible time for agencies today. The download of Activity Notes by carriers directly Agency principals have become a lot more into agency systems is the latest technology engaged with technology in recent years and that will profoundly impact agencies in the are working with their staffs to implement coming years. Using Activity Notes, carriers these technologies. They realize that their can send agencies electronic policies and competitors are using technology as a documents, important client billing notices competitive differentiator and they are starting and other needed information. This technology to harness these tools as well to improve their saves the agent having to go to multiple own agency’s customer value proposition. carrier websites to pull these documents and information – a huge pain point.
Real Time, Download & Going “Paperless” Real Time has come of age over the last ten years and has so much more potential to grow in the future. I get frustrated when I talk with agencies that have not made Real Time the standard workflow in their agencies, because I have seen the positive benefits other agencies have realized from using this technology. Agencies have wanted to be able to work with their multiple carriers in a consistent
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Using Real Time, Download and the electronic filing, agencies have been able to become largely “paperless,” particularly for personal lines and small commercial business. This trend has enhanced agency efficiency greatly and enables employees to work from anywhere that they have an Internet and phone connection. As a result, agencies are breaking down traditional geographic boundaries as they look to expand.
Agencies Build Online Presence Over the last decade, agencies have had to realign their marketing efforts to build an online presence, so that the 80% of consumers who now go online to do insurance research can find them. Agencies are building websites with more content and client self-service features. They are taking advantage of Local Search and social media tools to attract prospects and build relationships. IIABA is helping agencies attract online consumers through TrustedChoice. com and Project CAP services, and will soon be expanding this initiative into commercial lines.
Agencies Adapt to New Privacy Requirements As new state and federal privacy and data breach laws have passed over the last several years, many agencies have taken the necessary steps to comply with these requirements by implementing secure email with their carriers and clients, adopting written information security plans and procedures, securing their websites when requesting personal information, and training their employees in these procedures. This is an area that will require continued agency attention in the future as businesses continue to experience data breaches and laws and regulations are updated to respond to these threats.
ACT Provides Forum to Promote Technology Adoption ACT has been dedicated to advancing all of these issues by providing a forum for their discussion. We have used ACT meetings, work groups and regular ACT articles, reports and communications to discuss innovation and to encourage further implementation. We have also had a very active Strategic Future Issues Work Group which has helped us keep an eye on the future and aware of the key trends that will impact our businesses.
agencies and carriers with implementation. I encourage you to take a few minutes to review the wealth of material that ACT members have created by going to www.independentagent. com/act.
People Make the Difference ACT has had great success over the last decade because of the incredible passion and talents of its volunteers. Agents and carrier representatives thank me all the time for the resources we have made available to them and those resources are a direct result of the work of our ACT volunteers. I have seen time and time again, one person step up and take leadership of an initiative and with the support of the group, make a real difference in driving an improved workflow or technology forward. I just got back from our ACT meeting in Phoenix and was blown away by the level of idea sharing, camaraderie and friendships that have developed among the ACT members. This was truly the sign of a healthy organization that has so much potential for the future. We are always looking for new volunteers to get involved in ACT to make a difference – not only for their businesses, but also for our distribution system as a whole. Please contact Ron Berg and let him know of your interest (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Taking ACT to the Next Level I believe ACT has become a jewel for the industry. It is your forum. It can have as big an impact on your future as you want it to have. Dare to bring the big issues to the table that ACT needs to be discussing. That is what ACT meetings are for. Be a leader in making innovation happen. If a new technology needs to be incorporated to advance our distribution system, make it happen. Don’t just wait to see what other carriers or vendors do. Be willing to do that Proof of Concept and then bring that innovation to an ACT meeting to demo it and encourage the industry to adopt it.
ACT Provides Resources In addition to providing a forum to encourage the use of innovative technologies, ACT has created or curated numerous resources to assist WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
Agents, you need to be persistent in advocating for what you need in terms of improved workflows and technologies from WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
Jeff Yates: “I believe independent insurance agents have an incredibly bright future. You have the best business model. You have the freedom to advocate for your clients and to your vendors and carriers. Innovation and change takes time. This is a big industry! Keep pushing for positive change at ACT and AUGIE meetings, but also when you meet with your marketing reps and when you attend carrier advisory councils. Most important, implement new technologies when they become available to you. That’s the best way to encourage carriers to continue to invest in these improvements on your behalf. Finally, remember to thank your carrier executives and vendors when they do implement a new technology or workflow that benefits you.
offer them a wider choice of markets.” After 13 years as ACT’s Executive Director, Jeff Yates retired in February 2014. We should be the innovators that future reports from McKinsey & Company and A.M. Best point to, not the competing distribution systems. We can be the group setting the pace for future innovation in the industry, if we all work together. You all have ACT, AUGIE, ACORD, and the vendor user groups to help support you and amplify your individual efforts. The direct carriers and captive agent companies do not have these organizations.
A Bright Future Ratcheting up our Sense of Urgency ACT has created a great foundation to build upon, but I encourage you to increase your sense of urgency. The competing distribution systems are doing everything they can to use technology to beat us in the market place. We need to move faster in taking advantage of new technologies and implementing improved workflows. All of us – both as individual organizations and collectively through ACT and other industry organizations – need to do a better job of publicizing the new technologies that we do implement, so that the industry begins to understand the level of innovation that is going on within the independent agency system, and additional agents and carriers are encouraged to follow suit.
I believe independent insurance agents have an incredibly bright future. You have the best business model. You have the freedom to advocate for your clients and to offer
CONTINUED ON PAGE 27
> Jeff Yates has been Executive Director of the Agents Council for Technology (ACT) since 2001 and retired in February 2014. Ron Berg takes his place as ACT Executive Director and he can be reached at email@example.com. Jeff can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. This article reflects the views of the author and should not be construed as an official statement by ACT.
APRIL 2014 | 25
CHANGING AN AGENCY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
It’s very important to clean up your existing data before you make the switch in agency management systems.
When Brightway Insurance recently changed agency management systems, which took close to a year, it was one of the largest transitions of its kind in the insurance industry in terms of total users accessing a common hosted Web-based database.
While our system change involved 600 people across the entire company in many geographic regions, it serves as a good case study for much smaller agencies considering such a transition.
Review current staffing strengths and weaknesses to determine the best use of your team if you were to make the change.
In our case, the reason for the change was based on significant company growth; the old system would not scale to meet the demands of thousands of simultaneous users. We also considered expected growth in 2013 and beyond.
with dishes stored in a cabinet in the living room, when you pack the boxes and move them to the new house, the dishes will still be in the living room and not in the kitchen where they belong after the move. In our case, we were literally scrubbing data until the last minute and making corrections to the old system minutes before we shut it down. This allowed us to migrate all the data correctly and required almost no cleanup in the new system post migration.
in of our team across all levels. If you make the decision to change, be certain to provide concise explanations and a detailed timetable, including how it will help employees in the workplace and in their careers. Continue to communicate with them throughout the transition. To that end, Brightway named one person familiar with company operations to lead the transition and serve as a pointperson. It’s important to have such a leader to oversee the change.
Plan and execute this change with the goal of limiting productivity problems during the transition, but realistically expect some loss of efficiency until the new system is up and running, and any “bugs” have been purged after a period of time. Brightway did not notify customers of this change ahead of time or once it was in place. Our view is that customers don’t need the distraction, only good outcomes. However, another agency might decide to
advise customers as a means of “tooting their horn” about positive steps being taken to help customers. If so, I suggest this should be done after the new system is in place and welltested. Our system change was on a large scale; however the lessons we learned would serve any size organization in the insurance industry considering such a transition.
Vendor Expectations There are a number of potential reasons for agencies to switch, with better workflow and efficiency being chief among them. Whatever the reasons, a key aspect is keeping the customer in mind and making certain the result is not a money savings that compromises customer service. In Brightway’s case, we wanted to make certain a customer could enter any office in the country and receive the same experience. Central to the consideration of changing agency management systems is an extensive and frank evaluation of key business operations. This decision can’t be made in a vacuum and it’s an important opportunity to determine all areas of your business that may require modification.
a Hosted vs. Unhosted IT Environment. What is your current arrangement and should it change under a new agency management system? If you use your own equipment and IT person, then consider the impact of this model under a new agency management system, and evaluate risks/benefits to decide whether an expert vendor should manage all aspects if you make a change. a Data Migration. How will your company handle data migration into the new system to use it most efficiently? There are thousands of fields of data that will need to be mapped to the correct locations in the new system. Consider paperless or non-paperless. If you are already paperless, this will just add one more level of complexity to the migration to make sure all attachments end up where they should and are correctly described. If you are not paperless, this might be a good time to start, as you will be making significant changes to your existing workflows already. Going paperless will be just one more change.
There are a number of reasons for agencies to switch agency management systems with better workflow and efficiency being chief among them. There are a number of reasons for agencies to switch agency management systems with better workflow and efficiency being chief among them. Understand the cascading impact of an agency management system change on these and other operations: a Staffing Requirements. Will the same people be needed in the same functions post-transition, or are adjustments required?
26 | APRIL 2014
Clean House It’s very important to clean up your existing data before you make the switch in agency management systems. An appropriate analogy is planning a move from one house to another. If your current house is disorganized
Your expectations of the new system vendor are most important. It’s human nature to take what you did in the old system and replicate it in the new one. The new system will have different functionality, so take advantage of that. Every workflow needs to be looked at and possibly changed to use all the efficiencies the new system can bring. The vendor can be an instrumental, neutral third party to show you how to best design your new system and workflows. If you have ever played golf, you know how uncomfortable it can be to have a pro change your swing or grip, but it’s often necessary, and the improved outcome is what matters most.
Keys to Successful Move One of the main reasons for Brightway’s successful completion of this complex endeavor was the attention to detail when it came to training employees on the new systems. Document and prepare all details of your training and quality process ahead of time. We worked across 110 locations in seven states. This included 10 fulltime trainers (seven were trainers that the new vendor supplied), rental of additional physical > Mike Miller is vice chairman of space for training Brightway Insurance. and rebuilding all He co-founded the operating manuals. company in 2004 and Another key reason for Brightway’s success was having the buy-
previously served as the company’s chief marketing officer and chief operations officer.
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
NEWS FROM ACT
ACT: A DECADE D2E!+<BF OF PROGRESS WITH ENORMOUS OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD ()*234!,-#%./+!0++1234!5)-0+,6!#-!;#%/=!$#%!/20+!)99+66!,#!5)3$!5#-+!5)-0+,67! them a wider,@+!)36;+-!26!A#.+-,6#3!A$)3 choice of markets. You now independent agent rather than with a captive membership this past 13 years has inspired have the technology tools that permit you to agent or a direct carrier? And what makes your me and energized me. I deeply appreciate the BC!$#%!)6!#;3+-!;)3,!,#!61+3=!/+66!>5+!#3!)=52326,-)>#3!.%,!9#3>3%+!,#!#;3!,@+! write business efficiently and those tools will agency stand out from other independent many friendships I have formed and will miss .##0<!,@+!)36;+-!26!A#.+-,6#3!A$)3 continue to improve over time. agencies and brokers? Once your have working with such a talented group of people BC!$#%!)6!#;3+-!;)3,!,#!6+//!$#%-!)4+39$<!,@+!)36;+-!26!A#.+-,6#3!A$)3 You can build a strong online presence on developed your unique brand, make sure your very much. the Internet ifBC!$#%!;)3,!5#-+!9#3626,+39$!23!+)-32346<!239/%=234!1-#?,!6@)-234<!,@+!)36;+-!26! you choose to use the tools website, blog and social media reflect that I urge you to take ACT to the next level by available to you. You can’t compete with the brand and that your employees articulate and promoting a sense of urgency, putting the big A#.+-,6#3!A$)3 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25
national advertising of the direct carriers, but reinforce that brand with every client contact issues on the table, exercising leadership in you can compete with them using local search, they make. driving innovation, and providing Ron with social media and your active community the type of wonderful support that you have involvement.! Thank You provided to me. I urge independent agencies to focus on Having the opportunity to work with I wish each of you every success and much D#!?3=!#%,!5#-+!,#=)$<!9)//!E)-$!F%-,#3<!G@2+C!H1+-)>34!HI9+-<!),!JKJLMMKLNOPQ developing your unique value proposition in independent agents and brokers and the IIABA happiness in the future. concert with your employees. Why should staff this past 39 years has been a pure joy. the consumer do business with you as an Having the opportunity to work with the ACT
! "#!$#%&! '! '! '! '! '!
()*+!,-#%./+!0++1234!5)-0+,67! 8)3,!,#!)99+66!5)3$!5#-+!5)-0+,67! :6!)3!)4+39$!#;3+-<!;)3,!,#!61+3=!/+66!>5+!#3!)=52326,-)>#3!.%,!9#3>3%+!,#!#;3!$#%-!.##07 8)3,!,#!6+//!$#%-!)4+39$7 8)3,!5#-+!9#3626,+39$!23!+)-32346<!239/%=234!1-#?,!6@)-2347
! !!!!!123!455!26!789:9!;<9:=2>:?!/#@%/&"#,!/A-,!B:!789!-,"0%/C !D#!?3=!#%,!5#-+!,#=)$<!9)//!E)-$!F%-,#3<!G@2+C!H1+-)>34!HI9+-<!),!JKJLMMKLNOPQL ://!9)//6!;2//!.+!0+1,!23!,@+!6,-29,+6,!9#3?=+39+L WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
ROBERTSON RYAN & ASSOCIATES, INC. APRIL 2014 | 27
COMMENTARY FROM COUNSEL
UNDERWRITING FICTION. THE RISK OF DRIVING SCHOOL FORGIVENESS Legislation that would require the Wisconsin DOT to create “driver improvement courses” and give drivers receiving certain traffic citations a chance to erase them from their record — and in the process, shift the costs of risks associated with those drivers to others — has gained significant momentum in the Wisconsin legislature as I write this column. Everyone likes a second chance, and who wouldn’t want to save money on their insurance if possible? Yet real public policy, insurance and financial considerations swirl around such a program.
only utilize the driver improvement course option once every 18 months.
Currently, if a driver is convicted of a traffic violation in Wisconsin, the court is obligated (by statute) to forward the record of that conviction to the DOT within five working days. Then, the DOT must update the driver’s operating record with the conviction. That record is, of course, the primary means by which insurers and potential employers assess the risks associated with a particular driver. The assembly bill — AB-737 — would permit drivers cited for certain violations to attend a driver improvement course by a particular deadline (depending on whether the citation has a court date, or no court date, the deadline would vary) and, upon successful completion of the course, its provider would provide notice to the court with jurisdiction over the citation. That notice would then prohibit the court from forwarding the conviction record to the DOT, thus preventing it from becoming part of the driver’s operating record. The bill carves out certain violations, including:
The IIAW and others oppose the bill, and for good reason — it skews underwriting of auto insurance and transfers the cost of some higher risk drivers to others. As the IIAW pointed out in a recent alert — the bill will prevent insurers from seeing true driving records of drivers in Wisconsin, plain and simple.
course by a particular deadline and, upon successful completion of the course, its provider would provide notice to the court with jurisdiction over the citation.
28 | APRIL 2014
Your gateway to contractors markets.
But this bill is different. No doubt if you sell auto insurance, you have had more client conversations than you can count regarding “what counts against me” on a driving record. And, for those individuals who would benefit from AB-737, the new answer would be a pleasant surprise and a possible money-saver. Yet, they are the small minority of drivers whose records are taken into account in underwriting and managing
The IIAW opposes AB-737 for good reasons
— it skews underwriting of auto insurance and transfers the cost of some higher risk
The law is full of examples of limiting access to, or the use of, prior infractions or wrongdoing. Generally rooted in public policy considerations surrounding redemption, second chances or temporal proximity and
AB-737 would permit drivers cited for certain violations to attend a driver improvement
violations by CDL holders, or involving a commercial motor vehicle; four demerit point (or higher) citations; citations for multiple offenses in a single incident; violations requiring suspension or revocation “four point” or greater violations, and a driver can
impact on their driving privileges, without a potential underwriting and financial impact on others, it would be closer to those goals. Of course, one could also argue that erasing up to a three demerit point violation every 18 months may improperly keep bad drivers on the roads.
relevance, and sometimes linked to important anti-discrimination laws, such requirements are not unique. Indeed, if AB-737 were narrowly tailored to allow drivers with certain violations to attend driver improvement school simply to avoid the demerit point
drivers to others. the pool of risk that is the driving public as a whole; and, the fiction created by the bill would relieve them of the full financial impact of their own conduct and spread it among others. It remains to be seen if AB-737 will pass and be signed into law, but its policy implications are broader than meets the eye.
Placing insurance for different contractors can be a daunting project. At Burns & Wilcox, our network of domestic and international carriers opens doors to the broadest range of markets. Since time is of the essence, we deliver quotes and binders fast. When it comes to finding solutions for every stage of construction, contact the wholesale broker with the tools to make the hard-to-place easy – Burns & Wilcox. Milwaukee, Wisconsin | 262.347.0266 | toll free 800.544.5700 fax 262.347.0440 | milwaukee.burnsandwilcox.com
> Josh Johanningmeier is the IIAW’s General Counsel. Call the Legal Services Hotline at (877) 236-1669.
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
Minneapolis, Minnesota | 612.564.1880 | toll free 800.328.1693 fax 612.564.1881 | minneapolis.burnsandwilcox.com WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
APRIL 2014 | Services 29 Commercial | Personal | Professional | Brokerage | Binding | Risk Management
SUPPORT THE TROOPS AT HOME
Wisconsin independent insurance agency owners have a great opportunity to show support for Wisconsin military service members and their families, whether you employ them or not, for FREE.
All you need to do is provide your business title and the Wisconsin Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) will provide a framed certificate for you to display. Thousands of employers have already signed the Statement of Support.
Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). • We will provide our managers and supervisors with the tools they need to effectively manage those employees who serve in the Guard and Reserve. • We appreciate the values, leadership and unique skills Service members bring to the workforce and will encourage opportunities to employ Guardsmen, Reservists, and Veterans.
To sign up to support the troops, look for the ESGR article in the IIA of Wisconsin Spotlight, the Association’s weekly e-newsletter. Simply open the link that reads “Click here to sign up and support our troops” and fill out the form. The deadline to sign up is April 23, 2014.
• We will continually recognize and support our country’s Service members and their families in peace, in crisis, and in war.
The framed certificates will be available for pick up in the IIAW convention hall on Wed., . May 7, 2014.
Independent agencies that participate are signing a statement of support that acknowledges:
What is this opportunity? The Statement of Support Program is the cornerstone of ESGRs effort to gain and maintain
• We fully recognize, honor and enforce the Uniformed Services Employment and
employer support for our Guard and Reserve service members. The intent of the program is to strongly encourage employers to act as advocates for employee participation who are in the military. Supportive employers are critical to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units. The first Statement of Support was signed on December 13, 1972, in the Office of the Secretary of Defense by the Chairman of the Board of General Motors. President Nixon was the first President to sign a Statement of Support, and in 2005 every federal Cabinet Secretary and all federal agencies signed a Statement of Support to signify their continuing efforts to be model employers. Since its inception, hundreds of thousands of employers have signed Statements of Support, pledging their support to Guard and Reserve employees. You don’t have to currently have a military service member to be a signatory.
ARE YOU totally
Be Independent, not alone. !"#$%&'()*+,"'-%.&//0,#%)'1%0&#.#)'1"'-%.+,*"2+3%4'#+-,"#5%".%6+,2+75% 1+1"2)#+1%#0%"'1+/+'1+'#%)-+'#.%7"8+%50&9%:&,%20;/,+$+'."*+%/,01&2#.% )'1%.+,*"2+.%;)8+%"#%+).5%<0,%50&%#0%=+%)'%+<<+2#"*+%+'#,+/,+'+&,3%)'% )220;/7".$+1%7+)1+,3%)%.&22+..<&7%.)7+./+,.0'9%>77%.0%50&%2)'%=+%)#%50&,% =+.#%($+'+*+,%50&,%2&.#0;+,.%'++1%50&9%!+?,+%=+$"'1%50&3%=+."1+%50&3% ("#$%50&%)77%#$+%()53%+)2$%)'1%+*+,5%1)59%@$+%()5%"#%.$0&71%=+9®
WORRY FREE? ®
For more information, connect with Cathy Beaudin at 920.968.8326 or email@example.com integrityinsurance.com
WEST DES MOINES, IOWA • 800.274.3531 • WWW.IMTINS.COM
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
APRIL 2014 | 31
RISK RETENTION GROUP BILL CHALLENGES STATE INSURANCE REGULATION Legislation introduced during the closing weeks of the 2013-14 session has prompted a healthy, yet vigorous debate in the Capitol among influential state lawmakers, regulators, and industry stakeholders about Risk Retention Groups (RRG) and whether they should be allowed to enter Wisconsin’s medical malpractice insurance market. The debate reminds us of the fundamental importance of why we have state insurance regulation in the first place and leads us to question what the legislation is really attempting to address. If you are unfamiliar with an RRG, in the simplest definition, it’s a type of liability insurer. Its members must be policyholders and have similar liability risks and businesses.
© 2013 SECURA Insurance
In the early part of the 1980s, Congress reacted to a liability crisis and passed the Products Liability Risk Retention Act (LRRA) to allow RRGs to cover product liability exposures. In 1986, Congress expanded the law to allow RRGs to cover other types of third party liability including general liability, errors and omissions, directors and officers, medical malpractice, and professional liability. The LRRA excludes coverage for workers’ compensation, property insurance, and personal lines. In the past there have been unsuccessful attempts to expand coverage to other lines of insurance.
Let’s make sure they always dig what they do.
The expansion in the law permitted RRGs to write insurance in all 50 states without having to comply with many of the insurance laws and regulations in the states in which they operate. However, the dayto-day regulation of this type of insurance is controlled by the state in which the RRG chose to be initially chartered or domiciled.
If you are unfamiliar with a Risk Retention Group, in the simplest definition, it’s a type of liability insurer. Its members must be policyholders and have similar liability risks and businesses.
Building working relationships since 1900 Commercial • Personal • Farm-Ag • Specialty 32 | APRIL 2014
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
Federal law under the LRRA preempts most insurance laws and regulations in states where the RRG operates. Wisconsin has very little control over a foreign RRG; our state WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
is forced to defer to another state’s laws and regulations that may differ from Wisconsin’s. When it comes to medical malpractice insurance, Wisconsin law is unique in that it requires a medical provider to obtain coverage from a Wisconsin-licensed insurer as proof of financial responsibility.
from obtaining coverage with a licensed insurer versus an RRG. A legal analysis from the non-partisan Legislative Council highlights this point by indicating: “The bill draft does not subject a nondomestic risk retention group to the general financial requirements for licensed insurers or with OCI’s broad oversight of insurers.”
Thus, the proposed legislation (AB 808 and SB 609) that your Association fought hard against this session, should be a cause of concern for admitted insurers, consumers, and even medical providers here. Interestingly enough, at the committee hearings on the legislation, some provider groups testified in support while others sat on the sidelines and took a neutral position. I might also mention that RRGs, foreign or domestic, do not utilize independent insurance agents to transact their product. With a foreign medical malpractice RRG that is allowed under the legislation, Wisconsin regulators have no approval authority over rates, coverages, forms, insurancerelated services, management, operation, investment activities, reinsurance, or loss control and claims administration. Further, a foreign RRG is not subject to the requirements of our state Guaranty Fund that serves to protect policyholders if an insurer becomes financially insolvent and unable to pay its obligations. This is probably the most significant difference
This is a significant concern for Wisconsinbased industry because it’s government creating an artificial, unlevel playing field. Our industry has generally always favored competition, but only if the same rules apply to everyone. The legislation should also be a significant concern for a medical provider that resides in Wisconsin because, if they purchase a liability policy from a foreign RRG, they will not have the same protections afforded by our state’s laws and regulations. Wisconsin’s Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) — which monitors domestic and non-domestic insurers — would not be permitted to oversee that proper rates are charged to doctors, proper non-renewal or cancellation procedures are followed, or that audits and financial exams are conducted to ensure solvency. Wisconsin’s medical malpractice market is robust and coverage is available and affordable. We do not have a liability crisis or availability problem here. In fact, the opposite is true. According to recent statistics published by OCI, CONTINUED ON PAGE 35
> Misha Lee is Owner/ Founder of Lee Government Relations, LLC and lobbyist for IIAW. Follow Lee Government Relations on Twitter @mishavlee.
APRIL 2014 | 33
FROM THE ARCHIVES
employees aren’t working, nothing is
After the polar vortex snow globe winter of 2013-14, let’s have a look (by looking back) at what’s in store for us (allegedly) this spring and summer. Back in 1988, when sunshine and shorts were still
part of Wisconsin’s vocabulary, Russ Cain, Warren Twietmeyer, Doug Dittmann and Mike LeRoy drank a cold one or two before teeing off at Cherokee Country Club.
RISK RETENTION GROUP BILL CHALLENGES STATE INSURANCE REGULATION CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33
SFM–The Work Comp Experts
Providing superior injury prevention, claims management and cost control services
39 different medical malpractice insurers wrote over $76 million in premium in 2012. All of these carriers compete fiercely for business and are subject to the same state regulatory standards and oversight. The playing field to compete and retain risk is fair and balanced for all licensed insurers. And our state Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund makes Wisconsin uniquely positioned to minimize risk and help provide greater stability in the marketplace. So why is the foreign RRG industry pushing so hard to change Wisconsin’s insurance laws for medical malpractice insurance? They say their entrance into the market will bring greater competition and jobs
sfmic.com 34 | APRIL 2014
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to the state. Well, my answer is simple — get licensed. There is nothing preventing an RRG today from getting licensed and authorized to do business here just like every other admitted insurer. But, by avoiding compliance with our state laws and regulations as well as others, they save time, money and arguably, gain an unfair competitive advantage in the market. Sure they may be regulated by a home state, but what are those regulations? Do they mirror Wisconsin’s? Are there ANY regulations at all? We should also be concerned about the slippery slope effect of such legislation. If Wisconsin allows foreign RRGs to write medical malpractice with minimal oversight, what is to prevent others from lobbying Congress to expand
federal law to other lines of insurance? Such an expansion would undermine the entire system of state insurance regulation. For years, Wisconsin’s regulatory and legislative climate has been favorable and attractive for competition and low insurance rates. It would be unfortunate and unnecessary to relinquish that state regulatory authority all for one industry’s benefit. The bill is dead for now with the adjournment of the current legislative session, but we should be fully prepared to fight this battle again when it comes up next session.
APRIL 2014 | 35
ERRORS & OMISSIONS
ERRORS & OMISSIONS
MIND YOUR BUSINESS
NEW RISKS ARE ON THE HORIZON FOR AGENTS AND BROKERS’ E&O COVERAGE Insurance agents and brokers make a living ensuring their clients are covered against all possible risks. But when it comes to their own errors and omissions coverage, experts say they may not be protecting themselves adequately from these kinds of claims.
“They’re pretty good at evaluating their coverage needs” said Sabrena Sally, senior vice president of Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. “But there are some blind spots. It’s a ‘cobbler’s children’ syndrome. They could be a better customer of themselves.”
“The ancillary services are really important,” said Mark Wolf, vice president of professional liability for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America’s Big “I” Advantage. “Any time you move into something new – and everybody is always
you’re acting as an adviser or a risk manager, a plaintiff’s attorney would have a good argument to say the agent has expanded their duty of care.” Attorney Louis Kozloff, a partner at Nelson Levine de Luca and Hamilton, cautioned agents to make sure their E&O policies cover the full scope of services they provide. “Some brokers wear different hats,” he said. “They do more than advise on insurance; they might also provide investment advice or provide other services to their customers. You want to make sure the definition of services provided that’s listed on your policy matches the full scope of what you do, so that there isn’t a gap in coverage if and when a claim is brought against you.”
Producers who don’t understand the nuances of a specialty line — be it flood, crop, aviation or others — should seek help from colleagues who do. The E&O landscape is changing, with new risks and claims trends emerging in recent years. Experts say recognizing new exposures, purchasing appropriate coverage and remembering some fundamental risk management strategies are the keys to weathering E&O claims. Technological advancements and the drive for business expansion have become potential pitfalls for agencies, whose principals often forget to discuss E&O coverage with their carrier when adding new services to their business offerings.
36 | APRIL 2014
looking to expand – you really have to tread carefully, not only in making sure you have adequate insurance coverage but also in making sure you have the expertise to be doing that business.”
Claims are not uncommon. One of every 15 agents will have a claim requiring the carrier to defend the agent or post a claim reserve, according to the Swiss Re Corporate Solutions report Attorney Survey of E&O
Marketing services inaccurately also opens up agencies to exposure.
One area of emerging risk for agents and brokers is data breach. Given the amount of personally identifiable information that passes through an agency, data breach exposure should be on the minds of agents and brokers.
“Anyone can design a Web page,” Sally said. “We counsel agencies not to promise more on their Web page than they can deliver. We’ve seen agencies with Web pages making bold statements about the services they can provide. If your advertising promises that
“I would think data breach is the No. 1 thing they should be looking for, but I don’t think it’s on everyone’s radar,” Wolf said. “You hear about it almost every day, where banks are involved or online merchants. It’s only a matter of time for insurance agencies, WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
especially the larger and midsize agencies, to start having problems in that area, because they do gather personal data on their clients.” Swiss Re began offering data breach coverage as a standard feature on its E&O policies in 2011. Not intended to be a replacement for stand-alone cyber liability policies, the data breach coverage on the E&O policy is designed to provide first-party protection and a limited amount of third-party liability. “When we introduced the data breach coverage on our policy, we were surprised by the number of agencies that were unaware of their obligations to protect the private data of their customers,” Sally said. “So there was a lot of dialogue and education as we rolled that coverage out.” Also on the uptick are claims by carriers against agents. “That’s a clear trend when you look at claims within our program,” said Dave Hulcher, assistant vice president of professional liability risk management for Big “I” Advantage. According to claims frequency data compiled by Swiss Re and the Big “I”, 7.6% of the suits against agents and brokers are brought by carriers. “Over about a 10-year period of time, we’ve noticed it becoming more frequent,” Sally said, “with a carrier either outright taking action against an agency or paying a claim to their policyholder and then turning around and suing the agency to recover, alleging they violated the cartier-agency contract or they were not acting in good faith in providing the information about the insured.” Errors in the application process are a common allegation. “The insurance company alleges that the agent either hasn’t provided accurate information or complete information about the nature of the applicant’s business or risk,” Kozloff said. “That can lead to different or greater risks and exposures than the insurance company expected.” Technological advancements have streamlined the application process, allowing agents to gather and input data into the carrier underwriting system, receive a quote and issue a policy out of the agency’s office. WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
“What we’re seeing and hearing is that the agents are being held responsible for information that they input into the system and the customer saying, ‘I never told you that. I told you this,’” Hulcher said. “There is
brokers to make clear to the customer which hat they are wearing. “Different producers play different roles, depending on whether they’re more of a
We look at catastrophic events as ripping off a Band-Aid. Errors in agencies may be sitting out there, but it takes a catastrophic loss sometimes to bubble these up to the surface. – Sabrena Sally, Swiss Re no formal signed application process.” Hulcher advises that agents have customers sign off on the information they provided, regardless of whether there is a formal application process. “Unless there is formal documentation saying, ‘This is where this came from. You provided this to me,’ then there is an opportunity to blame the agent for misinformation provided by the customer,” Hulcher said. Documenting communication with the carrier is also an important practice, particularly when standard protocol isn’t followed. “We’ve seen claims where a carrier’s system isn’t functioning properly and the [customer service representative] is advised to do X-Y-Z as a work-around in order to get the coverage put in,” Sally said. “Later there’s a claim and the carrier comes back stating they would not have written that risk had they known certain things. It becomes ‘he said, she said.’ So we counsel the agency in those cases to, at a minimum, send an email to the carrier confirming this is what they told you to do on this particular risk to get it through the system:
Back to Basics Documentation of client communications is hardly a new concept for agents and brokers, but Hurricane Sandy served as a reminder of the importance of the practice. Because so many of those impacted by the storm did not have flood coverage, it raised questions about whether clients had received good advice and coverage offerings from agents and brokers. It also highlighted the need for agents and
traditional agent of an insurance company or whether they’re a broker who is more of an adviser,” Kozloff said. “Different states have different rules as to on whose behalf the agent is acting, under what circumstances a producer will be seen as an agent of the insurance company without added fiduciary responsibilities to the customer and in what circumstances the producer is a broker acting on the customer’s behalf. “Agents and brokers need to make sure that role is clear and the expectations of the customer are clear so there aren’t problems down the road.” Kozloff said the number of lawsuits arising from Sandy “hasn’t turned out to be as big of a problem as it could have been.” At the same time, however, there remain disputed claims between policyholders and carriers that could ultimately lead to actions against agents. Sally said big events like Sandy always expose issues. “We look at catastrophic events as ripping off a Band-Aid. Errors in agencies may be sitting out there, but it takes a catastrophic loss sometimes to bubble these up to the surface. When you look at the facts behind some of these cases, it comes down to basic blocking and tackling of E&O risk management. In a lot of these cases you’ll see a lack of documentation in the agency fries.” Sally said it’s not unusual for insureds to look for ways to decrease CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE
> Kate Smith is senior associate editor at A.M. Best Company. © A.M. Best Company – used with permission.
APRIL 2014 | 37
LACK OF CUSTOMER CARE LEADS TO E&O LOSSES In October 1991, an upscale area of Oakland, California was decimated by fire. Over 2,000 homes were razed by the firestorm and the loss to insurance carriers was over $600,000,000. The average replacement cost on the dwellings was in excess of $300,000. After reconstruction began, more insurance claims were filed, many of them against insurance agents! Claims of omission were filed primarily because, according to the claims, agents didn’t do their jobs properly and provide true customer service. I define customer service as recognizing and addressing a customer’s needs. The losses also come from failure to upgrade coverage (Homeowners 3 to Homeowners 5). Many of these high valued homes had not had an appraisal or even an inspection in
if the agents do the job for which they are paid and trained. For years, agents have been receiving commissions on personal insurance renewals and not contacting their customers to conduct an annual exposure and coverage review. In many agencies, the CSRs merely compare the continuation policy to the expiring contract, look at the pricing, and then file it away. So what can an agency do to prevent this type of loss from happening? Well, first the agency needs to write
The completion of a coverage and exposure checklist when writing a new policy is years and were woefully underinsured. Finally, as you would imagine, most of the claimants did not have proper coverage for jewelry, furs, silverware, fine arts, etc. These failures on the part of the agents will cost them dearly. Deductibles for agents’ E&O are high, and because most personal insurance agents tend to write in a localized area, they will have multiple losses. If that were not enough, if the E&O carrier determines a pattern of sloppy procedures, the renewals could be refused or the premium or deductible increased. Losses like this could be prevented
and implement a workflow manual that incorporates the proper procedures and accountability. The manual should include forms and form letters to be used by agency personnel. The completion and use of these documents should be a “Non-Optional” activity in the agency. The completion of a coverage and exposure checklist when writing a new policy is a must. An annual protection review should also be conducted either by direct mail or on the phone. Both of these activities will not only limit the agent’s exposure to errors and
omissions, but also will provide the CSR or agent with additional sales opportunities. If that weren’t enough, it will also give more than lip service to customer service. Properly used, the checklist and annual review will assist the agent in fulfilling the definition of customer service. For those agencies that have a good record with their E&O carrier, an internal or external audit and procedural implementation by an outside consulting firm can not only assist the agency in writing and implementing procedures, but also provide E a must. & O carriers the opportunity to grant schedule credits reducing the annual premium. Some carriers have approved members of Gold Seal Risk Management Services to provide these services, and in many instances have qualified for additional credits on their E&O premiums. > Jack Fries has over 46 years of experience with both companies and insurance agencies. Fries & Fries Consulting is an automation, sales and management consulting firm aimed at improving agency profitability and customer service. His consulting firm produces a manual, “The Gold Book: A Compliance and Risk Management Procedure Program,” which contains procedures, forms and form letters like those mentioned in this article. Contact him by e-mail at jfries@jackfries. com. Also visit www.jackfries.com.
ERRORS & OMISSIONS
MIND YOUR BUSINESS CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE
their insurance costs, particularly in coastal areas with skyrocketing premiums. Because of that, it is crucial to document requests to reduce coverage or rejections of offered coverage. It’s also important to re-evaluate property values at renewal, rather than renewing as is. “Sometimes it takes a Sandy for agencies to realize they haven’t looked closely at some of these policies for five or 10 years and the coverages are woefully out of date” she said. The flood insurance issues created by Sandy also shined a light on another potential exposure-dabbling in coverage the agent didn’t fully understand.
38 | APRIL 2014
That’s because the National Flood Insurance Program is unlike the traditional market. “Placing business with the NFIP can be different,” Hulcher said. “Hopefully agents have been circling back to make sure they understand the nuances between an NFIP policy and the traditional market.” Because flood zones change, and because homes that are not in flood zones can sometimes flood, Hulcher said producers should not hesitate to offer flood insurance to those outside of a flood zone. “Taking out the standard of care of whether an agent has a duty to do this or not, agents can offer coverage solutions,” he said. “It’s up
to the customer to decide whether they want that coverage or not.” Producers who don’t understand the nuances of a specialty line — be it flood, crop, aviation or others — should seek help from colleagues who do. “If you don’t have the expertise, do one of two things: Refer the client to someone else or access a surplus lines wholesaler who does have expertise in that line of coverage,” Sally said. “Dabbling in an area where you don’t have expertise,” she warned, “can quickly lead to trouble on the E&O side.”
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
APRIL 2014 | 39
A PRELICENSING FIRST IIAW Notebook Convention opening night party Update... The opening night party at Sprecher’s Restaurant & Pub on Wed., May 7 is open to all convention attendees like usual. The party goes from 8-11 p.m. with entertainment by Pat McCurdy! For all the details go to iiaw.com.
Save the date!
2014 SaleS & leaderShip ConferenCe There was a first during the property and casualty prelicensing class on March 19. Student Amanda Ruskamp scored a perfect score on a test exam. “In the seven years I’ve been teaching prelicensing at the IIAW, no student has ever done that before,” said instructor Mary Hauri. “It’s very exciting.”
July 23 - July 25 Kalahari Resort Wisconsin Dells details coming soon!
I NSURANCE A GENTS OF W ISCONSIN
UPCOMING CONTINUING EDUCATION
IN PERSON CLASSES
E&O Risk Management – Meeting The Challenge Of Change 6 CE Credits Approved Date: April 17, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Advanced Risk Transfer & Management 4 CE Credits Approved Date: April 24, 2014 Location: Madison (Clarion Suites) Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM & 1 – 4:30 PM
E&O Risk Management – Meeting The Challenge Of Change 6 CE Credits Approved Date: June 24, 2014 Location: Madison (IIAW Headquarters) Time: 8:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Hot Topic In Personal Lines 2 CE Credits Approved Date: April 17, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 9:00 – 11:00 AM
Ethics In Today’s Changing Times 4 CE Credits Approved Date: April 23, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 12:00 – 4:00 PM
Those Kids And Their Cars! 2 CE Credits Approved Date: April 15, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Insurance And The Property Lease 2 CE Credits Approved Date: April 24, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Annuity Basics And Where They Fit 1 CE Credit Approved Date: April 16, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Directors And Officers Liability Insurance 2 CE Credits Approved Date: April 25, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Rental Cars: More Than Meets The Eye 2 CE Credits Approved Date: April 16, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 12:00 – 2:00 PM
Policy Provision Potpourri 2 CE Credits Approved Date: April 28, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Certificates Of Insurance 3 CE Credits Approved Date: April 16, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 1:00 – 4:00 PM
E&O Risk Management – Meeting The Challenge Of Change 6 CE Credits Approved Date: May 6, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Estate Planning Basics 2 CE Credit Approved Date: April 16, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 1:00 – 3:00 PM
Business Fraud Protection 1 CE Credit Approved Date: April 16, 2014 Location: ABEN Online – iiaw.aben.tv Time: 2:00 – 3:00 PM
MAY 7 & 8, 2014
MADISON MARRIOTT WEST
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO REGISTER FOR THESE CLASSES, PLEASE GO TO IIAW.COM
TO RECEIVE 20% OFF ANY 2014 IN PERSON CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASS ENTER PROMO CODE: THANKS 40 | APRIL 2014
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
WS E N E H T N I S R E B MEM ACUITY Earns Awards For Creative Excellence
The Word of Mouth annual report incorporated computer-driven, miniature video technology to deliver personal messages from each ACUITY officer to readers. Creative direction was also provided by DuFour on a project that involved solving numerous logistical challenges and coordinating specialized projection resources across the globe. For more information about ACUITY, please visit www.acuity.com.
Integrity Insurance Andy Ott & Dan Trochil Promoted
ACUITY earned a 2014 Platinum AVA Digital Award from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for the insurer’s Anatomy of a Super Claim continuing education video and a Gold American Advertising Award from the Fox River Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) for its 2012 annual report, Word of Mouth. “ACUITY is honored to be recognized for creativity and innovation in communications,” says Ben Salzmann, President and CEO. “Our goal is to provide our agents, policyholders, and employees information they can use in an engaging and effective way, and these awards affirm that we are meeting that objective.” The AVA Digital Awards program is an international competition that recognizes excellence by creative professionals responsible for the planning, concept, direction, design, and production of digital communication. The American Advertising Awards program is the advertising industry’s largest and most representative competition, attracting over 40,000 entries every year. Anatomy of a Super Claim, introduced in late 2013, is the first in a series of videos designed to provide continuing education to independent agents on a variety of insurance-related topics. ACUITY has continued to produce new videos, with the goal of providing a half-dozen online courses for agents each year. No other insurance company has made a comparable commitment to providing continuing education to independent agents. ACUITY produced Anatomy of a Super Claim utilizing professional resources and methods involved in documentary moviemaking. Creative direction was provided by DuFour Advertising; filming, editing, and production was handled by LAUNCH films; and CNN correspondent and Milwaukee television news anchor Jessica Jallings Gomez interviewed speakers and narrated the story line.
42 | APRIL 2014
Andy Ott has been promoted to Vice President, Commercial Lines of Appleton-based Integrity Insurance. He previously held the role of Director, Commercial Lines for the property and casualty insurer. In his role, Ott will be responsible for both the development and execution of the commercial business strategy for Integrity. He will lead a high performing team that has delivered profitable growth for Integrity, especially the past two years.
WS E N E H T N I S R E B M ME Company Ranked 9th In Deep Customer Connections Survey implementation of Integrity’s underwriting standards and best practices. He will lead a high performing team of associates that are passionate about providing the ultimate customer experience.
Integrity Insurance ranked ninth out of 200 carriers in Deep Customer Connections, Inc.’ 11th annual survey. Specifically, more than 7,000 agents rated over 200 property and casualty carriers they do business with based on 11 unique performance factors that determine an agent’s ease-of-doing-business experience.
“Dan has made a significant impact for our Integrity agents in the field, helping to grow their business and support policyholder satisfaction,” said Andy Ott, Vice President of Commercial Lines. “He has been a key part of the team that has delivered Integrity’s outstanding results the past two years. We are excited to have Dan join our management team – his field perspective will be highly valued as we set strategy, make decisions and manage the business.”
“Our aggressive service standards and focus on redefining partnership in the marketplace provide Integrity Insurance with the foundation to be a top performer,” said Integrity President Jill Wagner. “We put a priority on building strong partnerships with our agents and are pleased that our efforts are reflected in Deep Customer Connections Top Ten ranking.
Trochil came to Integrity in 2012 after working as Commercial Lines Underwriter with SECURA Insurance. He received a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Dan is currently working toward his CPCU designation.
“Andy has been a core member of the team that has driven Integrity’s fantastic results the past several years,” said Jill Wagner, President of Integrity Insurance. “His commitment to our policyholders and agents has helped Integrity provide the ultimate customer experience. Our ability to develop and promote leaders from within our organization for key roles delivers important continuity to all of our stakeholders. Andy is a great example of this Dan Trochil benefit as his leadership style and approach to the business will be great for Integrity.”
Deep Customer Connections specializes in research and consulting to give property and casualty carriers metrics on how easy it is for agents to write business with them. For more information about Integrity Insurance, please visit www. integrityinsurance.com.
the We look for the best independent agents and build relationships that last the duration. We are committed to the independent agency system as the only means to deliver our products. Because of that, we work hand-in-hand to help our agencies grow profitably.
Ott came to Integrity in 2011 after working in an underwriting leadership role with SECURA Insurance. He has also held various underwriting roles at SECURA and Society Insurance. His education background includes an undergraduate degree in Insurance/Risk Management and Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Our agents set us apart. For information about becoming a Partners Mutual Insurance Agent please contact Lyn Schumann at 262.432.3430 or Schumann.Lyn@PartnersMutual.com
Dan Trochil has been promoted to Manager, Commercial Lines of Appleton-based Integrity Insurance. He previously held the role of Commercial Field Underwriter for the property and casualty insurer. In his role, Trochil will be responsible for both the development and
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
APRIL 2014 | 43
WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
1/16/2014 10:58:49 AM
4TH QUARTER 2013: COMMERCIAL INSURANCE PRICES INCREASE 5% Commercial insurance prices increased by 5% in aggregate during the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the latest Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey (CLIPS) conducted by global professional services company Towers Watson (NYSE, NASDAQ: TW). This marked the third consecutive year of price increases. The survey compares carriers’ pricing on policies underwritten during the fourth quarter of 2013 to those underwritten in the same quarter of 2012. Price changes reported by carriers between the third and fourth quarters of 2013 indicate increases, although they are somewhat smaller in magnitude than the 6% to 7% increases reported in the second half of 2012 and first half of 2013. Price increases by line of business were lower than those reported in the third quarter in all lines, with the exception of general/ products liability and excess/umbrella liability. Employment practices liability experienced the largest price increase year over year, with workers compensation and excess/umbrella
liability also showing substantial increases. Prices for most lines of commercial insurance showed gains in the mid-single digits, while none of the classes surveyed reported a price
drop. Price increases were consistent for small, mid-market and large accounts; specialty pricing increased at a lower rate than pricing for standard lines.
The Water and Microbial Remediation Experts
earned price increases more than offset claim cost inflation. This development builds on the estimated improvement of more than 2% between 2011 and 2012. Carriers projected approximately 2% claim cost inflation underlying the loss ratio movement for both accident-years 2012 and 2013 across the aggregate commercial industry. “Commercial insurance prices are still on the rise and have now been increasing for three full years, but we are beginning to see a moderation in that trend,” said Tom Hettinger, Towers Watson’s Property & Casualty sales and practice leader for the Americas. “Concerns about price inflation and modest fixed-income yields are making their way into rate changes that are outpacing observed claim cost inflation.” Source: Towers Watson
Client Catastrophe: WATER “You and your team did a phenomenal job of addressing the extensive water damage at our BMO Middleton location, yet remained aware of the operating demands of a busy bank branch. I was truly impressed with the response time we received from your company and the consistent willingness to work around our needs and demands. Your ability to arrange a large scale remediation project around a busy bank schedule was admirable, and the dedication demonstrated by working through the Thanksgiving holiday reflected a work ethic above expectation. Although I hope that I will never require your services again, I would certainly demand them if needed.”
WATER U MOLD U SEWAGE U FIRE
BMO Harris Bank Edward Suarez, Vice President, Branch Manager
According to the carriers, loss ratios improved 3% for accident-year 2013 relative to the same period in 2012 (excluding catastrophes), as
Call Deborah Mann, Commercial Consultant U 608.417.0611 6330 Copps Ave., Suite C, Monona, WI 53716 UÊÊcapitalremediation.com Delivering Total Project Accountability
FOX RIVER CLEANUP PROPOSED Six companies, the city of Appleton and a sewerage commission have offered to pay a total of $56 million to help with the massive cleanup of contaminants in the Fox River in northeastern Wisconsin. AIA Tired PC BACK 11_9_11:AIA 02.10.10 PC BACK 11/16/11 1:35 PM Page 1 If a federal judge approves the settlement with state and federal authorities, the entities could be released from claims that they were partly responsible for polluting the river. The pollutants were discharged into the river during manufacturing between 1954 and 1971. The cleanup is estimated to cost $1 billion. WLUK-TV reports the proposed settlement includes the City of Appleton, the Neenah-Menasha Sewerage Commission, CBC Coating, Menasha Corp., U.S. Paper Mills Corp., WTM 1, Kimberly-Clark and NewPage Corp. It does not include NCR Corp. and Glatfelter, two companies that have already spent millions on the cleanup so far.
44 | APRIL 2014
Always thinking for TOMORROW will help you and your policyholders TODAY! We are dedicated to becoming the easiest company for you and your policyholders to do business with! That’s why we have taken advantage of technology to serve you both better! Of course, we will still happily provide person-to-person assistance. Let us know how we can help your agency become successful and profitable!
Industry along the Fox River.
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800.322.0160, Extension 2394
APRIL 2014 | 45
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Our Role in Your Office
ODDS OF READING THIS: 100% Various sources reported that the odds of picking a perfect NCAA basketball tourney bracket at about 1 in 9.2 quintillion. That’s 92 with 17 zeroes. (And it’s never happened in the 104-year history of the NCAA, at least on the record). To say the least, it’s a long shot. By comparison, other odds include (odds may vary): • Getting struck by lightning in your lifetime: 1-in-3,000 • Winning Mega Millions jackpot: 1-in-258.9 million • Winning Powerball grand prize: 1-in-175.2 million
• Getting a hole-in-one in golf: 1-in-12,500
• Bowling a perfect game: 1-in-11,500 • Being drafted by an NBA franchise out of high school: 1-in-6.8 million
• Being born with extra fingers or toes: 1-in-500 Source: hpe.com
CHIEF WIGGUM’S ORIGINS The origins of the portly police officer, gun in one hand and doughnut in the other, date back to the 1950s, when the first police cruisers came to be. Cops, used to walking their beats at all hours of the night, were now driving around town at all hours of the night, making sure everybody stayed in line. Obviously, being up that late and that long could get tiring. Enter doughnut shops, which tended to be the only places open at night, as they had to prepare for the mad rush of early-morning customers. Officers would stop into these shops during in the middle of the night for a cup of coffee and a glazed cruller. After this, police were seemingly always portrayed as a doughnut shop’s number customer.
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46 | APRIL 2014
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WISCONSIN INDEPENDENT AGENT
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Expect big things in workers’ compensation. Expect to save a third of your clients 30% or more. Most classes approved, nationwide. For information call (877) 234-4450 or visit auw.com/us.
©2014 Applied Underwriters, Inc. A Berkshire Hathaway company. Rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best. Insurance plans protected under U.S. Patent No. 7,908,157.
Published on Apr 2, 2014