INSUROR May/June 2009
Vol. 20 No. 3
6 14 48
Investing for Tomorrow What Makes Tennessee Tick?
Big “I” Eagle Bringing Carriers to You
Politics & Insurance Why Your Involvement Matters
INSUROR Vol. XX, Number 3 May/June 2009
Phone (615) 385-1898 Toll Free: 1-800-264-1898 Email: email@example.com Editor: Charles T. Bidek, CPCU
4 Politics & Insurance INSURORS OFFICERS
President .......................................................... Walt Bradshaw, J.D. Immediate Past President ... Scott Ferguson, CPCU, CIC, ARM State National Director .................................. Davis Porch, III, CIC Vice President, Region II and Pres. Elect ........... Tee Zerfoss, III Vice President, Region I ............................................. Roger Smith Vice President, Region III.................................... Ed Gibbons, AAI Treasurer .................................................................... Eddie Miller, III Secretary ................................................... John McInturff, III, ARM Director, Region I......................................... Allen Green, CIC, CFP Director, Region I ................................................ Chris Allison, CIC Director, Region I .......................................................... Bobby Sain Director, Region II .......................... Kevin Hale, CIC, CPIA, CWCA Director, Region II ....................................................... Jimmy Alsup Director, Region II ................................... Johnny Thompson, CIC Director, Region III ....................................................... Andy Shafer Director, Region III ...................................................... Bob McIntire Director, Region III ........... Steve Bryant, CIC, CPCU, LUTCF, AAI Young Agents Chairperson ....................................... Chip Hoover
Display advertising rates, deadlines and specifications may be obtained by writing to Insurors of Tennessee, 2500 21st Avenue South, Suite 200, Nashville, TN 37212, calling 615-515-2601, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or online at www.insurors.org The Tennessee Insuror is provided to all Insurors of Tennessee members and associate members as a member service.
Why Your Involvement Matters
Investing for Tomorrow
Still in the Same Boat
What Makes Tennessee Tick?
Survey Finds Bad Economy Has Many Considering Policy Changes
Trusted Choice Reimbursement
Big “I” Eagle Bringing Carriers to You
Young Agents See the Interworkings of State Government at the Day on the Hill Government Efforts to Stabilize the Banking Industry Still Missing the Mark
From Your President
From Your CEO
INSURORS OF TENNESSEE 2500 21st Avenue South, Suite 200 P.O. Box 120539 Nashville, TN 37212-0539 www.insurors.org
Insurors of Memphis Hosts InVEST Job Shadow Day
Keeping Us “Underprivileged” “Life” Insurance for Your Agency
Bailey Special Risks, Inc. Travelers Insurance
New E&O Course Covers Full Scope of Loss Control 3
Politics & Insurance Why Your Involvement Matters
Chances are you have read a legislative update from Insurors in the past and thought to yourself, “What does that have to do with me?” Often times, the answer is “a lot more than you think.” On the state government level, the 2008 Workers’ Compensation Law (PC1041) has been an issue that is and will continue to be a major topic of conversation through its enactment date of December 31st of this year and beyond. Its goal of ensuring coverage for workers regardless of their employee status will not only protect those workers, it may also provide some additional revenue for agencies in Tennessee who offer that coverage. Licensing reform also played a major role in 2008, with changes in continuing education requirements, grandfathering and renewal dates effecting almost everyone in the industry. Are you happy with the way these issues have played out? No matter what your answer is, your voice must be heard in order for your opinion to make a difference. For example, a group of Insurors members and Big “I” staff recently met with Senator Bob Corker (pictured on cover) in Chattanooga to have a discussion on the Optional Federal Charter (OFC) legislation that is currently being proposed in the U.S. House and Senate.
independent agents and learn how to effectively share your perspective with lawmakers. It will be followed the next day by the Big “I” Day on Capitol Hill, when members of the House, Senate and their staffs are expecting agent and broker delegations to pay them a visit. Your presence on the Hill is crucial. It reiterates to our nation’s decision makers that independent agents are in every state, in every district, and that we participate in the legislative process. At the convention’s General Session Big “I” President & CEO Bob Rusbuldt will moderate a panel of leading insurance company CEOs on the state of the insurance industry. This informative session follows an update on the association by Big “I” chairman Brett Nilsson.
More National Issues Will be Discussed In addition to the OFC, there are other issues that the Big “I” will focus on during the event. Some of the most pressing include: • • •
Insurance regulation – Where will you and your agency be regulated – at the state level, federal level or both? Agent licensing reform – Educate Congress on why licensing needs to be more efficient. Natural catastrophes – Advocate for National Flood Insurance Program renewal and natural disaster proposals. Health insurance distribution – Make sure agents remain a vital part of delivering health insurance to small businesses and individuals. Taxes – Fight potential federal tax increases that could harm Big “I” small business owners.
Sen. Corker had been approached to sponsor a bill to enact an OFC and was interested in hearing the thoughts on the issue from independent agents. Each of the agents present were able to present their opinions to the Senator in an open format and answer the questions that he had as well.
Insurors and the Big “I” oppose the OFC and feel that state regulation allows consumers a better choice of products, more competitive rates and easier access to an insurance department for questions and information.
And who can overlook the most prominent issue on the minds of Americans today, the economy. Be prepared to get insight from rogue economist and co-author of Freakonomics, Stephen Dubner. His book quickly became a cultural phenomenon and spent more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list with more than three million copies sold in more than 30 different languages. Dubner will show how economics is, at its root, the study of incentives, that is, how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In times of economic uncertainty this presentation is sure to energize your economic plan.
As it stands today, Sen. Corker is not involved in the sponsoring of OFC legislation, however, other Senators have expressed their interest in exploring such a bill. In the House, Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) are planning to cosponsor an OFC bill and feel that it is the best course of action.
Getting Involved to Get Your Voice Heard So, what are your thoughts on the issue of OFC? How can you best express them? One way to do so would be to attend the 2009 Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention, taking place April 29th - May 1st at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. With more than 300,000 agency employees and an experienced, bipartisan government affairs staff in the nation’s capital, the Big “I” is well-positioned to advocate for independent agents but it takes your participation. Protect your industry and your clients—join the Big “I” on Capitol Hill. The event will include a legislative conference issues briefing, an agent-only event that will prepare you to lobby on Capitol Hill. You’ll hear about the most pressing legislative issues facing
To register or get more information on the Big “I” convention, visit the “events” section of their website at www.iiaba.net.
Other Ways to Play A Part Obviously, not every agent will be able to go to the event in Washington, but there other ways to be a part of the grassroots political efforts in the insurance industry. Insurors frequently hosts events and seminars on new laws and current legislation, and we encourage you to attend these and offer input. You can also show your support by donating to InsurPACTN, the Insurors Political Action Committee, or InsurPAC-National, the Big “I” Political Action Committee. And don’t forget you can get legislative updates and information at www.insurors.org. u 5
Will anyone in your agency be retiring in the next 10 years? What about the next 20 years? Chances are your answer is yes, as over 60 percent of the insurance industry’s current employees are older than the age of 45. Who will fill their shoes, and who are your agency’s leaders of tomorrow? Maybe you have the answers, but many agencies do not, and that is something that can’t be taken lightly. With many baby boomers nearing retirement, the future of many industries, including insurance, is in question. Baby boomers were a large generation, with over 80 million Americans being born from the mid-1940s to the early 1960s. That large of a segment leaving the workforce is going to have a major impact. So who will step into those roles? A generation even larger than the baby boomers appears to be the next in line. The Millennials generation, sometimes referred to as Generation Y, consists of over 100 million Americans born from the late 1970s through the year 2000. More than half (55%) of Millennial’s surveyed say they would consider the insurance industry for a possible career or currently work within the industry. In 2015 these Millennials will dominate the workforce, who will be working at your agency?
Project InVEST Steps In and Up Founded in 1970 at Hollywood High School by the Independent Insurance Agents of Los Angeles, Project InVEST began training students in insurance agency and company operations and encouraging them to pursue careers in the industry. InVEST wisely remained loyal to its original focus and principles, and over the course of almost four decades, InVEST has blossomed from near obscurity into 92 programs in 23 states. InVEST supports the insurance industry’s workforce future by: • • • • •
Training workforce and bringing new talent for carriers, agents and brokers. Reaching a diverse group of employees, such as urban and minority students. Getting insurance professionals involved on a local level as classroom liaisons. Promoting positive public relations, positioning the industry as a respected liaison between the academic and business worlds. Producing knowledgeable insurance consumers.
Today, the InVEST vision is just as clear as it was 39 years ago.
How Are Insurors Members Helping? Many Insurors members are already taking part in Project InVEST, donating their time and resources to help support the program. One such example is the Insurors of Memphis local board, which held a Student Shadowing Day on February
19th. Twelve students from four universities (Mississippi State University, The University of Mississippi, Middle Tennessee State University and Christian Brothers University) took part in the program, visiting agencies and learning the day-to-day processes of the independent insurance industry. Some of the students were intrigued by the reality of a day at a agency. “I was surprised to see how much people in their firm cared about helping each other out. If someone had a question or needed some help, there was always someone to call or talk to about a situation,” said Chris Konsowitz, a student in Mississippi State’s Insurance program. One of the students, Scotty Dunham (pictured on opposite page) of the Ole Miss School of Risk Management and Insurance, said his eyes were opened to how viable a career as independent agent could be. Scotty shadowed with Tim Treadwell at USI of Tennessee, Inc., and went through some of the days activities with us, “I started out by getting introduced to the employees of the agency and learning about their individual responsibilities. I didn’t realize there were so many specific areas to cover, the specialization is amazing.” When asked about his thoughts on the success of the Student Shadowing Day, Scotty let us know, “It exceeded my expectations, and I will definitely consider a career in the Independent Agency System.” Overall, the day was a success, and the local board hopes to have another in the near future. Project InVEST has been active in the Memphis area since 1974, and has seen a reenergizing as of late from events like these and from the volunteering of local agents in classrooms and at their places of business.
More Work To Be Done Although InVEST has continued to grow over the years, the project is far from complete according to Executive Director Bill Pierson, “There is still work to be done to get the program where we would like it.” So what does some of that work entail? For starters, less than half of all U.S. states currently have active InVEST programs. Eight other state programs are being formed currently, but that still would leave almost 20 states without one. More agents need to be involved as well, contributing their time in local classrooms to educate students on what it means not only to be an agent, but an informed insurance consumer as well. “If an agent talked for an hour per semester they could make a huge impact on the future of our industry,” added Pierson, “The time requirements are completely flexible and can fit into almost any schedule.” InVEST has also created a workshop to train program-appointed contacts in each state. These “State Champions” will attend the three day event in Westfield Center, Ohio, where they will learn more in-depth information on the programs and curriculum available to them through InVEST. They will 7
also receive marketing materials and tips from the Big “I” to help promote the program when they return to their home states. Sharon Simmons, a Vice President at Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance in Memphis, will serve as the State Champion for Tennessee. Sharon helped organize the Insurors of Memphis Student Shadowing Day and is excited to get more involved with the program. The workshop is being hosted by Westfield Insurance, a Valedictorian Level ($15,000+) Sponsor of Project InVEST. They are just one of the many corporate sponsors that understand the value of this program.
Valedictorian Sponsors ($15,000+) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
ACORD Applied Systems, Inc. Artizan Internet Services, LLC Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. Dryden Mutual Insurance Encompass Insurance Erie Insurance Group The Hanover Insurance Group The Hartford IA Magazine IIABA (Big “I”) IIA of North Carolina Mercury Insurance Group MetLife Auto & Home The National Underwriter Co. Ohio Casualty Foundation The Rough Notes Company, Inc. Safeco Insurance State Auto Insurance Company Foundation Travelers The Zurich US Foundation Salutatorian Sponsors ($7,500 - $14,999)
• • • • • • •
ASCnet Qua rterly Central Insurance Companies Liberty Mutual Foundation The Main Street America Group Marsh Inc. OneBeacon Insurance PIA of Ohio, Inc. Honor Roll ($2,500 - $7,499)
• • • • • • • • 8
Accident Fund American Agent & Broker AMS Services, Inc. Harleysville Insurance Companies Hartford Steam Boiler IIA of Kentucky Motorists Insurance Group Westfield Agents Association, Inc.
Can I Donate Resources Other Than Time? Even though time is the most valuable resource you can donate to InVEST, funds are also necessary to keep the program growing strong. One way that the program raises money for its student scholarships is through a silent auction held during the Big “I”’s National Legislative Conference & Convention, which takes place this year from April 30th - May 1st. Last year, InVEST raised more than $60,000 for scholarships awarded to 52 students across the nation. Although the deadline to donate items for the auction has passed, you can still bid on this year’s items or consider donating for next year. Not sure what to donate? Give the InVEST staff a call and they will assist you in finding a creative and memorable item to grab attendees’ attention. For more information, contact Jennifer Robinson, InVEST program manager, at 703.706.5437 or by e-mail at jennifer.robinson@ iiaba.net. A catalog of the 2009 auction items will be available on the InVEST site before the convention.
How Can I Keep Track of How the Program is Doing? If you would like to follow along with Project InVEST as it continues to grow, there are a wealth of resources readily available. First, you should check out www.investprogram.org, the website for the project that contacts constantly updated information like the “Around the Nation” feature, which updates the goings on of InVEST local programs throughout the country. You can also download a copy of the program’s 2008 annual report at http://na.iiaa.org/Invest/downloads/2008/Annual_ Report_2008.pdf. Know students who may want to learn more about InVEST? The website has a section devoted to students with downloadable brochures & videos and information on the exciting career opportunities the insurance industry has to offer. Additionally, students who are participating in an active InVEST program and are pursing higher education through licensing or a degree in insurance or financial services, can apply for scholarships.
So, How Can I Get InVEST Started In My Community? You can work with teachers to initiate the program in your community. Teachers view the curriculum as a way to teach valuable business practices to students so they develop real life skills for a future position inside or outside of the insurance industry. InVEST is also a key component of any financial literacy curriculum. You can begin by forming a committee comprised of industry professionals and school administrators to support and evaluate the program. The committee will act as a liaison between the school and the insurance industry, making recommendations on facility organization and selecting educational materials. The committee will also serve as an advisory board that counsels both the business education staff and school administration. Industry members of the committee also help train the teachers on the insurance industry. They can also arrange off-site program activities like job shadowing, field trips, and part-time job/internship opportunities for students. For more on getting started, contact an InVEST staff member today by calling 1.800.221.7917. u
Still in the Same Boat
Government Efforts to Stabilize the Banking Industry Still Missing the Mark Despite efforts of two administrations, the absence of a coherent, non-politicized, and long-term banking plan is making the economic crisis an even bigger problem. All markets require an understanding of the rules of the game in order to make decisions, and today the federal government is still experimenting. Worse yet, it is politics as usual.
by Jim Rieniets, President of InsBank of measures that the government will take based on varying levels of continued deterioration. Without a plan all parties are adrift in their decision-making. •
Eliminate “too big to fail.” Ultimately the threat of failure must exist for a market economy to exist, and individual failures cannot be of the size that they represent systemic risks. A plan to break-up the giants and revert them back to the private sector over time is necessary.
Have more systemic risk management. Clearly a number of large institutions were engaging in the same types of reckless behavior. Regulatory mechanisms must be in place to monitor systemic risks where business practices are not sustainable, such as lending and investing at high degrees of leverage or for excess speculative purposes.
Force everyone to have more “skin in the game.” The great lesson from this experience will be that all parties need to have something at risk. If lenders had not been able to off-lay all the inherent risks of their creative schemes, they would not have engaged in such recklessness. If homeowners had been required to save money towards home purchases they, too, might have been more cautious. This list could go on and on.
What Do We Need? First, stabilization. Unfortunately large banks ARE too big to fail and we have no choice but to keep their doors open, somehow. As evidenced by the FDIC’s new special assessment, the reality is that the fund does not have near enough money to cover big bank failures. Forget the debate, for all practical purposes they have been nationalized. Just ask a stockholder who has seen their investment deteriorate to virtually nothing. Second, focus on the real problems. Private jet-bashing and CEOpay is nothing more than grandstanding and envy on the part of politicians. Once you navigate the politics, the real issue should be accountability. Stakeholders should determine which industry execs encouraged risky, get-rich-next-quarter behaviors and fire them. Make a condition of TARP funds be new leadership, policies, and practices, not less pay.
How Can We Accomplish It? The final step is to develop a long-term plan that markets can embrace and take action upon. That plan needs to achieve a few things: •
Provide clarity for government’s role. Establish a sequence
Finishing the Race This saga is not unlike running a race, where one bold competitor chose to race out of the blocks at an unsustainable pace. Unfortunately others decided they would forfeit their chance at winning if they did not try to stay near the leader. The leader and his
followers are now collapsing well short of the finish line, and the remaining, patient competitors are all forced to stop and assist the fallen. Just finishing the race is now a challenge. About the Author
Jim Rieniets position as President of InsBank requires him to manage the day to day activities of the bank, as well as all lending activities. He also serves as a director of InsBank and on the Loan and Investment Committees. Jimâ€™s extensive banking career has included positions as: Branch Manager, Credit Analyst, Commercial Loan Officer, Business Banking Department Manager, and most recently First Vice President/ Division Head of Correspondent Banking. During his eight year tenure with National Commerce Bancorp in Memphis, Jim served for four years as a member of the senior loan committee. u
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What Makes Tennessee Tick? Young Agents See the Interworkings of State Government at the Day on the Hill
On March 10th, sixteen Insurors Young Agents along with other members visited the Tennessee Legislative Plaza to see our state government in action. Included in the group were Chuck Akers of J. Smith Lanier & Co. in Murfreesboro, Chris Allison of The Allison Insurance Group in Jackson, Jamie Marie Beasley of Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance in Memphis, Diane Bidek of Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management in Nashville, Dave Bratcher of The Allison Insurance Group in Jackson, Will Denbo of Commercial Insurance Associates in Brentwood, Jamie Hobgood of Consumers Insurance in Murfreesboro, Chip Hoover of J. Smith Lanier & Co. in Murfreesboro, Steven Lee of Smith-Berclair Insurance in Memphis, Baker Moore of Moore Insurance in Brownsville, Taylor Ragan of Martin & Zerfoss in Nashville, Paul Rye Steele of Martin & Zerfoss in Nashville, Insurors Region II Director Johnny The attendees gather at the Nashville City Club Thompson and Insurors President Walt Bradshaw. The group started their day with lunch at the Nashville City Club, where Insurors General Counsel Ashley Arnold discussed the involvement of Insurors members and lobbyists in state government. She touched on topics such as the governing of Auto, Homeowners’ and Workers’ Compensation insurance by the legislature and the impact that changes in our insurance system could have if not for the involvement of our Association. The attendees were then treated to a Tennessee Titans football update from “The Voice of the Titans,” Mike Keith, who discussed the highlights of what is currently going on with the team. After lunch, the group walked over to the Legislative Plaza and sat in on a session of the Senate Commerce Committee. The Committee consists of Chairman Sen. Paul Stanley (R-Memphis), ViceChairman Sen. Dewayne Bunch (R-Cleveland), Secretary Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-Monterey), Sen. Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet), Sen. Tim Burchett (R-Knoxville), Jack Johnson (R-Franklin), Sen. Bill Ketron (R-Murfreesboro), Sen. Eric Stewart (D-Belvidere) and Sen. Reginald Tate (D-Memphis). The Committee makes decisions on legislation concerning commerce, insurance, and agriculture. They also have jurisdiction over legislation concerning banking and lending institutions; communications; regulation and licensing of occupations; protections of trade and commerce against unlawful restraints and monopolies; corporations; labor and industrial relations; consumer affairs and consumer protection; and unemployment compensation.
questions and discussed industry-related legislation before turning the floor over to the State Commissioner of Commerce and Insurance, Leslie Newman. Commissioner Newman, along with Deputy Commissioner John Morris, addressed issues currently facing the insurance industry in Tennessee, including licensing reform, Optional Federal Charters and the AIG situation.
Getting Involved with Young Agents Hopefully your agency received a Young Agents nomination request (like the one pictured below) in February. The request contained a form to nominate an agency employee to the Young Agents program. If yours was returned to Insurors than you have been added to our contact listings for Young Agents. If you did not return the form, or did not receive one, please send it in or e-mail Sara Bradberry at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and e-mail address of the young agent(s) who wants to be involved.
What’s Next for the Young Agents? Hopefully the attendees of the 2009 Day on the Hill will continue to spread the word about the importance of the Young Agents program to our industry. We are currently planning more events for the Young Agents program in 2009. There will be a reception scheduled soon in the Nashville area, as well as the Young Agents Sales School which you can read about on page 20 of this issue. If you have ideas on possible events for the future, please e-mail them to email@example.com. u
Insurors of Ten nesse
wants to know ... ...who will accept
your nominat ion?
Once the Committee session had adjourned, the attendees were brought into a conference room to meet with special guests. Sen. Ketron, a member of Insurors and a former Insuror of the Year award winner, addressed the group and introduced fellow agent/legislators Sen. Stewart, Rep. Jimmy Eldridge (R-Jackson), Rep. Charles Curtiss (D-Sparta), Rep. Charles Sargent (R-Franklin) and Rep. Barrett Rich (R-Somerville). The legislators answered 15
Survey Finds Bad Economy Has Many Considering Policy Changes Opportunity is Created for Agents to Discuss the Value of Umbrella Policies Many Americans are facing financial struggles and considering making changes to their insurance policies, according to a new national survey of homeowners by Trusted Choice® and the Big “I”. Almost twenty-four percent of those surveyed, representing about 39 million homeowners, say they have made changes to their insurance coverage because of the troubled economy, leaving them vulnerable to serious financial loss. “In tough economic times, people look for ways to trim household expenses, but cutting back on insurance coverage may leave them open to even bigger financial hardship,” says Madelyn Flannagan, Big “I” vice president for education and research.
How Can I Save Money on Insurance?
When it comes to Personal Umbrella polices ask your clients a few simple questions. •
What if someone slips and falls in your yard and you get sued and the jury awards more in damages than your homeowner’s policy provides coverage for?
What if someone in your household, perhaps your teenage driver, is responsible for an accident, you get sued and the judgment exceeds the liability limits on your auto policy?
The answer to both of these questions is that your clients would be on the hook for the awarded damages, unless they had a personal umbrella policy.
The survey found that more than 18% of respondents (more than 30 million Americans) have considered reducing their auto, home, life or health insurance coverage in the last few months. How can that create a marketing opportunity for an agent or producer? Take a proactive response to the consumer uneasiness and implement a customer contact process that shows your clients you are concerned about helping them get the best value for their insurance premium. One of the easiest things you can advise your clients to do is to change their deductibles.
That’s why your clients who already have a personal umbrella policy need you to remind them of how important it is for them to keep it and why you need to offer a personal umbrella to all your clients who don’t have one. By showing them how they can pay for most if not all of the umbrella premium by increasing their deductibles on both auto and homeowner’s policies, you will be demonstrating your value to them.
Higher deductibles: Owners of expensive homes and cars need to consider whether a low deductible makes sense. If someone steals the TV, it isn’t going to break the bank. Those same consumers need lots of insurance for a total catastrophe, though, or if they get sued. Therefore, they may want to take a $1,000 deductible or higher and use the savings, which can be 10 to 20%, and buy a reasonably priced “umbrella liability” policy to give them $1 million or $2 million of coverage in case they’re sued.
It’s now even easier than ever to get started quoting Umbrella Policies through an A+ rated personal umbrella product from RLI corporation for your clients. Just set up your subagent number by contacting David Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615.515.2605. You can then utilize RLI’s new Quick Quoter, which is now available on the Insurors website for agents to use as a faster and more effective way to quote their Personal Umbrella Policies. As users become familiar with the enhanced new Quoter, they will see that it has much more functionality than the previous version. The user can complete the entire RLI application online, print a complete or partially completed application at any time and the risk can be underwritten based on all of the eligibility requirements. u
This is a very important point. You want to help your clients save money where it makes sense but you also have to advise them that sometimes they have to spend money to save money. How so? 16
Get Started on Your Client’s Umbrella Policies
Trusted Choice Reimbursement Don’t Break the Bank Marketing Your Agency, Get Help From Trusted Choice Trusted Choice® has a new marketing reimbursement program (MRP) for its members. Agencies that use the Trusted Choice® logo on their business cards, brochures, websites and other collateral in 2009 are eligible for up to $500 to offset the cost. Apply for your reimbursement today and reap the benefits of “living the brand.”
By living the brand, committing to the pledge of performance and including the consumer-approved logo on collateral,
If you need help with the steps to marketing your agency, Trusted Choice® has developed an innovative way to accomplish just that. Download the Live the Brand checklist to your Outlook or Lotus Notes and apply the calendar sync and you will receive pop-up reminders of your next branding task. Contact Kevin Brandt at email@example.com to coordinate your program calendar.
Why Use These Marketing Dollars? Your brand is an experience representing what consumers feel, think or remember about their relationship with you and your agency. As a Trusted Choice® member, you have the opportunity to enhance your clients’ experience by implementing the one-of-a-kind independent insurance agency brand that’s more than 10,000 agencies strong, and is still growing today.
sions. Add to that a mix of national, state and regional radio, television and print spots and you have one powerful brand.
agencies around the nation are creating a network of millions of consumer impres-
So, whay not take advantage of all these marketing perks? Apply for Trusted Choice® marketing reimbursement dollars and boost your brand - it’s on us. Visit www. TrustedChoice.com/MRP to get started today. u
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Young Agent Sales School Will Enhance Sales Potential On Wednesday, August 5th, Young Agents (insurance industry employees under the age of 40 or with 5 or less years of experience) have the opportunity to be a part of a special educational experience from Insurors. That is the date of the first ever Insurors Young Agents Sales School, a one day immersion-style learning experience for insurance producers in Tennessee. The course is titled “Encore... Unlocking Your Sales Potential with Advance Selling Skills,” and is a fast-paced, interactive, sales session that is built for agency or company employees who need to strengthen and improve their sales skills. The session will stress proven sales methods and skills for use in the field such as: • • • • • • • •
Using questions to create a need for your products Dealing with the changing marketplace Solutions and suggestions for gaining greater compliance Creating a competitive advantage Dealing with customer objections clik Analyzing the true sales opportunity Understanding the various buying styles Creating a sales process that works in every situation
Teaching the course will be renowned business sales educator Jeff Gelona, CIC. Jeff has spent over 30 years in the insurance industry as a producer and salesman, including time as the Vice President of the Bramlett Agency, an independent agency and Big “I” member in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Jeff has worked extensively in the areas of loss and claims sensitive programs, own-risk and retrospective rating plans. He has taught seminars nationally on Workers’ Compensation, General Liability, Employment Practices, Personal Lines Risk Management, Agency Management, E&O loss control and more. He is now a consultant with Fennell & Associates, Inc., an insurance broker in Tulsa.
Cost for the course is only $375, and includes materials, lunch and just an optional Meet & Greet function on the evening of Tuesday, August 4th. The course will be held at the Insurors classroom in Nashville. To register now visit the Education section of our website at www.insurors.org. u
Online Quoting Now Available At www.tnund.com Now for a limited time get 11% Commission and a $10 Gift Card on all accounts bound with Ratehound. To get your user name and password email firstname.lastname@example.org. The online rating system offers quotes forthe following classes of business: Special Events, Vacant Dwellings, Day Care Centers, Dwellings LRO, and Artisan Contractors.
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From Your President Keeping Us “Underprivileged”
So many times we measure success in terms of what is attained. That is often the case with our Insurors government affairs progress, as we can easily measure its success by the bills we have helped get passed or the elections we helped win with our PAC contributions. Frequently we forget an important aspect of government affairs, and that is the things we helped keep FROM happening. One such item that our Association has helped stave off is the Professional Privilege Tax (Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-4-1701 et seq.) for insurance agents. Since the law was enacted in 1992, many professions that require a license in Tennessee have been paying a special tax for the “privilege” of having their occupation. Taxable professions are at this time limited to: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
Accountant Agent (Securities) Architect Attorney Audiologist Broker-Dealer (Agents) Chiropractor Dentist Engineer Investment Advisor Landscape Architect Lobbyist Optometrist Osteopathic Physician Pharmacist Physician Podiatrist Psychologist Real Estate Principal Broker Speech Pathologist Sports Agent Veterinarian
While insurance agents are currently exempt from this tax, often times new legislation is introduced that would see the tax added to agents to bring in more money for the state. If that legislation were to succeed, we would see an additional annual tax of $400 per agent, per
year! That means an agency with 5 licensed employees would be paying in $2000 in extra taxes annually. I don’t know about you, but that is not the kind of extra money my agency has laying around during this tough economy. Imagine what some of our large member agencies might be paying. They could be looking at tens of thousands to pay these taxes for their employees. And although the law does not require the employer to pay for the taxes of its employees, it does allow for that option (Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-4-1709) and other occupations frequently see the employers do just that. In my opinion, the tax would not be fair if applied to agents because virtually everyone in our offices are licensed agents whereas with the professionals that are currently taxed (such as attorneys), the support staff is not licensed and therefore not subject to the tax. Nonpayment of the tax can result in penalties including interest and suspension or even revocation of a person’s license. As
you can see, this is one instance were I think we all prefer to be “underprivileged.” So the next time you look at that line item of Insurors dues on your expenses, keep in mind the $400+ in fees that aren’t on that report. Also, when you consider making a contribution to InsurPACTN, keep in mind that you are helping to convince the legislature that the $400 professional privilege tax would be an unfair burden if made applicable to insurance agents.
“Frequently we forget an important aspect of government affairs, and that is the things we h e l p e d keep from happening.”
More Issues to Consider Another example of battles our Association is fighting to keep something from happening is Optional Federal Chartering (OFC). No doubt you know by now that federal regulation of insurance is a major issue in the U.S. today. Both our state and national Association are hard at work to ensure that the agreed upon regulation solution is one that is best for our agents, companies and consumers.
Walt Bradshaw, J.D. 21
Issues like the OFC, Professional Privilege Tax and more are indeed issues that are very important to our business, and we need our Insurors and Big “I” government affairs personnel, as well as our member agents, to make a stand for our industry. I hope you will agree with me that the value of our influence on matters like these is vital to the success of the independent agency system.
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If you are interested, Insurors has ways for you to get involved. If you want to know more, the Insurors and Big “I” websites have plenty of frequently updated information. If you want to show support, donate to InsurPACTN and InsurPAC-National.
Relationships Trust nd ep
I, along with several others, will be traveling to Washington, D.C., at the end of April on behalf of Insurors to help independent agents from across the country and right here in Tennessee make sure our voice is heard. I invite you to join me at the Big “I” Legislative Conference & Convention to achieve that goal.
Momentum to enact some sort of federal regulation is stronger than ever, and this could be the year that a stand finally has to be made. The Big “I” has proposed solid alternatives like NARAB II, but lawmakers need to know what everyday businesspeople have to say.
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From Your CEO
“Life” Insurance for Your Agency?
You would think that as licensed insurance agents there would never be one of our number who sustains an uninsured or underinsured loss. But many of our members might be placing themselves in a situation that could let that happen. Routinely, we see agents send their E&O renewal applications in moments before the expiration date asking for the “renew as is quote” as to limits and deductible. Many of those agencies have maintained the same limits since the agency was created even though their agency commission volume has continually grown. This is akin to someone insuring their home at the price they paid for it twenty years ago.
to underinsure his biggest asset?
At least homeowners carriers generally insist on some replacement cost value as compared to market values. The concept of ‘replacement cost coverage’ may be applicable for your agency’s E&O coverage as well. What are you trying to protect with the purchase of E&O insurance? A whimsical answer might be, “ I am buying it to meet my contractual requirements imposed by my companies.” A thoughtful answer might be, “I want to protect my clients from any mistakes we might make that could leave them with an uncovered loss.” And others might include, “protecting my professional reputation or protecting my largest asset - the value of my agency.”
Scary stuff, yes, but more importantly, real stuff. Katrina losses in Louisiana and Mississippi should have sent up a red flag that many agents were underinsured. Failure to offer, or at least inablility to prove they did offer and were rejected, lead to enormous E&O losses to the tune of over $60 million dollars. These were the “insured” losses. What about the uninsured losses? How many agents limits were exceeded and their personal wealth used up paying the additional amount or forcing the agency into bankruptcy? In many cases a lifetime of work building an agency was gone in a single court court case. Agents counting on their retirement coming from agency value are now having to find other solutions.
How much life insurance would you recommend to a client who consulted you with an annual income of $1.5 million dollars? Now applying that same principal, what do your recommend for your “life” insurance for your agency? Are your current E&O limits meeting that recommendation? In a couple of recent claims we have seen losses at $2 million, $10.8 Million, and even as high as $19 Million. A million sure isn’t what it used to be. What would happen to your agency if these were your losses? Subtract your current limits and ask yourself the question, “Am I underinsured?” Would you recommend to your client
Of course these massive claims are very rare, but should you ever be hit with one how many agencies do you have to lose? Some agents even carry auto limits higher than their E&O limits. Which one is more likely to be needed? Think about the amount of insured values in your agency’s book of business. That only adds up to less than half your total exposure when you add in your casualty lines.
Disaster Planning IS E&O Planning
“Some agents even carr y auto limits higher than their E&O l i m i t s . ”
Last year was one of the worst ever in terms of catastrophe losses, as high claims in the US were driven by Hurricanes Ike and Gustav as well as thunderstorms during the first half of 2008. Just imagine some of the E&O fallout that may happen in cases this year from those disasters. Can’t happen in Tennessee you say? We all know about our earthquake potential and relatively low sales of flood insurance in our state. Regardless of the source of the problem, it only takes one incident to do the trick. Don’t let it
Chuck Bidek, CPCU 25
happen to you!
How We Can Help With Westport (Swiss RE) we are able to provide primary limits up to $10 million dollars. Now we can even provide excess insurance, or better still, an agency umbrella over your entire business through the Agency Umbrella program. This policy from Swiss Re offers broad coverage over primary lines, including professional liability, with a maximum limit of up to $10 million. These policies can provide excess coverage over primary E&O, commercial auto, comprehensive general liability and employers liability coverages. That means for Swiss Re primary policyholders, the policies can be packaged together to provide up to $20 million in E&O protection. An extended reporting period of up to 10 years is available, depending on the primary E&O carrier. Swiss Re can write the umbrella over their own E&O coverage, or on most other carrier’s primary E&O coverage. Westport is rated “A+” by A.M. Best and has a 34-year history of underwriting professional liability, so you know you are going to be working with a company you can rely on. Contact Paul Pelt at the Insurors office and get a quote to protect the “life of your agency.” Call him today at 615.515.2602 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Your agency’s “life” could depend on it. u
, DON, T THANK US,
Agents and policyholders alike can share in the credit for this year’s $3 million dividend— you both helped make it possible. Because safety is one of your top priorities, it’s reflected in our bottom line. At Builders Mutual, we don’t just ask policyholders to work safely—we give them the tools to make it happen. And we appreciate our agents stressing the importance of efforts such as Fall Protection Certification, Builders University, our Risk Management CD—even on-site risk management consulting. With your help, Builders Mutual has been able to reward over $44 million in dividends to date. At a moment like this, aren’t you glad you’re with Builders Mutual?
P.O. Box 150005 Raleigh, NC 27624-0005 (800) 809-4859 | www.buildersmutual.com
YOU VE EARNED IT.
are you prepared for the road ahead?
The Insurors of Tennessee offers education opportunities to member agents across a wide range of insurance specialities that satisfy individuals at many different experience levels. If you are looking to further your career, seeking a professional designation, or need to satisfy continuing education requirements, check out the variety of courses available. Registration is fast and easy at www.insurors.org. More information about each class can also be found online.
CISR 5/5 5/6 5/7 6/2 6/3 6/4 6/5 8/11 8/12 8/13 9/15 9/16 9/17
Personal Auto Personal Auto Personal Auto Commercial Casualty Commercial Casualty Commercial Casualty Commercial Casualty Dynamics of Service Dynamics of Service Dynamics of Service Agency Operations Agency Operations Agency Operations
CIC 4/1-3 5/13-15 7/8-10 8/19-21 9/23-25 11/16-18
William T. Hold
Memphis Jackson Nashville Johnson City Knoxville Chattanooga Nashville Johnson City Knoxville Chattanooga Memphis Jackson Nashville
Commercial Property Institute Agency Management Institute Commercial Casualty Institute Personal Lines Institute Life & Health Institute Ruble Graduate Seminar
Nashville Nashville Nashville Nashville Nashville Nashville
The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be addressed to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors, 150 Fourth Avenue North, Suite 700, Nashville, TN, 37219-2417. Website: www.nasba. org. Advanced Curriculum Rating = 20 CPE Credits. For more information regarding administrative policies such as complaint and refund, please contact our offices at 800-633-2165.
E&O Seminars 6/16 6/17 6/18
E&O Business Practices E&O Business Practices E&O Business Practices
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6/16 9/15 10/27
Hold Seminar (CISRs Only) Hold Seminar (CISRs Only) Hold Seminar (CISRs Only)
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CE: 3 CE: 3 CE: 6 CE: 9 CE: 6 CE: 6
$75 $50 $80 $100 $80 $60
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Indicates course is presented by The National Alliance. Register for these courses at www.thenationalalliance.com 29
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Government and Legal Affairs State Tax Implications of The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
suppliers, and specific exemptions for data centers. These incentives may be combined with the Federal incentives.
by Brett R. Carter, JD, LLM
In the event that existing incentives are unavailable, there may be some opportunity to seek additional incentives from the State. It has been Tennessee’s practice in recent years to work very closely with businesses either relocating to the State or expanding facilities here. The State’s efforts to tailor existing incentives to lure investments (and new jobs) to Tennessee have resulted in recent successes with the Volkswagen Plant and the Hemlock Semiconductor Plant. It has typically been Tennessee’s preference to modify existing tax incentives, including the Job Tax Credit and the Industrial Machinery Exemption, to encourage investment in the State. An example of this was the 2007 enactment of incentives for data centers that included the data centers within the parameters of the sales tax exemptions applicable to manufacturers. In 2008, however, a completely new incentive was enacted that created a credit for “green” energy supply chain manufacturers. Thus, whether it is through modification of existing incentives or passage of new incentives, the Legislature has clearly exhibited a willingness to pass incentives to attract investment to Tennessee.
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Act) was passed by Congress on Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. The Act includes various energy-related tax incentives to encourage investment in “green” energy alternatives. These incentives, coupled with opportunities to obtain bond financing resources under the Act, such as Energy Conservation Bonds (See Tax-Exempt Bonds Key Component of Stimulus Package), will likely result in increased investment in these new technologies across the country. For existing Tennessee businesses or businesses that are looking to relocate and make investments to qualify for the Act’s energy incentives, Tennessee’s tax incentives should be reviewed before any investments are made to determine whether state tax savings may also be available. Tennessee’s most often utilized incentives include the job tax credit, a very broadly applied industrial machinery exemption, a credit for facilities that support emerging industries (i.e. high skill, high wage, and high technology jobs), exemptions for pollution control equipment, credits for integrated
Notable energy incentives in the Act are discussed here, but some
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are summarized below:
Advanced Energy Investment Credit The proposal establishes a new 30% investment tax credit for facilities engaged in the manufacture of advanced energy property. Credits are available only for projects certified by the Secretary of Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, through a competitive bidding process. This incentive will likely overlap with Tennessee’s “green” energy supply chain manufacturers credit. The Act defines “advanced energy property” to include renewable power equipment, smart grid technology, carbon capture and storage equipment, energy storage, energy conservation, efficient transmission and distribution of electricity, and carbon capture and sequestration. Tennessee does not, by comparison, define “green energy” so that will allow the State some flexibility to determine if Tennessee’s credit applies.
Long-Term Extension/Modification of Renewable Energy Credit Under current law, this credit is allowed for production of energy from qualified energy facilities based on a kilowatt-hour rate. Prior to the passage of the Act, facilities that generated electricity qualifying for the credit had to be placed in service by Jan. 1, 2010. The Act extends the placedin-service date for wind facilities for three years (through Dec. 31, 2012). The proposal also extends the placed-in-service date through Dec. 31, 2013 for certain other qualifying facilities, including closed-loop biomass; open-loop biomass; geothermal; small irrigation; hydropower; landfill gas; waste-to-energy; and marine renewable facilities.
Temporary Election to Claim the Investment Tax Credit in Lieu of the Production Tax Credit Current law allows facilities producing electricity from solar facilities, geothermal, small wind, and other qualified sources to take a 30 percent investment tax credit in the year the facility is placed in service. The Act allows the qualified energy facilities described above to claim this investment tax credit, in lieu of the production credit set forth above, for property placed 32
in service in 2009 through 2012 for small wind facilities and 2009 through 2013 for all other qualified facilities. The Act also removes the $4,000 cap in existing law for small wind energy property. For those interested in how the Act may affect the application of Tennessee’s excise tax law, it remains to be seen how the State will react to the general provisions of the Act, including changes in cancellation of indebtedness. Additional information on this topic is available at this link.. Tennessee has taken varying approaches to changes at the federal level. Like many states, Tennessee’s excise tax is statutorily decoupled from federal bonus depreciation. Tennessee, however, has not decoupled from the expense provisions of Section 179. Based on the amount of focus that has been placed on the Act, the State may choose not to decouple from changes in the Act that may impact Tennessee excise tax calculations. In addition, changes in the federal NOL provisions will have no impact on Tennessee excise tax as Tennessee does not allow for NOL carrybacks. About the Author Brett Carter is a partner with the law firm of Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP in Nashville. He practices primarily in the area of state and local tax controversy and state tax planning, and his experience focuses on Tennessee sales and use tax, franchise and excise tax, property tax and business tax. Mr. Carter has assisted corporations, limited liability companies and other business entities in challenging assessment of tax as well as in seeking tax refunds. He also has assisted large corporations in structuring and negotiating state tax incentives. For more information, please contact Mr. Carter at 800.487.6380.
Tennessee Auto Assigned Risk Insurance Plan The Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan (Plan), or the automobile assigned risk plan, was established pursuant to Chapter 107 of the Public Acts of 1949 to provide automobile insurance coverage to eligible risks who seek coverage and are unable to obtain such coverage
through the voluntary market. For many years the Plan only provided liability, medical payments and uninsured motorist’s coverage. The Plan currently offers: • •
Physical damage for individually owned private passenger vehicles, Private passenger vehicles individually owned or furnished for regular use to an individual by his employer, and Light/medium classified commercial vehicles
Plan rule Section 20 of the Personal Automobile Part and Section 36 in the Commercial Automobile Part contain specific rules for vehicle eligibility. Any licensed property and casualty agent may submit applications to the Plan. Applications and Plan manual of rules and rates are available on line at www.aipso.com. Website Instructions: 1. Select Tennessee on the United States map 2. Select “For Producers” from the list to the left 3. You will be directed to links for the forms and manuals and Frequently Asked Questions The Plan staff WILL NOT rate for the agent. The agent must fully complete the application and rate the risk and submit the required deposit premium. The Plan has as Electronic Application Submission Interface (EASi) that allows the agent to complete, rate, and submit private passenger applications online. Commercial applications can be completed and submitted but not rated using EASi. The application must still be printed and signed by the insured and mailed to the Plan. In order to use EASi the agent must be registered with the Plan to use the EASi system. Instructions for registration are contained in Section 18 of the Plan manual. The earliest possible effective date for applications submitted via US Mail is 12:01 AM on the day following the date
of mailing. For effective date purposes only the US Postal Service postmark is acceptable. Metered mail postmark, electronic stamp, or any other postage service or stamp will not be recognized. For applications sent via the mail with other than US Postal Service postmark the coverage will be effective at 12:01 AM on the day of receipt in the Plan office. The Plan is administrated by the Birmingham, Alabama, office of the Automobile Insurance Plans Services Office. Contact the Tennessee Automobile Insurance Plan: P. O. Box 530850, Birmingham, AL 35253-0850 205.967.2001 800.301.6477 The amendment to the assigned risk plan which is intended to maintain the status quo passed the House and is beginning to travel through the Senate. Insurors is working with the Department of Commerce and Insurance and other
industry groups with the goal that the plan remains viable and continues to be managed by AIPSO.
Budget Cuts Proposed Unless FONCE “Loophole” is Closed Governor Bredesen finally unveiled his budget proposal in the fourth week in March. Included in his presentation was a provision that makes funding for 85 district attorney positions, 25 public defender positions and 208 department of safety and highway patrol positions dependent upon the passage of legislation subjecting family-owned, noncorporate entities (FONCEs) to franchise and excise taxes. A recent report by the Tennessee Department of Revenue has established that an estimated $25 million would be raised by this legislation, which, when combined with the reduction in public safety looming, should make closing the loophole easier for the Governor. Part of the argument for this tax loophole to be closed is that approximately
20% of these FONCEs are owned by outof-state investors that control over $1 billion worth of the state’s commercial property, making Tennessee a tax haven for out-of-state, wealthy investors who want to shield their commercial property investments from taxes. The same week as the budget was released, the debate in the Legislature over the sale of wine in grocery stores heated up, but legislation of particular interest to the insurance industry seems to be stalled. Bills regarding corporate contributions and trade associations contributing to PACs were deferred until April, while the workers’ compensation bills seem stalled through the end of March. The Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee has reviewed all of the bills and made their recommendations, so the bills may be taken up at any time. As we mentioned last year, once the WC bills begin it can take between 12-14 votes to pass a WC bill and send it to the Governor for his signature. u
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Don Scott Insurance Trusted Choice Follow-up
In a follow-up to the article in our January/February 2009 issue entitled “Living the Brand,” member agency Don Scott Insurance of Lebanon was recently named as the Trusted Choice® Agency of the Month. The agency was featured in the Trusted Choice Advantage e-mail newsletter for their branding efforts under the Trusted Choice label. Insurors congratulates them on their achievement.
Smith-Berclair Insurance Moving Offices to Ridgeway Center to Accommodate Growth Smith-Berclair Insurance, Inc., a member agency in Memphis, recently moved their office to the Ridgeway Center located at 855 Ridge Lake Blvd., Suite 400, to accommodate the agency’s growth and consolidate their operations into one level. “This will give us a lot better flow within the office,” said Brad Smith, Agency Principal and Insurors Past President, “We’ll be able to give people the space they need to do their jobs better and give them an atmosphere that makes them want to come to work every day, which is important in attracting good people.”
Insurors of Tennessee Still Going Strong in Big “I” Markets Competition In the IIABA’s contest to see which state can garner the most participation in Big “I” Markets, Tennessee is still going strong, ranking in the top 5 in percentage of agencies registered for the program. Have you already signed up for Big “I” Markets? If not, it is free with your Association membership and can provide you with great access to specialty and niche coverages. For more information, or to get registered today, visit www.bigimarkets. com.
Porch Family Welcomes New Addition State National Director Dave Porch and his wife Melissa have a new grandson as their son Andy and his wife Kara have a new baby boy. Andrew Dalten Porch was born on Wednesday evening, March 4th, at 6:00 pm, weighing 5 lbs, 12 oz, 18 inches long, with a head full of black hair. Mother and child are doing fine, and Andy and the happy grandparents are on cloud nine. u
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Bailey Special Risks, Inc. (BSR) is pleased to announce a change in ownership. The new owners, Janet Smith, Sandy Hall and Vickie Harmon are eager to continue BSR’s mission of providing world class service, superior knowledge, and an enjoyable environment in which to do business. We will continue to focus on selected coverages so we can offer the expertise, experience and special understanding about each product to provide your client with specialized insurance solutions.
Management Liability/Professional Liability Products BSR has specialized in the Professional and Management Liability area by offering coverage with multiple markets for Employment Practices Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, and extensive classes in Errors and Omissions. We are currently a Managing General Agent for EPL and Misc E&O which gives us the ability to quickly respond to your quoting service needs. We have focused our energy on providing knowledge as well as timely service to our agents. Our experience in these areas gives us the expertise to assist our agents with their professional needs.
User Friendly Website Based upon feedback from customers, our website was designed to provide agents easy access to applications, product information, and online rating engines. With 5 lines of coverage and over 30 products, BSR customers have the ability to quote 24/7 via our online rating engines. We recognize that in today’s climate the first quote offered is often the one sold. BSR’s goal is to provide customers with as many opportunities to make the sale. Higher commission is passed to agents utilizing the online rating tools.
Continuing Education BSR prides itself in being a provider of quality education to our agents. We offer CE courses for multiple coverages in various states. Recent classes have included the topics of EPL, D&O, Cyber Liability, Identity Theft and Misc E&O. Our customers have expressed their appreciation for this complimentary service. Future CE courses are listed under the Events section of our website. To learn more about BSR and how to become an appointed agency call 1.800.768.7475 or visit www.bsrins.com. We look forward to partnering with you and assisting with your insurance needs. u
Travelers Insurance Travelers is a leading property casualty insurer that offers “one stop shopping” for our agents with 26 Business Units featuring a broad array of products, coverages, and services. The company’s diverse business lines offer its global customers a wide range of coverage in the auto, home and business settings. It offers an impressive combination of: financial strength; unparalleled product breadth; underwriting excellence; quality risk management and claim services; and an enduring commitment to helping agents grow. Recently, Fortune magazine featured Travelers in their February 19, 2009 edition with an article titled “The Safety of Travelers”. If you would like to view the article you may see it online at money. cnn.com/2009/02/19/magazines/fortune/investor_daily.fortune/index.htm
Strong Local Presence Travelers has offices in every U.S. state, the UK, Ireland, and Canada, with approximately 33,000 employees on staff. In Tennessee, Travelers has 857 employees with underwriting offices located in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville supported by a superior cast of claims personnel located throughout the state.
Ease of Doing Business Travelers offers a series of products that have improved agents’ ease of doing business, including TravelersExpressSM for small businesses and Quantum Auto and Quantum Home products for individuals—all multivariate pricing products. The company also developed online quote and issue tools for Agribusiness, Inland Marine and Ocean Marine, among others.
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dustry segments. From the launch of Travelers innovative CyberTech+SM coverage solution for Technology companies, to the broadening of target markets in its Construction area, to Public Sector’s Public Entity Cyber+ LiabilitySM Protection, to Global Accounts expertise in insuring U.S.-based companies with foreign exposures, Travelers niche expertise in diverse markets allows them to serve a wide customer base and create solutions for very specific property and casualty needs.
Contact Information Small Business - Travelers has created one of the best portfolios of small business insurance coverages. Key offerings include: Business Owner’s Policy (BOP); Automobile; Commercial Package Policy (OMNISM); Umbrella and Workers’ Compensation.
Middle Market Travelers offers mid-sized commercial businesses all the core lines of commercial insurance, plus coverages for: Equipment Breakdown, International Exposures, Directors & Officers, Employment Practices, Inland and Ocean Marine Exposures, and more. IndustryEdge is a suite of industry-specific insurance products and risk control and claim services. Some of Travelers targeted IndustryEdge classes include Real Estate Owners and Managers, Educational Institutions, Metal Manufacturers, and, most recently added, Architects and Engineers.
Specialized Industries Travelers offers specialized insurance solutions, risk management and creative claims handling services to targeted in-
Middle TN - 615.660.6000 East TN - 865.777.6000 West TN - 901.756.3146 www.travelers.com In addition, Travelers National Program Department provides tailored coverages for specific industry groups and in most cases provides an “all lines solution” for your clients. Most recently, Travelers introduced their Day Care Program. To obtain a listing of National Programs which agents can access, e-mail Les Woods, Regional Marketing Director, National Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bond & Financial Products Travelers also provides management liability, professional liability and surety to businesses of all sizes. They also provide traditional property casualty coverage to Financial Institutions. Product segments include: Bond Express; Commercial Surety; Contract Surety; Financial Institutions; Management Liability – Private & Non-Profit; Management Liability – Public Company; Professional Liability; Public Official Bonds. u 39
When you call one of ACUITY’s many call centers, your call is answered on average within three seconds—nine times faster than the industry benchmark, according to Purdue University’s Center for Customer-Driven Quality. Even better, ACUITY resolves calls on average within 1.24 minutes—over four times faster than the industry.
So call us and get much more than lip service!
Grange Launches New Brand Identity
Citing a desire to better represent the dynamic company it has become, Grange Insurance introduced a new brand identity that reflects the company’s strong heritage and financial security while promoting its desire to create innovative, customer-focused products and position independent agents as valued insurance experts. Since the company last updated its logo in 1988, Grange has: • • •
Grown from annual revenues of $250 million to $1.3 billion, with $2 billion in assets. Expanded from five states to 13. Increased its independent agent network from 1,258 agents to more than 15,000 agents.
In conjunction with the brand launch, the company is introducing new television, radio and print advertisements, which begin airing in March. Company officials will also be traveling to meet with agents in 16 cities throughout nine states to share more about the brand and overall company operations. Marketing vice president Carol Drake headed the rebranding initiative and noted that the new logo is much more representative of today’s Grange. In addition to the new look, another key element of the brand update is the revamped website, where customers will soon be able to access policy information, print insurance cards and check on their claims status. The new site also includes information that makes insurance easier to understand, thanks to simplified explanations and easy-to-read language.
Liberty Mutual Retires Wausau Brand and Ends Middle Market Direct Distribution Liberty Mutual recently announced that it has discontinued direct distribution to mid-sized businesses and, that going forward it will distribute its commercial property and casualty insurance products in the middle market exclusively through agents and brokers. The Company also announced the retirement of the Wausau brand and the creation of a new commercial business unit, Liberty Mutual Middle Market. The new unit brings together the strengths of Liberty Mutual and Wausau Insurance Companies to better serve the property and casualty insurance and risk management needs of middle market businesses and their representatives. To ensure a smooth transition for its customers, Liberty Mutual has entered into definitive agreements to sell the policy renewal rights of its middle market operations to three firms: Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Hub International (Hub) and USI Holdings Corporation (USI). Each of the firms has extended offers of employment to many of the Liberty Mutual Group sales and service professionals supporting the transferred policies. The transactions are expected to fully completed by the end of April.
Throughout the process, members of Grange’s Agent Advisory Board shared their thoughts on the brand. Grange has a unique relationship with its independent agent network that differentiates it in the marketplace. For years, Grange has touted its “100 percent commitment to the independent agent distribution channel.” The new brand not only maintains that commitment but strengthens it by positioning independent agents as trusted advisors of a complicated product. Agents also appreciate Grange’s focus on providing Ease of Doing Business® (EODB), the company’s core business philosophy for the past 10 years. The company’s new brand comes with not only a renewed commitment to deliver EODB to agents, but to extend the same philosophy to all customers. Evidence of the company’s ability to do so includes its 96 percent claims satisfaction rating.
Mark A. Butler has been appointed chief operating officer of the new Liberty Mutual Middle Market business unit. Mr. Butler was previously executive vice president and general manager of field operations for Liberty Mutual’s National Market commercial insurance operations.
and fliers, direct mail, e-marketing tools, signs, and television and radio ads. There are also materials for all of Progressive’s product lines including car insurance, motorcycle insurance, boat insurance, commercial auto insurance, homeowners insurance and more.
Liberty Mutual Middle Market is working to expand its network of appointed agents and brokers. Liberty Mutual already writes large national account business through brokers and small commercial business through independent agents. In fact, most of the Company’s commercial insurance is distributed through third parties.
Enhancements to the site include:
Liberty Mutual has launched a web site, www.libertymutualgroup.com/middlemarket, to provide more information about the announcement. If you are an agent or broker interested in working with Liberty Mutual Middle Market, call 1.800.847.7783.
Broker Johnson & Johnson Named as a “Best Place to Work” in South Carolina
Johnson & Johnson Inc., a family-owned insurance brokerage firm in Charleston, South Carolina, recently ranked number five on the “Best Places to Work in SC” 2008 list. Twenty-eight companies from all industries across South Carolina were finalists in this multiyear initiative developed to encourage South Carolina companies to focus, measure, and move their workplace toward excellence. Independent research firm, Best Companies Group, surveyed the participating companies. The selection process was based on a 65-question employee survey regarding the company’s employee policies and procedures. Johnson & Johnson employees responded enthusiastically to this survey with an overall 95% employee satisfaction rating, calling attention to the many benefits of working for the company. One such benefit is a company Wellness Program including annual flu shots, reimbursement for health club memberships, an on-site gym, and an annual employee appreciation day. Continually focused on employee education, Johnson & Johnson maintains their Certified Managing General Agent designation from the Association of Managing General Agents by more than doubling the required number of employee education hours.
Redesigned Progressive Website Will Help Aid Agents in Growing Business
Tabbed layout for easier searching. Agents can find the materials they need faster, thanks to an improved, userfriendly layout. The layout is similar to Progressive’s Webbased training layout, which agents already know and like. Pictures, right up front. By showing thumbnail images of all materials, it’s even easier and faster for agents to find exactly what they’re looking for. Drop-down menus. Drop-down submenus make it easy to filter searches by language, type of material and product line. Ability to customize creative materials on the fly. Agents can customize their materials and see their changes made in real time before finalizing their order. One-stop shopping. All of Progressive’s marketing materials, including agency supplies, are now located in one, easy-to-find location.
Appointed agents who wish to start using the enhanced Progressive Brand Express or to take a quick tutorial and learn more about the changes can log on to ForAgentsOnly.com and click on the Progressive Brand Express icon in the bottom right corner.
Acuity’s 2008 Results Break Records and Set Benchmarks ACUITY recently released its 2008 financial results, which showed that the insurer continued its strong performance in all key areas of operations. Additionally, in its two primary business lines, commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, ACUITY shattered previous records for growth en route to all-time highs in policy count. In 2008, ACUITY wrote an all-time record amount of premium in personal lines, finishing the year at $196 million. The 24 months of 2007-08 also saw the carrier write the most new business personal lines premium, $75.3 million, of any two-year span in the company’s history. ACUITY finished 2008 with 147,500 personal lines policies, also a record.
Independent insurance agents who want to grow their business by harnessing the power of the Progressive name need look no further than the redesigned Progressive Brand Express.
In commercial lines, ACUITY wrapped up 2008 with 82,044 policies, an all-time high. The insurer also set new benchmarks for quote issuing success, booking a record 38.1% of the quotes it issued. The 47,453 commercial lines quotes that independent agents submitted was also a record.
The updated site – located on Progressive’s agency-dedicated Web site, ForAgentsOnly.com – gives agents access to hundreds of free and low-cost co-branded materials like brochures
ACUITY has also grown profitably. The company began 2008 by being named a Profit Champion and earning a selection into the first-ever “Profit Hall of Fame,” chosen by the National
than 24-hour shopping? Convenience Store coverage in a five-minute phone call
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Underwriter. The company continued its performance in 2008, finishing the year just with a combined ratio of 101.0, compared to the industry’s projected 106.9. Last year, ACUITY also received two reaffirmations of its A+ financial strength rating from A.M. Best and its A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s. ACUITY’s growth and profitability, driven by sound underwriting and operational discipline, will position the company well for 2009 and beyond.
Road Contractors Mutual Partners with Brentwood Services to Provide Solid Footing During the recent financial industry turmoil, while many insurance companies in the marketplace are struggling with the insecurities of the financial world, one local company, Road Contractors Mutual Insurance Company (RCMIC), of Nashville, has emerged from hard times, is financially strong and is poised for growth from the expected economic stimulus package. Formed 12 years ago as Tennessee Road Builders Self-Insured Trust, RCMIC had seen some tough times of its own when its reinsurer went out of business, leaving a shortfall in the fund that resulted in an assessment for its members. The company negotiated a rescue plan with the state of Tennessee that allowed the fund to return to a sound financial footing. To gain its solid footing, RCMIC adopted a conservative invest-
ment policy focused on a high allocation to cash in its portfolio that can be used to take advantage of attractive yields in the Tennessee municipal bond market. Sixty-five percent of current investments are in Tennessee municipal bonds. Investing in the Tennessee economy is central to the operations of RCMIC. As a mutual insurance company, RCMIC is owned by its policyholders. Chambers states, “This vested interest in the financial success of RCMIC contributes to policyholder accountability for employee safety and can pay off through up front discounts and dividends. We use a local company, Brentwood Services Inc. (BSI), to provide services to our members including the claims and loss control services that set the company apart from their competitors.”
Minico’s Sommer and Good Promoted to VPs Hardy Good, Chairman and CEO of MiniCo, Inc., has announced the promotions of Dan Sommer and David Good. Mr. Sommer has been named Vice President, Publishing, Marketing and Communications, as well as Chief Marketing Officer. Mr. Good has been promoted to Vice President, Information Technology, and Chief Information Officer. Sommer joined MiniCo in 2007 as Director of Marketing and Communications, and in June 2008, he assumed leadership of MiniCo Publishing. David Good joined MiniCo in 2005 as Director of Information Technology. u
2014. Hover car accident.
2008. Hybrid car accident.
Hybrid cars? Hover cars? Who knows what lies on the road ahead? At Travelers, we’re working to identify changes in the world and to make sure your customers’ policies stay in-synch. Do your forward-thinking customers want to drive a hybrid car? We help you reward them with a discount. Is your small business client concerned about identity theft? We’ll suggest the latest solutions. Contact Travelers today. After all, the world is evolving. We think insurance should, too. ©2008 The Travelers Companies, Inc. All rights reserved. The Travelers Indemnity Company and its property casualty affiliates. One Tower Square, Hartford, CT 06183 A discount of up to 10 percent applies only to certain coverages. The discount may not be available in all states and is subject to individual eligibility.
Big “I” Eagle Bringing Carriers to You Adding MetLife to Program is Helping Small and Newer Agencies Soar to Success David Fossier has seen it all. For 18 years he worked in an agency in Farmersville, Texas and had climbed all the ropes. He was the senior VP of a large agency for several years when, like most entrepreneurs, he got tired of having a boss and decided it was time to be the captain of his own ship. So a little over a year ago he hung his shingle on a new office and opened up David G. Fossier Insurance & Associates Inc. And what was one of the first things he discovered?
also work with MetLife to write life insurance he says he plans on following up on that also. But the newest eye opener for David came when he discovered he can gain direct access to commercial underwriters at Travelers via Eagle agency. That will provide a missing link to a brand name commercial market that David has been trying to get. A similar story can be told a few states away in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Rick
The stage was set for David to read about the expansion of Eagle agency in the Big I Advantage Newsletter. “I liked the Met brand name and when I saw I could get access to MetLife Auto & Home through Eagle, I signed up right away.” And how is working for David? “So far it has been real positive”, he says. “The products are very good and they have been in the ballpark competitively.” David is writing several personal lines policies a week with MetLife Auto & Home and when he learned that he can 46
“Met has been just wonderful,” said Amanda. “Met has helped us install our new agency management system and made sure it integrated with their system. The Met sales management team has been very responsive.” And in terms of sales, Amanda says MetLife Auto & Home is very competitive with homeowners and if she quotes the GrandProtect Personal Lines auto & home combination policy for higher value homes, the auto rates are very good too.
“I had focused mostly on larger commercial business before,” said David. “But it has been a real challenge getting direct appointments with brand name commercial carriers.” And MGA’s were not the answer for David because his experience with them has been less than endearing. He says “I haven’t worked with many that have staffs who have the expertise to shepherd larger, complex risks through the underwriting process properly. So I quickly determined that until I could get some commercial markets, I needed to focus on personal lines in order to generate customers,” said David.
MetLife Auto & Home is the only company we have that is writing homeowners in the state.” And how has it been going?
Barge had been on the good hands team at Allstate for 25 years. He had been an agent and then was a market sales manager. His wife is a claims adjuster with Allstate. But when approached by a local real estate firm to go into business and run an independent insurance agency, he scratched the entrepreneurial itch like David did and opened the East Coast Insurance Services Agency. Long on sales experience but short on markets, Rick and his producer, Amanda Ray reacted immediately when they learned about the Eagle Agency opportunity. And the timing could not have been better. “Farmers and Encompass have pulled out of North Carolina”, said Amanda. “So
Rick also understands the importance of selling life, not only because it is the right thing to do for his clients but also because of the positive impact life sales have on generating agency cash flow. So he is exploring access to MetLife as well and plans on making life insurance part of his regular sales process.
So What is Big “I” Eagle? For over eight years the Eagle Agency has been a successful part of the Big “I” Advantage portfolio of markets. Eagle Agency was created primarily to assist newer and/or small agencies get their feet on the ground. Eagle Agency is a general agency created exclusively for IIABA members. It gives Big “I” member agencies easy access to top-rated carriers for personal lines with low volume commitments and no fees. After achieving a predetermined level of written premium with Eagle Agency, if the book of business is profitable, Eagle agents will have the opportunity to re-
The Ultimate Producer Stimulus Package:
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The National Alliance Main Street Producer School June 7-19, 2009 Nashville, Tennessee
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Learn to hit the street running! Gain knowledge and confidence to risk manage and close “Main Street” commercial, personal lines, and group employee benefits — all at this new, intensive two-week program. Unlike any other program, the MAIN STREET Producer School is taught by successful insurance sales training experts — active practicing agents who have effectively coached thousands of new and experienced producers for 10+ years. UÊ ->ÛiÊÌi\Ê7iÊÌ>iÊÛiÀÊÌ iÊÌ>ÃÊvÊ}iÌÌ}Ê«À`ÕViÀÃÊÕ«ÊÌÊÃ«ii`ÊÊÀiVÀ`ÊÌiÊqÊLÞÊÌi}À>Ì}Ê technical knowledge with Dynamics of Selling, the leading sales training on the street! UÊ ->ÛiÊiÞ\ÊvvÀ`>LiÊ>`ÊivviVÌÛiÊ>ÌÊ>Ê}Ài>ÌÊ«ÀViÊqÊfÓ]xääÊincludes two online courses, sales managers’ training, and continuous coaching]ÊÜÌ Ê£ÓÊÌ ÞÊvÜÕ«ÊÜiLV>ÃÌÃ°ÊÊ UÊ ->ÛiÊÃÌ>iÃ\Ê,i«>ÞÃÊ>`Ê`ÀÃÊ i«ÊÃÌÕ`iÌÃÊ>Û`ÊVÊ«Ìv>Ã°Ê In the bottom-line-driven world of insurance sales, total immersion training is the proven way to become knowledgeable, and profitable, faster. MAIN STREET Producer School will stimulate quick results in any market. www.TheNationalAlliance.com nääÈÎÎÓ£ÈxÊ
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ceive direct contracts with the partner carriers. Eagle Agency offers competitive commissions on new and renewal business. Commission is 66% of the commissions we receive. Gross commissions vary, depending on the line of coverage and the state. Eagle agents retain ownership of all the business placed through the Eagle Agency. Eagle agents have placed more then $9 million of premium with the program and many agents have gone on to receive direct appointments. At no charge, member agents receive access to online underwriting information including motor vehicle reports, CLUE reports and insurance scoring. Comparative rating software also is provided so risks may be underwritten and bound in an Eagle agent’s office. Until recently, Travelers had been the sole company Eagle was worked with in Tennessee. But that changed. Eagle recently procured an agreement with MetLife Auto & Home® to expand into Tennessee and others states. In addition to personal lines, agents can now access the Travelers Select Accounts for small and middle market commercial business. Travelers is now managing the Eagle program through its national distribution channel, rather than through the former regional structure. This change will give the Eagle Agency and its members access to uniform appointment processes, centralized training, service and support, and will also allow expansion into most states.
so by going to the Big “I” Markets home page and clicking on the “register here” button. It is free to join for members of Insurors.
What Happens Next? Once on Big “I” Markets you will be instructed on how submit a quote request. An Eagle Agency team member will review the information in your request. Upon approval of your initial submission you will receive an email directing you to either a MetLife Auto & Home® marketing representative or the Travelers Netappoint application. You will also receive a cover letter explaining how the Netappoint process works. The expansion of Eagle Agency provides a great opportunity for members in most of the country to expand their inventory of markets and to increase the size of their agencies. At the same time more states will now have the opportunity to benefit from the revenue sharing arrangement Eagle Agency has with participating States. So if you meet the minimum requirements and you need access to more personal lines markets, sign up for Eagle Agency today! If you need more information about Eagle Agency to help you decide if it is right for you, send an e-mail to eagleagency@ iiaba.net and a representative contact 3:15 you shortly. u1 HM IIA IofTN.qxd:Layout 1 will 1/10/08 PM Page
Which Company Can You Apply For? In Tennessee, agents have the choice of which company to work with or they can choose both. Each company requires two new policies a month in personal lines and Travelers Commercial requires two submissions a month.
Minimum Qualifications To be considered for the Eagle Agency an agent must have three years of experience as a licensed producer or have extensive industry experience (i.e. former underwriter, CPCU etc). If the agent is brand new to the business, consideration will be given to agents who can quantify that they have licensed support staff with at least three years of agency experience.
How to Apply To be considered for MetLife Auto & Home® log onto Big “I” Markets at www.bigimarkets.com and select Eagle Met Personal Lines from the Offline Products menu. To be considered for Travelers please log onto www.bigimarkets.com and select Eagle Travelers Personal Lines from the Offline Products menu. For the commercial markets select Eagle Travelers Commercial. There you will be instructed on how to proceed. If you have not yet registered for Big “I” Markets you can do 48
Make Our Experience, Your Advantage. The Harford Mutual Insurance Companies 165 years experience in Commercial Lines
Join our team today. Contact us to learn more:
www.harfordmutual.com 800-638-3669 The Harford Mutual Insurance Companies 200 North Main Street • Bel Air, Maryland • 21014-3544
I used to think EMC was ju st for commercial lines. Then again, I used to think the moon was
made of cheese.
INTRODUCING EMC CHOICE® HOMEOWNERS PROGRAM WITH EQUIPMENT BREAKDOWN COVERAGE EMC’s new homeowners product provides three levels of comprehensive coverage with outstanding features and cost-saving benefits. Our premier policy, the EMC Choice® Homeowners program, includes equipment breakdown coverage. Even our most basic level of coverage provides better-than-average protection with extra coverages such as silverware theft, refrigerated property, lock replacement, personal injury, identity fraud expense, identity theft resolution service, golf cart liability and many more. Learn about these exciting new coverages by contacting your local EMC branch office.
Birmingham Branch: 800.239.2005 | Home Office: Des Moines, IA
© Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2009 All rights reserved
49 3/11/09 3:06 PM
More reasons for individuals to smile
Tennessee’s best dental plan is now available for individuals and families!
• Exclusive plan for Tennessee residents • Access to the nation’s largest PPO network, including 67,000 dentists nationwide • Affordable rates starting at $31.22 • Exceptional service for you as well as your clients
• No balance billing when visiting a participating provider • Rich benefit offering, including coverage of implants • Value-added benefits include discounts on prescription drugs, vision and hearing care
We do dental. Better. For more information contact Darlene at (800) 223-3104 ext. 209 Or visit us at www.DeltaDentalTn.com Brochures available in English and Spanish 50
Springtime Events Are Almost Here! Insurors of Nashville Golf This year’s Insurors of Nashville Golf Tournament and Social will be held on Monday, May 4th, at Brentwood Country Club. The outing will feature great prizes and a Cinco de Mayo Eve themed dinner. For more information please contact Dolly Tate at 615.320.4738 or e-mail email@example.com.
Annual Memphis Picnic The Insurors of Memphis local board will hold their annual picnic on Tuesday, May 12th at Windyke Country Club. The picnic will feature golf, volleyball and tennis tournaments, as well as a BBQ social featuring casino games. For more information please contact
Sally Baker-Brenner at 901.748.8889 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
held in Nashville from Sunday, June 7th - Friday, June 19th.
Northwest TN Insurors Golf
The school will feature some of the industy’s top instructors, including National Alliance President William T. Hold, Ph. D., CIC, CPCU, CLU. The fee for the course is $2,500, and includes two online courses, manager training and continuous coaching.
The Insurors of Northwest Tennessee will hold their annual golf tournament on Tuesday, June 2nd at the Dyersburg Country Club at the Farms. For more information please contact Matt Russell at mrussell@westaninsurance. com.
New Producer School Set for June in Nashville The new Main Street Producer School from the National Alliance for Insurance Education and Research will be
The school will also integrate technical knowledge with the popular Dynamics of Selling course to create a curriculum that is sure to increase productivity. The course will be a total immersion in sales tactics and processes unparalleled by other education options. For more information visit www. scic.com. u
S E C U R I T Y
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New E&O Course Covers Full Scope of Loss Control by Daniel Smith, Director of Communications
If there is one CE course you decide to take this year involving agency management, we would strongly recommend that it be one of our new Errors & Omissions Seminars on practices and procedures. This is more than just a standard E&O course, this is a complete overview on loss control procedures for you and your office. This course will cover the reasons to have a manual of practice, business planning, agency mission, office organization, agency career and continuing education planning, carrier listings and communications and much more! Virginia Bates, an insurance consultant with over 20 years of experience working with agencies and carriers, will be teaching the new E&O Business Practices courses. She has a background in all property and casualty lines, experience as director of a countrywide underwriting school and direct involvement in many industry automated systems. The business she co-founded, VMB Associates Inc., has worked on agency valuations, intelligent selection and use of technology. She is a certified E&O instructor and regularly creates course programs throughout the country. Virginia has also consulted with the Rough Notes Company and is a frequent contributor and commentator in articles about a wide variety of subjects that appear in the Rough Notes magazine. Ms. Bates’s currently scheduled courses include: E&O Business Practices • 6/16 • Knoxville E&O Business Practices • 6/17 • Nashville E&O Business Practices • 6/18 • Memphis
Need More Reasons to Attend? Agencies who complete the course are also eligible for an E&O credit that is good for up to two years. Don’t know when your current E&O credit is set to expire? Contact Coit Holbrook in our office at 615.515.2608 or by e-mail at email@example.com to check your loss control date. As a special incentive, Insurors is offering an Early Bird registration for these courses at $50, the same price as our previous E&O course. This price will be available until April 30th, when the price will go up to $150. To register online now, visit the Education section of the Insurors website at www.insurors.org. u
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Job Name: BOAT AD SEPTEMBER-DECEMBER DEADLINES Trim: 8.5”x11” Bleed: n/a Color: 4C
Client: BCBS AD: MA Job Number: BCBS1109 Publication: Insurors of TN Mag. Live Area: 7.5” X 10”
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ÂŠ 2008 BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, Inc. is an Independent Licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association.
Insurors of Tennessee 2500 21st Avenue South, Suite 200 P.O. Box 120539 Nashville, TN 37212
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Big Solutions Weâ€™re all about finding solutions. From developing programs for unique business classes to providing training to help minimize loss exposures. From creating fast and simple automation solutions for better agency workflow to quick claims resolutions. These are just some of the ways we give our agents and policyholders big solutions for their business and personal insurance needs. Not to mention our competitive products and pricing.
What do you expect from your insurance carriers?
Visit us at www.PennNationalInsurance.com to find out how you can become an agent with big opportunities for growth.