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INSUROR January/February 2018

Vol. 29 No. 1

12 16 46

Agency Growth Conference '18

New Insurors Committees Formed Defend Your Turf

Setting the Tone Announcing the 2018 Insurors Board of Directors

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2Insurance plans protected U.S. Patent No. 7,908,157.

The Tennessee Insuror



INSUROR Vol. XXIX, Number 1 January/February 2018


Phone (615) 385-1898 Toll Free: 1-800-264-1898 Email: Editor: Charles T. Bidek, CPCU Publisher: Daniel D. Smith Jr., CAE

4 Setting the Tone INSURORS OFFICERS

President ............................................................... Chris Allison, CIC Immediate Past President ................ John McInturff III, ARM IIABA National Director ......................................... Lou Moran III VP, Region II and President Elect .................................. Joe Hunt Vice President, Region I ................................... Norfleet Anthony Vice President, Region III .......................................... Bob McIntire Treasurer .............................................. Battle Bagley III, CIC, CPA Secretary ........................................................................ Chip Hoover Director, Region I ............................................ Stephen Masterson Director, Region I .................................................... Tommy Allmon Director, Region I .................................. S. Keith Phelps, CIC, CRM Director, Region II ................................. Matt Swallows, CIC, CRM Director, Region II .................................. Christy Jones, CISR, CAPI Director, Region II .............................................. John McCord, CIC Director, Region III .................... Kym Clevenger, CPCU, CACW Director, Region III ............................................................ Tim Witt Director, Region III ................................................. Mark Slater Jr. Young Agents Chairperson ................... David Allen, CIC, CRM


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 or online at The Tennessee Insuror is provided to all Insurors of Tennessee members and associate members as a member service.

INSURORS OF TENNESSEE 2500 21st Avenue South, Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37212-0539

Announcing the Insurors 2018 Board of Directors


The New Tax Law and Mortgages

12 Agency Growth Conference '18 14 Daniel Learns About Ins.: Marketing Reimbursement Money How Can Your Agency Get Up to $1,250 in Marketing Money 16

New Insurors Committees Formed


Defend Your Turf

departments 21

From Your President

Insurors of Tennessee in 2018


From Your National Director


From Your CEO


Education Calendar


Government and Legal Affairs


Company Spotlight

InsurPAC State & National... How Important Are They? The Man in "The Room Where it Happens"

New Tax Reform Law Caliper

39 Program Spotlight Big "I" Markets 51 Meetings 53

Member Tips

Big "I" Survey: Satisfied Independent Agents = Carrier Growth


Setting the Tone Announcing the Insurors 2018 Board of Directors

Setting the tone is such a critical thing for leaders of an organization. Insurors is lucky to have volunteer leaders who set the right tone for us. Announcing our 2018 Board of Directors:

Chris Allison, CIC PRESIDENT

Chris is a principal agent with The Allison Insurance Group, Inc., in Jackson, and serves as the President of Insurors. He received his Bachelor degree from Union University in Jackson, and began his insurance career in 1990. He received his CIC certification in 2008. He formerly served Insurors as Young Agents Chair, Secretary and Vice President/Director of Region I. A true believer of community involvement, Chris is a member of the Rotary Club, serves on the Boards of the Jackson State Community College Foundation and the Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and serves on the Union University Business School and West TN Business College Advisory Committees. He has recently been appointed to the Education Foundation Committee for the Jackson-Madison County School System. Past involvement includes Northside UMC Trustee and Chair of the Trustees, Rotary Club Board, Jackson Chamber of Commerce Board and Committees, Leadership Jackson Alumni Association Board, Boys and Girls Club Board and past Chair, along with many other community related groups and events. Chris lives in Jackson with his wife Suzanne, and their daughter Ashlee. 4


John is the president and managing partner at McInturff, Milligan & Brooks in Greeneville and just completed his term as President of Insurors. He continues on the Board as the Immediate Past President. A Greeneville native, John graduated from Greeneville High School in 1981. He attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, earning his B.S. in Business Administration in 1985. He began his insurance career with USF&G in 1986 and joined Bennett and Edwards in 1988 where he later became president. In 2006 the Tri-State Claims division of Bennett and Edwards merged with McInturff, Milligan & Brooks to form the current agency. John’s contributions to Insurors include serving as Young Agents Chair, Director of Region III, VP of Region III and Secretary. In addition to his involvement with Insurors, John is a past President of the Kingsport Jaycees, past president of the HVFC Soccer Club and has been involved with Junior Achievement of Tri-Cities, the Kingsport Rotary-Sunshine Club, and is a member of First Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Tonya reside in Kingsport and have two children, Lauren and Lindsey.


Joe is the chief manager of V. R. Williams & Company in Winchester and serves as the Vice President of Region II and The Tennessee Insuror

President-elect. After leaving his hometown of Charlotte, Joe went on to graduate from Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina, with a B.S.B.A. in Business Management and a minor in Economics. In 1982 he started with Maryland Casualty Company, serving as a Market Manager. In 1988 he left the company side to begin working with independent agencies. He previously served on the Insurors Board as a Director of Region II and as Treasurer. Outside of his work with Insurors, he also has served on the executive board of the local community development center for over 15 years and is an avid duck hunter. He currently resides in Bell Buckle with his wife Jenny, who is the mayor of the town. They have two daughters, Hannah Kay who graduated from Wake Forest and the University of Tennessee College of Law, and Sarah Ashleigh who graduated from Auburn University with a Masters in Accountancy and as a CPA.


Bob is a co-founder and principal agent of McIntire & Associates Insurance and Real Estate in Cleveland and serves as Vice President of Region III. He graduated from Lee College in Cleveland with a degree in Business Administration and he and his father founded their agency in 1981. He previously served on the Insurors Board as a Director of Region III. In addition to his work with Insurors, Bob serves as chairman of the Economic Development Council for Cleveland/Bradley County, is a member of the Industrial Development Board of Cleveland/ Bradley County, a trustee for the Cleveland State Community College Foundation, and is the treasurer and a board member for Life Bridges Inc. He also volunteers on the Stewardship Committee at First Baptist Church where he and his wife, Melinda, along with their children, Robby and Emily, are members.


Norfleet is the president of S.N. Anthony, Inc. in Ripley, and serves as Vice President of Region I. Born and raised in Ripley, after high school he attended the University of Tennessee. He began his insurance career by joining the family agency in 1982. He furthered his industry education by attending the Allstate, Travelers and USF&G producer schools. He formerly served on our Board as a Director of Region I. In addition to his service with Insurors, Norfleet is a member and lay leader of First United Methodist Church Ripley, a District Trustee for the Mississippi River District of the United Methodist Church, CoChair the Pension & Benefits Board for the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church and Member and Past President of the Ripley Rotary Club. He and his wife Amy have four children, Sy Anthony and Katherine Anthony Leake, and Rachel and Elizabeth Harpole. Norfleet's daughter Katherine The Tennessee Insuror

and her husband Chad have also had their first child, Norfleet's grandson Jackson Henry Leake.


Lou is the president of Inter-Agency Insurance Service in Knoxville, and serves as IIABA National Director and as a member of the Insurpac National Board. He grew up in Knoxville, attending the Webb School and UTK. He began working at Inter-Agency, which his father founded, in 1985 and has been there ever since. Over his insurance career, he has completed many industry schools, including Safeco Personal & Commercial Lines schools and Drake University’s Insurance School. Through his career, he has served on multiple Insurors committees, was a Board member in 1996, 2002-2004 and served as President in 2014. In addition, he served as President of the Insurors of Knoxville local board in 1996 and currently serves on the Big "I" Government Affairs Committee. He was named Young Insuror of the Year in 1994 and Insuror of the Year in 2006. Outside of his work with Insurors, Lou is very active in his community, serving on the Webb School Board of Trustees and having served on Boards for the Tennessee Stage Company, RiverFest BBQ Contest, ArtFest, Leadership Children’s Hospital, Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership, ChildHelp Tennessee, Leadership Knoxville and Webb Alumni Council, among others. He currently lives in Knoxville with his wife, Mimi, and their two children, Lou IV a Sophomore at UTK and Emily, a Senior at UTK.


Chip is a producer and the senior vice president of the Murfreesboro office of J. Smith Lanier - a Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA) company. He serves on the Board as Treasurer, and previously served as Young Agents representative in 2009. He is a 9th generation Murfreesboro native, and earned his Bachelor of Arts from MTSU in 2001. He began his career in the industry at Martin & Zerfoss in Nashville after graduating from MTSU. In 2004, he started AGA/Hoover, LLC, an independent insurance agency in Murfreesboro. AGA/Hoover was acquired by J. Smith Lanier & Co. in December of 2007. In January of 2017, J. Smith Lanier was acquired by MMA and currently operates as their Southeast regional HUB. In addition to his work with Insurors, Chip is a graduate of Leadership Middle Tennessee; a founder and Board member of the 100 Club of Rutherford County; and has served on the Boards of Murfreesboro Main Street, Inc., Oaklands Association, American Heart Association and the Rutherford County Domestic Violence Shelter. In addition to serving on the MTSU Insurance Liaison Committee, he has served on several insurance company agents advisory committees. He and his wife, Aimee Eleanor Hoover, also volunteer with the Webb School Parents Association, The Discovery School at Bellwood and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. They have three children, Sawyer, Eleanor and Cecilia, and are expecting a new baby girl in May of 2018. 5


Battle is a principal agent of Bagley & Bagley in Fayetteville, and serves as Board Treasurer. He earned his BBA in Accounting from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982. After college, he worked for the accounting firm William Puryear & Company until 1987 when he joined Bagley & Bagley. He is now a CIC as well as being a CPA. He formerly served as a Director of Region II for the Association. In addition to his work with Insurors, Battle is a former board member of the Fayetteville/ Lincoln County Industrial Development Board and a former board member of the Motlow College Foundation, Lincoln County Museum, and Fayetteville/Lincoln County Chamber. He and his wife Angela have three children, Battle Bagley IV, who lives and works in Chattanooga, John Robert Bagley who is a Junior in High School and lives at home, and Samantha Bagley Jennings and her husband Ethan who live and work in Fayetteville and are also the parents of Lillian Elizabeth Jennings, Battle and Angela’s granddaughter.

Stephen Masterson DIRECTOR OF REGION I

Stephen is the vice president of Hollis & Burns Insurance and Risk Management in Memphis, and serves as a Director of Region I. A Cincinnati native, he earned his Bachelor degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from Winthrop University. He began his insurance career with The Hartford in 2001 as a rater. He was then promoted to underwriting and later small commercial sales representative. Stephen moved to Memphis in 2005 and was hired by Hollis & Burns in 2006. He is a member of the Insurors of Memphis and served as president and on the local board. He was named Insurors Young Agent of the Year in 2012. Outside of his work with Insurors, he volunteers with Make-A-Wish and enjoys skiing. He and his wife Samantha Sherry have two dogs, Olive and Soup.


Keith is the director of marketing for Jamieson & Fisher, Inc. in Covington and serves as a Director of Region I. Born and raised in Covington, he received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Lambuth College in Jackson in 1980. His insurance career began while he was still in high school, as he began working for the agency taking pictures and measuring properties to be insured. He earned his license at the age of 18, and is probably one of the youngest students ever to attend the famous Chuck Bidek licensing schools. After graduating from college, he began his full time career at the agency in Personal Lines Sales and then moved to Personal Lines Manager, and then to his current position of Marketing Manager. He earned his CIC designation in 1987 and his CRM in 2002. In addition to his work with Insurors, Keith has served as an Alderman for the City of Covington, as a Founding Board Member of CASA of Tipton County (Court Appointed Special Advocate), a Board member and lifelong member of First United Methodist Church in Covington, a member of the Industrial Development Board for Tipton County, a Volunteer Fireman for 37 years and a Keystone Insurers Group Partner. His wife, Grace Phelps, passed away in 2016, but her memory lives on through Keith and their children – Dustin and Catherine, and three granddaughters, Georgianne, Molly Kate and Charley.

Tommy Allmon

Matt Swallows, CIC, CRM



Tommy is the president of White & Associates in Dyersburg, and serves as a Director of Region I. He is a native of Gibson County and has lived Dyersburg for the past 12 years. He earned a B.S. in Health and Human Performance with a concentration in Sports Management and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Martin before starting at White and Associates Insurance in May 2004. Inside the industry, he has been active with the Insurors of Northwest Tennessee, the Safeco Southeast Advisory Council, the Southern Trust Insurance Tennessee Advisory Council and the Allstate Southern Region Independent Agent Advisory Board. In addition to his work in insurance, he is an active member and former president of the Dyersburg Kiwanis Club and the Dyersburg Kiwanis Duck Blast Committee Member, a board 6

member and Foundation Board member for the McIver’s Grant Public Library in Dyersburg, an advisory board member for Tennova-Dyersburg Regional Medical Center, a board member and membership chair for the Dyersburg-Dyer County Chamber of Commerce, and a former Annual Fund Chair for DSCC. He and his wife, Whitney, have been married for 12 years and have three children, Edie who is 7, Woods who is 5 and Bennett who is 4. They are active members of the First United Methodist Church in Dyersburg and enjoy spending time at the lake, going to the beach, and watching UT football.

Matt is the president of the Swallows Agency in Livingston, Cookeville and Smithville, and serves as a Director of Region II. He earned a degree in Finance from Tennessee Tech University and started his insurance career with Aetna in 1999. In 2001 he started with Swallows Agency, and has since earned his CIC designation (2007) and his CRM designation (2010). In addition to his work with Insurors, Matt served as the Mayor of Cookeville from 2010-14, and has served on the Cookeville Regional Medical Center Board of Directors. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Cookeville/Putnam County Sports Council and the County Chamber, and on the board of the Putnam County YMCA. He is married to Kelly Swallows, who is the VP of Operations for the agency, and they have two children, Channing who is seven and Xavier who is five. The Tennessee Insuror

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Christy Jones oversees the Affluent Division and is the Personal Lines MGA Manager for Martin & Zerfoss, Inc. in Nashville, and serves a Director of Region II. Christy is originally from Chicago, where she began her insurance career before moving to Nashville and joining Martin & Zerfoss over twenty years ago. She obtained her CISR designation in 1997 and her CAPI designation from Chubb Insurance at the Wharton School of Business in 2015. She has also attended the Chubb Agency Business School at Vanderbilt University and holds a seat on Chubb’s Agent Advisory Council. An active participant with the Insurors of Nashville local board, she has also worked with the group's Pencil Partner Council, which supports Tom Joy Elementary School. Christy lives in Mount Juliet with her two sons, Jonathan who is 16 and Nicholas who is 15. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to take part in new adventures around the world with her family.


John is a principal agent of Lester, Greene, McCord & Thoma, and serves a Director of Region II. He was born in Manchester and raised in Tullahoma. He graduated from MTSU with a major in Finance and minors in Business Law and Insurance, and has held his CIC designation for over 25 years. He began his career in the industry with Lamborn Insurance in 1984, and joined Lester & Greene Insurance in 1989. Lamborn was acquired by the agency in 1992, and in 1994 John became a partner and the agency became Lester, Greene & McCord. A merger with the E. B. Thoma agency in 2016 gave the agency its present name and partnership. In addition to his work with Insurors, John volunteers with the Highland Rim Kiwanis Club, Tullahoma Chamber of Commerce and serves on the board of the Tullahoma Area Economic Development Corporation. He formerly served as treasurer for the United Givers Fund and Hospice of the Highland Rim, on the MTSU Insurance Liaison Committee, Lakewood Golf & Country Club committees and many carrier advisory boards. He has been married to his wife Michelle Boehm McCord for 32 years, and they have two children, son Davis who now works for the agency after 5 years with Auto-Owners, and daughter Anna who works with Tractor Supply Company in Brentwood.


Tim is the owner and president of Edwards, Tipton, Witt Agency in Kingsport, and serves as a Director of Region III. He is a Kingsport native and graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1982 with a degree in Business. He has worked in the agency for over 35 years, which has been family-owned since 1967. He is a longtime member of the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and currently serves on the Executive Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Kingsport and as a member of the Risk Management Committee for The Sequoia Council BSA. He is a past Director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN and is active in several other church and civic organizations. Tim has three children, Kristen Witt Sharp, Kayla Witt Smith and Landon, as well as four grandchildren. His son Landon graduated from MTSU with a Business degree and an emphasis in Insurance and is currently working in the agency as a producer.


Mark is the president of Sunbelt Insurance Group, and serves as a Director of Region III. A native of Chattanooga, he graduated from the Baylor School in 1981 and attended the University of Georgia before earning his B.S. degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Mark joined the agency in 1987 and purchased it in 2011. He has completed the Appalachian State University Insurance Executive Program and Drake University Insurance Program. He is a past president of the Insurors of Chattanooga local board and earned their Insuror of the Year award in 2002. He formerly served on the Insurors of Tennessee Board from 2003-05. Outside of his work with Insurors, Mark is a member of the Chattanooga Downtown Rotary. He is married to Lorrie Slater, and between them there are five children (Timothy, Jaime, Tori, Alexa and Matthew), a daughter-in-law (Cary), and two granddaughters (Ivie and Violet) by daughter Jaime. They reside in Chattanooga.

Kym Clevenger, CPCU, CACW

David Allen, CIC, CRM



Kym is the president of The Assurance Center in Knoxville, and serves as a Director of Region III. She is a Knoxville native, and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Zoology and Medical Technology from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville. She is also a Registered Nurse. She joined the agency in 1996 and earned her CIC in 2001, CPCU in 2007 and CAWC 8

in 2013. Outside of her work with Insurors, Kym is President of the Associated Construction Women, a member of the Knoxville Figure Skating Club and recently graduated from the Knoxville Police Department Citizen’s Police Academy. She and her husband, Dr. Donald Erdman III, live in Knoxville with their dog Betty.

David is a principal agent and co-owner of RSS Insurance in Chattanooga, and serves as the Young Agents Representative to the Board. A native of Athens, Georgia, he did the “unthinkable” and went across state lines to college at UTK, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance and Spanish. He then went on to complete the Master of Science The Tennessee Insuror

in Risk Management and Insurance program at Florida State University. After completing his undergraduate studies, he worked as an insurance broker for eight years and helped found a tech company in 2011. He has now made Chattanooga his home and has been with RSS since the beginning of 2013.

BOARD CONTACT INFORMATION Chris Allison • 731.668.8444 • John McInturff • 423.230.2247 • Joe Hunt • 931.967.2268 • Bob McIntire • 423.472.5058 • Norfleet Anthony • 731.635.9441 • Lou Moran • 865.637.4519 • Chip Hoover • 615.898.1919 • Battle Bagley • 931.433.3933 • Stephen Masterson • 901.685.2225 • Tommy Allmon • 731.285.0565 • Keith Phelps • 901.476.8644 • Matt Swallows • 931.526.4025 • Christy Jones • 615.297.8500 • John McCord • 931.455.3453 • Kym Clevenger • 865.675.6500 • Tim Witt • 423.246.2611 • Mark Slater • 423.855.1234 • David Allen • 423.954.9100 • u

e m k c e ch out!




THANKS TO... MORE TIME, LESS STRESS with KnK 615.375.7419 The Tennessee Insuror


The New Tax Law and Mortgages What Does it Mean for You? written by Keith Collison, Managing Director of Finworth Mortgage

Now that President Donald Trump has signed his tax reform bill into law, there are landmark changes to the US tax code slated for 2018. This bill represents the most significant tax changes in the United States since the Reagan years. While most of the real estate and mortgage provisions are clearly defined we still don’t know exactly how it will affect homeowners and the overall US housing market. With that in mind, here are some of the changes that will be affecting real estate and mortgages in 2018.

at 9%, District of Columbia and Massachusetts at 8% and Texas at 6%.

Mortgage Interest Deduction

Now that the home equity interest is no longer tax deductible, you will probably see fewer people having home equity loans. I think that you will still see homeowners investing in their homes, but they will likely revert back to more attractive avenues of borrowing like cash out refinances.

The mortgage interest tax deduction has long been touted as a way to make homeownership more affordable for Americans. It simply allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount of interest you have paid on your mortgage for the previous year. Under previous law, homeowners could itemize and deduct the interest paid, on their mortgages up to the first $1,000,000, if the loan is used to buy or improve a first or second home. Beginning in 2018, the deduction is scaled back to interest on debt up to $750,000. The good news is that current homeowners are not going to be affected. It will only affect people who have purchased or are purchasing homes after December 15, 2017. The real concern will be the impact that this will have on people in the more expensive markets. Will lower limits make it harder for some to buy a home? Some experts are concerned that the lower threshold will make it more difficult to sell homes in expensive areas. New York, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois and Hawaii are just a few that will be greatly affected. The lower limit could lead to a drop in prices which will make property owners less likely to sell.

Property Tax Deduction The former tax law eased the pain of paying property taxes by allowing qualifying taxpayers to reduce their taxable income by the total amount of the property taxes paid. The new tax bill, which is now in effect, will cap those real estate tax deductions at $10,000. This should only affect about 3% of homeowners across the country. However, there are still several more expensive states that will have a substantial number of homeowners who will exceed the $10,000 property tax limit. Some of the more expensive states and the percentages of homeowners that will exceed the new cap are New Jersey at 30%, New York at 19%, Connecticut at 13%, Illinois at 10%, California and New Hampshire 10

Home Equity Deduction In the past, homeowners who took out home equity loans were able to deduct the loan’s interest payments up to $100,000 from their taxes. Under the new tax bill, this deduction is a thing of the past.

Mortgage Interest Deduction for Second Homes You may deduct interest on mortgage debt on your primary home and a second home. The new law mimics the mortgage interest law by reducing the amount of eligible mortgage debt from $1 million down to $750,000.

Moving Expenses Under the previous tax law you could deduct some moving expenses when you relocated for a new job. The new tax bill, which is now in effect, will only allow active-duty member of the armed services.

Many Factors to Consider These are the primary tax code changes that have been written into law. On the surface it appears that the new tax laws will likely not affect the majority of Americans. Whether you end up paying less tax or more tax depends on a wide range of factors beyond the homeownership-related deductions and exclusions discussed. Every taxpayer is different, as is their impact from this new law. About the Author Keith Collison serves as Managing Director for Finworth Mortgage, an INSBANK Company. He over eighteen years of leadership in mortgage lending. He is also one of Nashville's top originators and was recognized by the Nashville Mortgage Bankers Association as a Gold Member. Keith graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Real Estate and Mortgage Finance. u The Tennessee Insuror



that fits you

The Tennessee Insuror

NMLS #174913 2106 Crestmoor Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37215 Phone: 615.345.9917 • Fax: 615.345.9909 11



A Great Lineup of Speakers and Sessions in Store for Attendees on March 21-22 in Murfreesboro thanks to our gold sponsors

thanks to our silver sponsors

 The 2018 Agency Growth Conference will be held March 21-22 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Murfreesboro. The event will focus on furthering member education on industry topics including technology, marketing, sales, E&O and more.

Sessions and Special Guest Speakers WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21st (all times CST) 1:00 - 2:00 pm 2:00 - 4:00 pm 4:00 - 6:00 pm 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Registration General Session "Dale Carnegie: An Intro to Building Business Relationships" presented by Allyn Walker and Dean Dr. David Urban Trade Show and “Meet Your Next Company” reception pres. by Senior Market Advisors Young Agents Reception at Jonathan's presented by Penn National Insurance

THURSDAY, MARCH 22nd 8:00 - 11:20 am Breakout Sessions (E&O/Marketing tracks) 11:30 - 1:00 pm General Session Lunch "Knuckle Sandwich: Knocking Out the Top 10 Enemies of Suc cess" presented by Jason Peacock Online Self Study E&O Best Practices Panel - Part 2

developing those relationships? This session will give you insight on how to reach and maintain that level. Allyn has led the Dale Carnegie team in Middle and Eastern Tennessee since 2001, winning the Gold Cup – which is awarded to the world’s top franchises – in 2010 for North America. He has worked with the organization for over 18 years. Dr. Urban is the Dean of the Jennings Jones College of Business at Middle Tennessee State University. He joined MTSU in 2013 after serving in various roles at Virginia Commonwealth University. He has played a major role in the continued growth of MTSU's Martin Chair of Insurance. “The Secrets of Sales Success” Presented by sales training expert Kara Hankins What separates the best salepeople from the average? This session will teach you how to apply key sales strategies to propel your sales career, employ proven techniques to maintain customer relationships and encourage repeat business and build relationships to exceed customer expectations.

For this event, we have worked hard to assemble topics that are timely and valuable to your agency. To address these topics, we have identified experts in their respective fields to provide you with valuable information for your agency. Please take a look at this year's sessions and special guest speakers:

Kara Hankins is the Nashville Sales Manager for Dale Carnegie of Tennessee. Since her promotion to management Kara’s team has achieved continual revenue growth, earning them international recognition at the annual Dale Carnegie convention two years in a row.

“Dale Carnegie: An Intro to Building Business Relationships” Presented by business relationship experts Allyn Walker and Dean David Urban Imagine yourself at your best. And when you’re at your best, picture the results you are going to achieve. We’re in a relationship business, but are you at your best when

"Why Your Online Marketing Isn't Working" Presented by online marketing expert James Duncan This session will discuss why your agency’s online marketing strategies may be ineffective. This includes discussion of website information, social media and online branding; as well as ways to begin seeing improvements.


The Tennessee Insuror

James is a certified Google Analytics expert and works as a Marketing Consultant for Insurors-endorsed partner Titan Web Marketing Solutions. He earned his Bachelors degree from MTSU. “Agency/Carrier Contracts: The Keys and Concerns” Presented by industry legal expert Scott Kneeland This session will discuss the concerns and key issues to be aware of when signing or renewing carrier contracts. Big “I” General Counsel Scott Kneeland will discuss some of the main things to watch for when reviewing these contracts.


Scott is the General Counsel for the Big "I" and has been with the organization for over 9 years. He and the Big "I" legal team have reviewed over 100 insurance company contracts. Prior to his time with Big "I", Kneeland worked for D.C.based national law firm Arent Fox, where he worked on corporate transactional issues. “E&O Best Practices” Presented by Richard Lund, Deborah Bjes and Ashley Gold This two-part (online continued) session will walk attendees through real E&O loss control scenarios, and best practices to avoid them. Participants will then be able to discuss these issues, and learn processes that can be put in place at their agencies. For Swiss/Re Westport insureds, attending the entire seminar may make you eligible for a 10% loss control credit on your professional liability policy. Contact your underwriter for more info.

“Knuckle Sandwich: Knocking Out Top 10 Enemies of Success” Presented by industry sales expert Jason Peacock This session, based on the speaker's book, "Knuckle Sandwich" was developed after Jason's 40th birthday and is a self-reflection on life, accomplishments and experiences. From this, Jason was able to create the "Top 10 Enemies of Success” and how to overcome them. Jason entered the world of sales at the age of 18 and is a founding partner of IOA in Gainesville, Georgia, the 8th largest privately held insurance agency in the U.S. Jason has a masters degree in sales from “Hard Knocks” University and has a passion to share the do’s and don’ts with the next generation of salespeople. The event will also feature a trade show with over 30 vendors including AmTrust, Applied Underwriters, Arlington/Roe, Bailey Special Risks, Berkshire Hathaway Guard, BITCO, Burns & Wilcox, Emergency Restoration Services, Equipment Insurance Intl., ICW Group, Imperial PFS, KnK Complance Services, Mackinaw Und., Markel Specialty, Martin & Zerfoss, MetLife Auto & Home, Mountain Empire, Penn National Insurance, Senior Market Advisors, Southern Insurance Und., Titan Web Marketing Solutions, West Bend Mutual and more. Register now or see the full schedule and info at www.insurors. org/IOT/Growth_Conference/Growth_Conference.aspx u The Tennessee Insuror



Daniel Learns About Insurance: Marketing Reimbursement Money How Can Your Agency Get Up to $1,250 in Marketing Money

Insurors Director of Communications Daniel Smith is far from an insurance expert, but he is trying to learn! In this series he will look into insurance industry and coverage questions he has about popular trends in day-to-day life. marketing • noun | mar·ket·ing | \ ' mär-ke-tiŋ \ 1.b. the process or technique of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service 2. an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods or services from producer to consumer The above definition from Merriam-Webster's dictionary encompasses a lot of actions related to marketing. However, I think I can boil it down to an even simpler definition/idea: Marketing is the process of creating demand. How does your agency market? No doubt you have talented sales people building relationships. Almost every independent insurance agent I know has the ability to do so, some of them exceptionally well. Distribution is obviously where we think having an independent agent makes the difference. In addition to the level of service you provide, we have some great carrier partners that help make our distribution model stand out. Promotion is what I want to focus on. How do you promote your agency? You probably have a website and social media,and maybe you even do some local advertising or participate in certain trade shows. But do you have a plan? Is your plan focused on reaching your target market?

Getting Started with a Marketing Plan Any marketing plan should start with a question - who are we trying to reach? This allows you to determine your target market. If your agency is focused on commercial lines for small businesses in the Chattanooga area, how are you going to reach that segment? This is the beginning of your plan. Next, determine where that audience is aligned. Are they part of certain groups, do they attend certain events or are they connected through certain vendors? Once you've established the where, you develop the how. You need a plan of action to reach this audience where they are. Your sales team is trying to make personal connections, but you can also pull the audience to you by synchronizing 14

written by Daniel Smith, CAE

advertising, social media, SEO (search engine optimization) your website and your interagency response (phone and email response marketing). A marketing plan also requires a budget, and a way to measure your ROI (return on investment). There are a lot of indepth articles on the process of developing a marketing plan (including one I really like from The Hartford at, but what about the budget? Did you know that as an Insurors member, you can get money towards this type of marketing? Up to $1,250 may be available for your agency!

Apply for Your Agency's Marketing Reimbursement New members and first-time MRP users can receive up to $1,250 by cobranding their advertising and marketing efforts using the Trusted Choice logo and branding materials. The 2018 MRP follows a two-tier structure: Tier 1: Members can receive up to $750 for using the Trusted Choice logo on any consumer-focused items, including but not limited to Freedom Campaign ad materials, promotional items, original advertising (non-Freedom Campaign ads), or collateral items like business cards or stationery. Available for new and first-time MRP users only. Tier 2: Members can receive up to $500 for a digital upgrade using a web developer or vendor (such as our endorsed partners at Titan Web Marketing Solutions), including updates to an agency website, social media or mobile app. The digital upgrade must include the Trusted Choice logo, Pledge of Performance and a link to the Trusted Choice website. This onetime reimbursement is available for all agency locations that were not reimbursed for a digital upgrade in 2017. Get all the info now by visiting I'd love to hear about or talk through any of your agency's marketing efforts. Good luck and happy marketing! About the Author Daniel Smith serves as the Director of Communications for Insurors of Tennessee. He has a Bachelors degree in Marketing with a minor in Graphic Design from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He may be contacted at u The Tennessee Insuror

Why Choose West Bend? People Insurance is a people business, and at West Bend, we pride ourselves on approachability and accessibility at every level of our company.

Relationships We consider the relationships with our agents to be partnerships. Agents are our primary customers, and we support, and wholeheartedly endorse, a strong independent agency system.

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The Tennessee Insuror


New Insurors Committees Formed Insurors President Chris Allison Has Appointed Two New Committees for 2018

Insurors President Chris Allison has appointed and tasked two new committees for the Associaiton (see more details on page 21). Allison and Insurors CEO Chuck Bidek will serve as Ex Officio members of each committee, and an Insurors staff liaison will be appointed. The committees will hold their 1st Quarter meetings on Wednesday, March 21st before the Insurors Agency Growth Conference.

Industry Innovation Committee

Convention & Meetings Committee

The following Insurors members have been appointed to serve on the Industry Innovation Committee for 2018:

The following Insurors members have been appointed to serve on the Convention & Meetings Committee for 2018:


Kym Clevenger, CPCU, CACW Co-Chair President The Assurance Center Knoxville

Bob McIntire Co-Chair Co-founder/Principal Agent McIntire Insurance and Real Estate Cleveland

Stephen Masterson Co-Chair Vice President Hollis & Burns Memphis

Christy Jones, CISR, CAPI Co-Chair Affluent and Personal Lines MGA Manager Martin & Zerfoss Nashville

Kathleen Glass Burk Member Account Executive Kemmons Wilson Insurance Group, LLC Memphis

Mel Evans Member Agency Principal Insurefit RM Knoxville

Brandon Clarke, CIC Member President John Bailey Company Knoxville

Andrew Maddox Member President Maddox Insurance Agency, LLC Huntingdon

Matt Felgendreher Member Executive Vice President W.C. Dillon Company Nashville

Mike McDaniel Member Vice President McDaniel-Whitley, Inc. Memphis

Lavonda Shipley Member Property & Casualty Marketing Manager Reliance Partners Chattanooga

Will Montgomery Member CEO/Founder Montgomery & Associates, LLC Brentwood

Jamie Williams, CIC, CRM Member VP/Agency Manager Hardin County Bank Insurance Agency Savannah

Derek Wright Member Principal Agent Graham & Cook Insurance Knoxville

Cam Winterburn Member Principal Agent Winterburn & Associates Pulaski

TBD Member TBD TBD Region II

Bill Emerick, CIC, CPCU, AU, ARM Ad Hoc Member Regional Vice President Penn National Insurance Nashville

Janet Smith Ad Hoc Member President Bailey Special Risks Hendersonville The Tennessee Insuror

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Future Leaders Spotlight

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Andrew Maddox • Maddox Insurance - Huntingdon Andrew is a native of Huntingdon and a big believer in service to his community. He is a volunteer assistant coach for the high school baseball team and coaches little league, the PA announcer for the high school football games, a member of the Lion’s Club, serves on the Huntingdon Mayor’s Vision Board and the Huntingdon Andrew Maddox Board of Zoning Appeals, of Maddox Insurance and is an active member of Huntingdon Church of Christ. He has also just been appointed to the Insurors Convention & Meetings Committee. Away from the office and community service, he enjoys spending time with his family, is an avid hunter and loves sports.

to be able to work with him, side-by-side, for 7 years. I was even luckier to have had him as a father. He taught me so many things about business as well as about life. He showed me every day how to cultivate and maintain relationships, and he had a work ethic like none other. He taught me that taking care of your employees and customers plus hard work will take you a long way.

The Insuror: Is there any advice you could offer Young Agents or others in the industry to achieve success? Andrew: Don’t be afraid to ask for help! You will always be learning in this business, and whether it is an underwriter or a coworker, never be too proud to ask for help. If you can find someone within your agency with more experience, ask them questions. Sit with them while they are working on quotes and during meetings with potential clients and learn as much as you can.

The Insuror: Can you tell us a little about your current job title and responsibilities?

Also, have patience with everyone you come in contact with, be it customers, potential customers, underwriters or your own coworkers. Take time to talk them through problems and listen to their concerns.

Andrew: I am the President of Maddox Insurance, LLC. I manage the day-to-day operations of our three locations – in Huntingdon, Camden and McKenzie. In addition, I am an agent working to produce new business while taking care of our current insureds.

The Insuror: As an independent agent, you have many partners in this industry, including carriers, MGAs and many more. How do you determine which ones are the right relationships?

The Insuror: What can you tell us about your educational background? Andrew: I graduated in 2004 from Huntingdon High School. I went on to graduate from Bethel University in May of 2009 with my Bachelor’s degree in Business Management.

The Insuror: How and why did you get your career in the insurance industry started? Andrew: I decided in college that I wanted to follow in my father’s footsteps. Our agency is a family owned business and I take great pride in continuing my father’s company and serving my community.

The Insuror: Do you have any influences/role models in the industry? Andrew: My late father, Web Maddox. I was extremely lucky 18

Andrew: I only work with companies that I know best fit the needs of my customers and my community. It is also very important to have companies, underwriters, and MGAs that will work as hard you do to write new business. It is vital to have companies that want to work to help you grow your book of business with them. If you can find companies, underwriters, and MGAs that will work as hard as you do, you will be successful. It takes time to grow a good book of business. Find companies that are patient and will go the extra mile for you. You owe it to your agency and your customers.

The Insuror: Thank you for giving us your time, Andrew, we appreciate it and wish you continued success in your career. Andrew: Thank you for the opportunity and thank you for all that the Insurors of Tennessee continues to do for our industry. u The Tennessee Insuror

Young Agents ‘18

Upcoming Events and Information

Our Young Agents Committee strives to offer young insurance professionals with opportunities to network and develop in the industry. We accomplish this by hosting networking and educational events throughout the year in various Tennessee markets. We are currently in the planning stages of our events for 2018, please contact Insurors or your Region representative for more info on these meetings or to ask about an event in your area: March 21 - Agency Growth Conference Young Agents Reception Jonathan's Grille • 6-8 pm CST • Murfreesboro

Young Agents Committee David Allen, CIC, CRM - Chair Principal Agent RSS Insurance Chattanooga Tim Treadwell V - Immediate Past Chair Account Executive Boyle Insurance Agency Memphis

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The Tennessee Insuror

From Your President Insurors of Tennessee in 2018

Thank you to everyone for your confidence in me to serve on the Insurors Board for multiple years. The friendships and mentors gained from within this great organization have provided a positive influence on my business and personal life. The opportunity to chair our Insurors of Tennessee Board is humbling, and your support for me and our fellow Board members as we move forward with our goals for the Association in 2018 is greatly appreciated. Chuck Bidek, my good friend and lifetime teacher, and I started the year in December at the Insurors of Memphis luncheon as we spoke and met with the local Board and many of their members. They are a well-run organization and continue to do good things for their community. The drive to Memphis with Chuck gave me a window of time with one of the great insurance minds of our industry and helped me to get this year started off right. Thanks to his leadership for almost four decades, Insurors of Tennessee is one of the best run Associations in the Country. The paramount leaders pick strong people to surround themselves with and our staff is and will continue to be a huge benefit to our Association for years to come. The addition of Ashley Gold eleven years ago as internal General Counsel (and multiple hat wearer) has been a blessing to many of us and to our Association. She has helped to keep our Association on track and has been a great advisor to many of us on the local Agency level. In addition to a very fine group of employees we have a well-developed and strong working Board to help in keeping the Association moving forward for many years. It is a challenge, yet a pleasure to work with such a sharp group of industry professionals.

cap off the month as we host our State Legislators at the Hermitage for our annual Legislative Reception. The Spring Agency Growth Conference has been incredibly successful and will be held in Murfreesboro on March 21-22 of this year. We will continue the theme of showing our members how to evolve and grow in this automated, fast-paced, changing world. You can see a full lineup of our topics and speakers on page 12, and I expect this to be a great event. I hope to see our largest crowd ever at the convention and encourage you to include the Young Agents in your office. The Young Agent Committee continues to rotate great new minds into their group and increase the number of participating young agents across the State. I appreciate staff member, Daniel Smith’s leadership as he has helped this committee stay on track to build our Association’s future. Look for information about attending the numerous Young Agent function opportunities across the State in 2018.

New Committees; New Goals We have added two new Committees for 2018. You can view more information and the individuals I have selected to serve on these committees on page 16. I am excited to see what these new committees can bring to our Association, and I believe they help keep us on the forefront of some issues. We will have an Industry Innovation Committee that will work to determine: • •

Industry issues that are at the forefront of independent agents’ concerns Technology and/or technical issues that can be addressed by the Association The Association’s role in supporting carrier, Department and National industry initiatives that would improve workflow or other issues

Kicking the Year Off

The year 2018 will be a beautiful one for Insurors of Tennessee as we celebrate 125 years of our State Association. Several of us will be in California in January to represent our State at the Big "I" National Winter meeting and then

We will also have a Convention and Meetings Committee that will work to determine:

The Tennessee Insuror

“T h e y e a r 2018 will be a beautiful one for Insurors of Tennessee as we celebrate 12 5 y e a r s of o ur St ate Association.”

Chris Allison, CIC 21

• • • • •

Meetings and conferences in the industry (or outside) that provide a structure or deliver a result that is not being achieved by Insurors meetings The pros and cons of meetings committee members have attended – Association or otherwise The top influencers of decisions to attend a conference or meeting Innovations from other meetings or conferences that would be relevant to independent agents Goals for future Insurors Conventions or meetings

If you have suggestions or ideas for these committees please send them to me at or Ashley Gold at We appreciate you sending your thoughts and helping us as we use these Committees to keep our future bright in Tennessee.

So Much in Store This Year In October of 2018 we plan to have our largest Insurors Convention in 20 years. The event will be in downtown Nashville at one of the nicest venues in the country, the beautiful Omni hotel. Nashville has an exciting, happening downtown and you will not want to miss this 125th Celebration of our Insurors of Tennessee’s existence. This event will be a blast from the past as there will be many members for you to catch up with and many learning opportunities as we enjoy a wonderful few days together. Don’t miss this exciting time!

Finally, throw in a Dale Carnegie Course for our Insurors members in May, the National Legislative Conference in Washington D.C. in April and our Big "I" National Fall meeting in September and it looks to be an exciting and positive year for Insurors of Tennessee. The Association is in solid financial condition and we are budgeted for another great year in 2018. Chuck and I look forward to traveling much of the State together and will attend as many local meetings and outings as we can physically attend. Please notify us of any dates and times for events. Additionally, let us know any issues that are important to each of you and your agencies. On a final note, please kindly remember to contribute to your State and National PACs as we continue the need to grow the dollars we are able to use in support of positive legislators. This is going to be a huge year for elections in Tennessee and we will no doubt be receiving a lot of requests for donations from legislators we support. As you likely read in Chuck's article, having strong PACs is what gets us "In the Room" for many important conversations. With your help, we pledge to work hard to make this the Insurors of Tennessee’s best year ever and continue to keep our State on track for the future of our industry. See you soon! u

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The Tennessee Insuror

From Your IIABA National Director InsurPAC State & National... How Important Are They? The silly season of politics has begun in Tennessee, and this year will probably break all previous records. Most of you know that I enjoy politics, but I am not sure that this year will be as enjoyable as previous ones. “Why,” you ask? In a nutshell, we have the following elections in Tennessee this year: Governor, one U.S. Senator, all nine U.S. House seats – with three of these being open seats, all 99 State House seats and 17 State Senate seats (possibly more based on changes). Now you may be asking yourself why “I” should care. You should care because these are the folks who will set the tone on both the State and Federal level. The life blood of politics is money. And whether or not you like it, money buys access. The cost of access in the political world has risen dramatically over the last couple of years, and with the number of extremely important races in our own state, the pressure on our Insurors Government Affairs team to make strategic donations to candidates is more important now than ever before. It is important that we all contribute to the State and Federal PACs, especially this year. We need your help with InsurPACTN (aka the state InsurPAC) and InsurPac National. First, I would like to thank you for your previous donations to InsurPACTN and InsurPac National. If you have not made a contribution to our State or Federal PAC, I encourage you to do so now. Here is a link to make a donation to InsurPACTN (our State PAC): -andHere is a link to make a donation to InsurPac National: GovernmentAffairs/InsurPac/default.aspx You can even donate to the Federal PAC via text by messaging “insurpac” to 797979.

A Little Help Goes a Long Way We don’t ask for a large PAC donation from any The Tennessee Insuror

one agent or member agency; all we need is a little from ALL of our agents and member agencies. A little from each will add up to a big number in the end. As I am sure you know, Insurors of Tennessee is the only Independent Insurance Agency group who is actively working on pending legislation in the State of Tennessee. And their work on “The Hill” not only benefits us, it benefits all agents whether independent or direct-writing. This year State Senators and Representatives will file over 2,250 bills. A number of these bills will affect the insurance industry. Our top lobbyists, CEO Chuck Bidek and General Counsel Ashley Gold, are well-recognized and respected for their knowledge and ability to work with the various parties who will be affected by the pending bills. They pride themselves by being able to explain how the bills will affect our industry as well as how it will affect the consumer. This year, the prime campaign season will begin shortly after the legislative session ends in April. Current Senators, Representatives, their challengers and candidates for Governor will be calling and emailing the Insurors of Tennessee asking for donations to their campaigns. On the National level, candidates for U.S. House and U.S. Senate are already raising money for their August primaries.

“You should care because these are the folks who will set the tone on both the State and Federal level.”

What do you need to do? Each member and agency which has not yet contributed to InsurPACTN needs to call Insurors (1.800.264.1898) or utilize the links provided earlier in this article. Make a contribution to InsurPACTN. Then call IIABA (1.800.221.7917), email or follow the link mentioned earlier. Make a contribution to the Big "I" InsurPac National program, and you will have done your part. The process to make a contribution is easy and painless. And your money will continue to keep the Insurors of Tennessee and the Big "I" as the premier insurance agency lobbyist groups on “The Hill” in both Tennessee and Washington, D.C. u

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From Your CEO

The Man in "The Room Where it Happens"

"The art of the compromise; Hold your nose and close your eyes; We want our leaders to save the day; But we don’t get a say in what they trade away; We dream of a brand new start; But we dream in the dark for the most part; Dark as a tomb where it happens; I’ve got to be in; The room (where it happens); I've got to be (the room where it happens); I've got to be (the room where it happens); Oh, I've got to be in; The room where it happens…" - excerpt from "The Room Where it Happens" as written by Lin-Manuel Miranda for Hamilton.

a Conference Committee bill which was ultimately passed in both Chambers on December 20th and signed by the President on December 22nd.

In the musical Hamilton, the character of Aaron Burr discusses with a group of his political contemporaries about how Alexander Hamilton gained his legislative goals by being the man in "the room where it happens." Our national association, IIABA, has such a man on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. His prowess was shown again during tax reform debate recently which culminated with the widest-ranging tax reform in decades.

Simplification, regardless of how well intended, has its consequences. Case in point, the Senate version of the bill taxed royalty income of taxexempt organizations' names or logos. Continuing the exemption just for the Big "I" and its state associations was worth at least two million dollars per year! ASAE (the association for associations) publicly commented on the Big "I"’s help on this issue. Big "I" was the only producer group involved in combating this royalty legislation.

Charles Symington is that man. He joined our national association in 2004 and now serves as the senior vice president for external, industry and government affairs. Prior to joining IIABA he was a staffer on Capitol Hill from 2000-2003 with senior position on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce (including Healthcare issues) and culminating with a position as Senior Counsel on the House Committee on Financial Services, where he was often focused on insurance issues. These experiences and his time served on the Hill became invaluable during the time of the “Dash to the Tax Finish Line” for the period of November 16 to December 22, 2017. In that time, the House passed a wide-ranging tax reform bill, followed two weeks later by the Senate passing their preferred version. This triggered The Tennessee Insuror

This "Dash" was historic unto itself. Most legislation – even bills naming a Post Office – sometimes takes months and even years as 535 legislators are herded into a consensus. The cumulative hours spent by Charles and his staff of professionals were enormous and that wouldn't even include counting the hours of lying awake at night. When the Dash began it's goal was to simplify the tax code to roughly the size of a postcard.

Throughout the process, Big "I" led a coalition – which included the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) and the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers (The Council) – in sending letters to the House and Senate to express concerns about the bill’s proposed treatment of some small businesses. At the same time they were maintaining a dialogue with the states during the entire Dash process.

“M o s t H i l l observers say (agents fared) ' ve r y ' we ll .”

So how did agents fare in all these changes? Most Hill observers say “very” well. Based on the structure of most of our member agencies (generally S-Corp/Pass Throughs with some C-Corps), there are multiple advantages to the new tax law. On the following page there are some excerpts from Charles’s presentation on tax reform impacts at the most recent IIABA board meeting. You be the judge of these results!

Chuck Bidek, CPCU 25

How will tax reform impact Big “I” members? • The centerpiece of the tax reform law is a new flat tax of 21% on all C-corps (Ccorps also benefit from a repeal of the corporate AMT). • The law also makes changes related to the taxation of pass-through businesses including a special deduction for small businesses. • On the individual side, the law puts in place new tax brackets, nearly doubles the standard deduction, and makes changes to or eliminates many popular deductions for those who itemize on their tax returns. • The changes on the business side are mostly permanent, while most of the changes to the individual side, including those related to pass-through businesses, are scheduled to expire at the end of 2025.

Tax Rates for Pass Throughs •

Income from pass-through businesses will be taxed at the new relevant individual rates. However, in addition to the reductions in the individual tax rates, the new law creates a 20% deduction on “qualified business income” (QBI) that will impact insurance agency owners and shareholders differently depending on the taxpayer’s annual taxable income. – All pass-through business owners/shareholders receive the full 20% deduction when annual taxable income does not exceed $315,000 (joint) / $157,500 (single) in 2018 – these levels are indexed for inflation. – For owners/shareholders at higher income levels the deduction cannot exceed 50% of applicable employee wages paid, or 25% of applicable wages plus 2.5% of capital assets (e.g. tangible property purchased for the business), whichever is greater. – Finally, the deduction is phased out for owners/ shareholders of “specified services businesses” between $315,000 (joint)/ $157,500 (single) and $415,000 (joint) / $207,500 (single). An owner or shareholder of a “specified services business” with annual taxable income above $415,000 (joint) an $207,500 (single) cannot utilize the deduction.

The 20% deduction is taken on QBI as reported on Schedule C, and not used to compute Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) or to reduce overall taxable income. The deduction is available to both nonitemizers and itemizers.

Tax Rates for Pass Throughs cont’d • The tax law defines “specified services activities” as any trade or business involving the performance of services in the fields of health, law, accounting, actuarial science, performing arts, consulting, athletics, financial services, brokerage services, the performance of services that consist of investing and investment management, trading, or dealing in securities, or any trade or business where the principal asset of such trade or business is the reputation or skill of one or more of its employees. • Currently, the IIABA believes that the definition is likely to include the vast majority of activities related to the sale and servicing of insurance, but is working with stakeholders to clarify this issue. • The public policy rationales for the specified services limitation are: (1) it is intended to serve as a guardrail to prevent people from reallocating income to game the 20% deduction; (2) the perception of giving a tax cut to “wealthy” law firms and similar business; (3) there was a built-in bias in the tax bill toward manufacturing-type businesses.

Other Issues of Note • Employers (i.e. C Corps) are no longer permitted a tax deduction for entertainment expenses, however the 50% deduction for meals is retained. Deductions for unreimbursed business expenses for individuals are also now disallowed. • No changes to the ability of employees to use pre-tax dollars to pay their contribution toward employer health plans or the deductibility of employer costs related to health plans were made. • Under the ACA most people were required to carry health insurance, and failure to do so resulted in a tax penalty. Under the new tax law, the penalty no longer applies starting in 2019, however, there is no prohibition on a State enacting a State-level individual mandate. • No significant changes to the ability of employees to contribute funds to 401(k)s or similar employer-offered retirement account on a pre-tax basis.

How Does He Get in "The Room" So, how did Charles become the "man in the room?" It isn’t luck! Here are a few of my thoughts: • • • • •

He has Capitol Hill Experience and training He and the Big "I" team have hired a bi-partisan, professional and capable staff IIABA has a history of respected lobbyists working on the Hill, including Bob Rusbuldt, Paul Equale and Roger Levy InsurPac National is a million+ PAC Oh, yes... he is a nice guy!

Get more info on his work at u 26


Exceptional Agents Berkley Southeast Insurance Group recognizes the need to mentor the growth of new talent and to perpetuate the Independent Agency System, as well as provide young agents with a competitive advantage. Tennessee’s Young Agents are the future of our business. That’s why we are working together for success.

2018 Exceptional Young Agents Aaron Jensen Blake Dickens Brandon Patterson Chad Richardson Clement Ledbetter Cooper Permenter Craig Moreland David Allen David Clark David Evans Drew Powell Forbes Harris Fred Vann Gabe Colwell Graylon Perkins Jamie Williams John Fritts Josh Clayton Josh Witt KC Covington Kevin Lockmiller Kevin Ownby Kevin Pomeroy Lori Carter Michael Greer Michael Novarese Neil Scott Paul Steele Rand Thomas Rebecca Shipp Richard Powell Robert Harris Stacy Woodard Stuart Oakes Taylor Ragan Tim Treadwell Trey Powell

Shafer Insurance Agency, Knoxville Harris, Madden and Powell, Memphis Ownby Insurance Services, Sevierville Swallows-Newman Insurance, Cookeville Battle Page Insurance, Franklin Harris, Madden and Powell, Memphis Swallows-Newman Insurance, Cookeville RSS Insurance, Chattanooga RSS Insurance, Chattanooga The Insurance Group, Inc., Knoxville Martin & Zerfoss Insurance, Nashville Harris, Madden and Powell, Memphis Collier Insurance, Memphis Swallows-Newman Insurance, Cookeville Westan Insurance, Martin Hardin County Bank Ins. Agcy., Savannah TIS Insurance Services, Knoxville Westan East, Johnson City The Insurance Group, Inc., Knoxville Union City Insurance, Union City V.R. Williams & Company, Winchester Ownby Insurance Services, Sevierville Commercial Insurance Associates, Inc., Nashville THW Insurance, LLC, Lebanon V.R. Williams & Company, Winchester McDaniel-Whitley, Inc, Memphis RSS Insurance, Chattanooga Martin & Zerfoss Insurance, Nashville The Crichton Group, Nashville THW Insurance, LLC, Lebanon Harris, Madden and Powell, Memphis Tigrett & Pennington, Nashville Shafer Insurance Agency, Knoxville TIS Insurance Services, Knoxville Martin & Zerfoss Insurance, Nashville Boyle Insurance, Memphis RSS Insurance, Chattanooga

Your Back-in-Business Insurance Company® The Tennessee Insuror

Education Calendar

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 More information about each class can also be found online.

CISR 2/27 2/28 4/3 4/4 4/5 6/12 6/13 10/2 10/3 10/4 12/4 12/5

Fee: $186

Commercial Casualty II Commercial Casualty II Commercial Property Commercial Property Commercial Property Agency Operations Elements of Risk Commercial Casualty II Commercial Casualty II Elements of Risk Commercial Property Commercial Property


Fee: $430

3/14-16 Agency Management Institute 5/2-4 Commercial Property Institute 7/18-19 Ruble Graduate Seminar* 9/11-13 Commercial Casualty Institute 11/7-9 Commercial Multiline Institute

CE: 7

Fee: $430

Nashville Memphis Johnson City Nashville Memphis Nashville Memphis Johnson City Knoxville Chattanooga Nashville Memphis

9/26-28 Principles of Risk Management*

CE: 24 (Ruble 16)

Memphis 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.

ABEN Webcasts ( 2/7 2/7 2/7 2/8 2/12


D&O Liability CE: 2 $48 E&O - Understanding Agent Duties CE: 2 $48 E&O - Agency/Carrier Relationships CE: 2 $48 Premium Auditing: Agents Must Know CE: 2 $52 Double Trouble - COIs and Biz Auto CE: 2 $48


Specialty Seminars 4/4-5

Food & Beverage

Fee: $430


Online Courses ( Available from IIABA Virtual University. Member pricing shown.

Ethics for Insurance Professionals How to Calc. Business Income in 5 Min. National Flood Insurance Program New Employee Training Course

CE: 3 CE: 3 CE: 6 CE: 9

$75 $50 $80 $100

*check VU site for current information on CE and pricing

Available from The National Alliance


Legal & Ethical Requirments of Insurance CE: 4 Insuring Flood Exposures - NFIP Review CE: 4 Available from The Institutes

$75 $75


Insurance Principles and Policies CE: 7 Long Term Care CE: 24 Workers’ Compensation CE: 10 Employee Benefits for Small Companies CE: 4 Healthcare Reform and Affordable Care CE: 5 e-Coverage CE: 15 Fundamentals of Personal Auto Insurance CE: 3 Management Process for Ins. Professionals CE: 21 Intro to Flexible Spending Accounts CE: 4 Terrorism and Its Impact on Insurance CE: 4 Toxic Mold and Homeowners Insurance CE: 15 Understanding the Industry of Insurance CE: 5

$49 $99 $59 $39 $49 $79 $29 $89 $39 $39 $79 $39

Register Online at

Indicates course is presented by The National Alliance. Register for these courses at The Tennessee Insuror










Thank You!


Sustaining PARTNERS

Contributing PARTNERS





Supporting PARTNERS


We get you.


We understand what agents want and we’re committed to giving you the tools you need to grow your agency. For more information, contact Amy Rose, Sales Leader, at (765) 228-1340.

30 N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. NPO-0550AO.1 (2015) Nationwide

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Government and Legal Affairs New Tax Reform Law


Written by Ashley Gold, J.D., Insurors General Counsel One of the biggest headlines to end 2017 was passage of the new tax reform law. IIABA prepared a white paper providing an overview of the provisions most likely to impact independent insurance agents and brokers. You may view it online at Below are a few of the areas to consider going into 2018. Because the law’s impact will vary depending on the individual circumstances of tax filers, we encourage our members to consult with their accountants, lawyers and other relevant tax and estate planning professionals. Finally, the changes that the law imposes are extensive, and how the law is implemented remains to be seen. Impact on Businesses The centerpiece of the new law is reduction in the corporate tax rate. There is a permanent flat tax on Subchapter C Corporations of 21% and the corporate alternative minimum tax is fully repealed. If your corporation receives dividends there are other rules that will apply. If you are organized as a pass-through entity (Sub-S, Partnership or Sole Proprietor) then there are changes which will apply to you as well. The new law will tax income from pass-through businesses at the new relevant individual rates, and some pass-through entities will be eligible for a special deduction.

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For UnmarRate

ried Individuals, Taxable Income Over

For Married Individuals Filing Joint Returns, Taxable Income Over

For Heads of Households, Taxable Income Over





























Selected Business Deductions, Exclusions and Credits The new law makes amendments and changes to certain deductions, exclusions and credits related to businesses. Some of the changes are permanent and some phase in or out. Meals and Entertainment Deduction: In 2017, employers were permitted to deduct 50% of the costs of business-related meals and entertainment expenses. Now, no deduction is permitted for entertainment expenses, however the 50% deduction for meals is retained. Temporary 100% Expensing: The law amends Section 168(k) of the Tax Code by allowing immediate expensing of 100% of new equipment placed in service between September 27,


2017 and the end of 2022. For property placed in service after December 31, 2022 expensing is decreased on a pro rata basis by 20% per year (i.e. 80% in 2023, 60% in 2024, 40% in 2025, 20% in 2026). Tuition Reimbursement: The new law does not make any changes to the deductibility of tuition reimbursement benefits provided by employers. Employers can still contribute up to $5,250 a year to an employee’s tuition for qualifying education and continuing education programs, and it remains tax free to the employee. Impact on Individuals As mentioned above, as of January 1, 2018, new tax rates and rules went into effect for every taxpayer in the U.S. Individuals will begin to see changes to their tax levels early in 2018. However, all provisions related to the individual tax code are scheduled to expire on December 31, 2025. This means that absent Congressional action to extend, change, or otherwise make permanent the changes, the law will revert to what was in effect for the 2017 tax year, adjusted for inflation on January 1, 2026. Selected Individual Deductions, Exclusions and Credits The new law makes substantial amendments to, and also eliminates various deductions, exclusions and credits. Disaster Costs: In 2017 you could itemize deductions for cer-

tain property and casualty losses not covered by insurance due to events like fires and floods if they were more than 10% of your AGI. The new law limits the deduction to losses that are incurred from a federally declared disaster between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2025. Miscellaneous Itemized Deduction: The new law removes the deduction for miscellaneous items through December 31, 2025. In 2017, to the extent that certain items--including unreimbursed job expenses, business liability insurance premiums, licensing and regulatory fees, tax preparation fees, hobby expenses, and in some cases legal fees--exceed 2% of AGI they were deductible. It remains to be seen how the law will ultimately impact businesses and individuals, and we will be watching the IRS as it begins issuing regulations and guidance in 2018 to implement provision of the law which may impact businesses and individuals moving forward. 1- Source:

About the Author Ashley Gold has served as the General Counsel of Insurors of Tennessee since 2007, and previously consulted for the Association on legal and government affairs matters. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Kentucky and her Juris Doctor from Samford University. u

® Policies are underwritten by Bridgefield Casualty Insurance Company and Bridgefield Employers Insurance Company, authorized insurers in AL, AR, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN and TX; BusinessFirst Insurance Company, authorized in FL, GA, KY, NC, SC and TN. ©2017 Summit Consulting LLC | 2310 Commerce Point Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801


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Meeting my customers where they work. Crafting each policy to meet different needs. Partnering with Builders Mutual insurance.

That’s how I get the job done right.





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committed to mutual success. Harford Mutual Insurance partners with independent agents in Tennessee.

We insure restaurants, contractors, mercantile, and other commercial entities. We’re committed to protecting your client’s business and building yours. 800.638.3669 34

INSURING BUSINESSES SINCE 1842 The Tennessee Insuror

Association Update

New Insurors of Memphis Board Installed

On December 6th, the Insurors of Memphis local board installed their new 2018 officers and directors. Insurors of Tennessee President Chris Allison was on hand to swear-in the The new Insurors of Memphis new board. Eric Collison and local board leadership Kathleen Burk of Kemmons Wilson, Hollie Fischer of The Hartford, Sky Hamilton of Willis, Alex Mathis of Mathis, Tibbets & Massey, Elizabeth Rook of Elizabeth Rook Insurance, Stacy Becker of Boyle Insurance Agency and Lauren Fisher of Clay & Land.

Pody Elected to State Senate Insurors member Mark Pody of Insurance Solutions in Lebanon was elected as State Senator for District 17 (Wilson, Cannon, DeKalb, Smith, Clay and Macon counties) in a special election held on December 19th. Pody was previously serving as a State Representative, but decided to run for the Senate seat vacated by Mae Beavers. The Republican Pody defeated Democratic candidate Mary Alice Carfi by over 300 votes.

Davis Celebrates 50 Years in Insurance Longtime Insurors member and Insuror of the Year winner Fred Davis of Fred L. Davis Insurance in Memphis celebrated his 50th year in the insurance business with a gala party that included many of his business associates and friends. Davis has been a pioneer, both in the Civil Rights movement and in the insurance industry, and was the first African-American to participate in the Big "I" Legislative Conference.

Pittard Now Partner at Page, Chaffin & Riggins Cordova-based Page, Chaffin and Riggins Insurance Agency has announced that Charlie Pittard has been named as a partner in the agency. Pittard had been a producer with the agency since 2013, and is a 2012 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a Bachelors degree in Risk Management and Insurance.

Summers Featured in "Young Pro. Spotlight" The Greater Memphis Chamber recently featured Howard The Tennessee Insuror

Summers of Lipscomb & Pitts Insurance in its "Young Professionals Spotlight" series. He is a producer with the agency, which he joined in 2014. Summers began his undergraduate education at Mississippi College, where he played Division III tennis and studied economics with the intention of going into ministry. As his business acumen developed though, Howard made the decision to transfer his studies to Mississippi State, where he served as the MSU mascot "Bully" and graduated Summa Cum Laude with his Bachelors degree in Economics & Finance.

Hollowell Named Officer of the Year Daniel Hollowell of Maddox Insurance in McKenzie was recently named as the 2017 Officer of the Year by the McKenzie Fire Department. Hollowell serves as a Battalion Chief for the combination staffed/volunteer fire service in the community.

Coker Named to Candidate's Advisory Group Jeff Coker of Coker & Wolfe in Hendersonville has been named to the "Business Leaders for Lee Coalition" by Gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee. The group, encompassing every corner of the state, will serve in an advisory role to Lee on business and economic development issues and help spread Bill’s ideas within their professional and local communities.

Geny Purchasing Southern Insurance Group Geny Insurance Group, LLC - Division of SouthPoint Risk Advisors - has added another agency to their growing SouthPoint Risk family. As of December 1st, Southern Insurance Group of McMinnville has joined the SouthPoint group. Southern Insurance has been serving the McMinnvilleWarren County area since 1986. SouthPoint has now grown to 8 locations across Tennessee and Kentucky with over 80 employees.

Hutsenpiller Named "Business of the Year" The Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce held its annual Mt. Juliet Chamber Choice Awards in January. Among the winners were Hutsenpiller Insurance Services, LLC, which was named as the 2017 "Business of the Year" by the organization. Agency principal Tina Hutsenpiller said of the award, "I am still in shock! Our team works hard every day to make this the best place to live, work, worship and raise a family." u 35

Which tool does over half of IIABA’s Best Practices insurance agencies use? Caliper. Best Practices agencies know the bigger you want to be, the better you need to manage your #1 asset… Your people. Caliper does that. Did you know that the average IIABA Best Practices Agency

spends well over half its revenues on compensation? Did you know

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Company Spotlight

Caliper | EMPLOYEE-ASSESSMENT AND TALENT-MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS For over 30 years, Caliper has worked with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA or Big "I") in helping more than 55 percent of their member Best Practices agencies hire and develop their top-tier agency employees. Caliper is an employee-assessment and talent-management-solutions company that helps businesses align talent with strategy. The depth of Caliper’s expertise starts with the Caliper Profile, Cailper’s proprietary employee and applicant assessment instrument that accurately measures an individual’s jobperformance potential. In essence, it’s a tool that helps you find out which person is best suited for a given job based on their intrinsic motivation relative to the role’s responsibilities. It can be used to support hiring, employee development, team improvement, talent alignment, and succession planning. With the right people in the right roles, you’ll increase productivity, employee engagement, and profitability. Big "I" members receive discounted pricing on Caliper products to help your agency with pre-employment assessments, staff development and corporate culture.

Pre-employment Assessments Get clear about which candidates have the greatest potential to succeed and make your most informed, confident hiring decisions ever.

Corporate Culture Transform the culture you have to the culture you need. Caliper will put your vision in perspective and provide solutions for achieving your goals.

The Approach Job applicants or existing employees complete the Caliper Profile, a scientifically-validated assessment instrument that measures jobperformance competencies. Their expert consultants and advisors provide guidance in interpreting the Profile results and applying them in talentmanagement decisions. Depending on your organizational need, the data they collect can support hiring and promoting the right people; onboarding new hires; staff development; succession planning; and addressing organizational talent gaps. Caliper consultants also use Profile results as a springboard to coaching and workshops centered on improving individual and team performance, and their award-winning Caliper Analytics platform opens doors to the world of human-capital management. As an Insurors member, you have access to: • • •

10% discount on hiring assessments 10% discount on staff development tools Expert consultants who can help you in all areas of talent management

Talent Development

In addition, Caliper is offering all new IIABA clients a FREE Individual Developmental Guide with the purchase of their first Caliper Profile - a $100 value!

Caliper's three-phase approach to talent development focuses on exceptional performance and attaining remarkable, measureable results.

Order by calling 609.524.1200 and identifying yourself as an IIABA member or visit for more information. u

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Contact Information 500 Alexander Park, Suite 200 Princeton, NJ 08540-6687 609.524.1200 About Caliper Caliper is an employee-assessment and talent-management-solutions company that helps businesses align talent with strategy; hire better people faster; and develop leaders, teams, and missioncritical employees. Caliper partners with all types of organizations, industries, and sectors – from Fortune 500 companies to small businesses and from government agencies to non-profits. Caliper is uniquely positioned to help companies reduce the risk of bad hiring decisions, build high performing teams, and engage, develop, and retain their employees. Whether your business needs to hire for an important position, reduce turnover, improve team effectiveness, or develop current and future leaders, Caliper can help you make the best talent-management decisions. Caliper combines scientifically validated talent-management tools with expertise and technology to provide the complete talent-management solution. Based in Princeton, New Jersey, the company has 13 global offices and has translated their assessment materials into 14 different languages.


“Exclusive member agencies, collaborating to bring the best insurance solutions to their clients.� The Allison Insurance Group - Jackson Bagley & Bagley Insurance - Fayetteville Boyle Insurance Agency, Inc. - Memphis Burke, Powers & Harty - Bristol Carnal-Roberts Agency, Inc. - Lexington Cate-Russell Insurance, Inc. - Maryville Frank E. Neal & Company, Inc. - Nashville Goss Insurance - Hixson Inter-Agency Insurance Services - Knoxville


Martin & Zerfoss, Inc. - Nashville McInturff, Milligan & Brooks - Greeneville Miller | Loughry | Beach Insurance Services - Murfreesboro Ownby Insurance Service, Inc. - Sevierville Smith-Berclair Insurance, Inc. - Memphis S.N. Anthony, Inc. - Ripley Tigrett & Pennington Inc. - Dyersburg V.R. Williams & Company - Winchester Watauga Insurance, Inc. - Johnson City

Get more information now at

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Program Spotlight Big "I" Markets Big "I" Markets​is an online market access system available exclusively to Big "I" members featuring no fees, no volume commitments and competitive commissions. A suite of top tier products is available.

What Markets are Available? Some of the popular commercial markets available in Tennessee include: Bonds, Commercial Builders Risk, Commercial Lessors Risk, Event Liability Insurance, Commercial Flood, Professional Liability, Employment Practices Liability, Stand-alone Fine Art and Valuable Articles and our Swiss Re Lawyers Professional Liability program. On the personal lines side, markets include: Collector Cars, Jewelry Insurance, Marine Insurance, Non-standard Homeowner or Rental Dwelling, Recreational Vehicles, Non-Standard Vacant Dwelling and Aflluent Personal Lines.

How Do You Quote with Big "I" Markets? Starting the quoting process with Big "I" Markets is easy.

B ig “I”

MARKETS Log in and/or register your agency at and then access the "markets" section. Clicking on a specific product will take you to its Underwriting & Coverage (or Information) page. The Information page contains specific details about the product. The various underlined sections will take you to different sections of the page or you may simply scroll down. One of these sections is “Requirements for Quoting & Binding” which gives specific instructions on quoting. The first instruction is usually to click on the "Request A Quote" link. Request A Quote opens the Quote Request Wizard. You will then be taken through the process of identifying the state of risk, the producer assigned, the customer information and the details of the risk. Once you have completed the information, you'll be taken to the Quite Detail page, and once submitted you'll be notified about how the underwriter will contact you. For more information, visit and/or schedule a viewing of one of their training webinars. u

The Markel difference Service | Strength | Specialists

Markel Specialty | Markel Specialty is a business division of Markel Service Incorporated and has over 70 years of experience in niche markets, with a product focus on commercial and personal lines insurance. Policies are written by one or more Markel insurance companies. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary.

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supports its agency partners in their industry endeavors. We encourage and help facilitate intellectual capital sharing among partners. One way we do this is with an agency-led group called Emerging Leaders. Their focus is progressive, innovative solutions in technology, perpetuation, and sales management. We pride ourselves on building a platform that will sustain independent insurance agencies over the long haul. Because independence works better together. Contact Michele Bicknell: 570.473.2148 | 40


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Company Briefs Harrold Retires; Auto-Owners Names Tagsold as New CEO On December 31, 2017, Jeff Harrold retired from his position as chairman and chief executive officer of Lansing, Michiganbased Auto-Owners Insurance Co. and its affiliates. His career with the company spanned more than 40 years.

builder's risk policies on the site prior to this addition. The US Assure website – – has a number of great resources for agents as well, designed to help agencies who want to increase their understanding and production of builder’s risk policies.

Arlington/Roe Adds Sieks in TN/IL Tom Sieks has joined Arlington/Roe as a broker focusing on the states of Tennessee and Illinois. His background includes wholesale brokerage for general liability, excess liability, property, transportation, D&O and E&O.

On January 1st, he was succeeded by Jeffrey (Jeff) S. Tagsold. Tagsold began working at the company in 1985, and was serving as president and chief operations officer. In other executive changes at the company, Daniel J. Thelen, formerly executive vice president, became president of AutoOwners and its affiliates. Carolyn B. Muller, formerly senior vice president of claims, was promoted to the role of executive vice president.

US Assure Added to US Assure, a nationwide carrier providing commercial builder’s risk policies, is now participating on in all 50 states. Their had been a limited market available for

Sieks graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration. He is looking forward to providing counsel to Arlington/ Roe agents and helping solve complex coverage challenges.

ACUITY Growth to Create Over 100 Jobs Acuity Insurance announced it plans to hire over 100 employ-

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National Security has provided competitive, affordable insurance to policyholders for over 50 years, but we also provide a lot for our agents, with competitive commissions, excellent customer service and experienced company adjusters. As an admitted Southeastern based regional company, National Security prides itself on fast, efficient service from a friendly small town company, and online access for all agents, providing fast quotes, online policy issuance, online dec page printing, and real-time policy information. Find out more by calling Sharon at 1-800-239-2358 x213 or visit

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ees in 2018. Staff will be hired at Acuity’s corporate headquarters in Sheboygan and throughout the 26 states in which it does business. Acuity’s hiring is the result of sustained, strong business growth. The insurer is on track to finish 2017 with a 4.4% increase in revenue and has grown to become the 58th-largest property-casualty insurance company in the nation. The company also completed a $250 million headquarters expansion project in 2017 to accommodate anticipated staffing and business growth. “Our growth continues to create opportunity not only for new hires who are looking for rewarding jobs, but also for existing staff who seek to advance their careers,” said Ben Salzmann, Acuity President and CEO.

Meadbowbrook Rebrands as AmeriTrust Meadowbrook Insurance Group, Inc. recently announced that the company has changed its name to AmeriTrust Group, Inc. (AmeriTrust). AmeriTrust will operate as the U.S.-based insurance holding company for Fosun International Limited. The company plans to increase its business by maximizing distribution channels for customers (agents and clients) to purchase insurance products and services more directly. AmeriTrust is led by a new management team, which has been in place since November 2016. The new team has been actively working together, defining the strategies that form the core of AmeriTrust. The names of the insurance subsidiaries owned and operated by AmeriTrust will remain unchanged. These subsidiaries include Meadowbrook Insurance Agency, Mackinaw Administrators, Ameritrust Insurance Corporation, Century Surety Company, ProCentury Insurance Company, Savers Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Star Insurance Company and Williamsburg National Insurance Company.

AmWINS Acquires Seacoast Brokers/Trident Global specialty insurance product distributor AmWINS Group, Inc. has announced the acquisitions of Seacoast Brokers, LLC and Trident Claims Management, LLC. Seacoast Brokers is a South Carolina-based personal lines specialty MGA that designs, distributes and services surplus lines homeowners’ business throughout the United States. Trident Claims Management is a licensed third-party claims administrator which manages claims on all Seacoast-issued policies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and the transaction will close following regulatory approval. The Tennessee Insuror

The Hartford Names Bush Over Personal Lines The Hartford has announced that Stephanie Bush, who has led small commercial since July 2014, will expand her responsibilities to include oversight for personal lines. She replaces Ray Sprague, who is retiring after a 30-year career with The Hartford. Bush will continue to report to The Hartford’s President Doug Elliot. Previously Bush was senior vice president of product management in personal insurance at Travelers, and prior to that she spent 20 years at The Hartford in positions of increasing responsibility in commercial insurance product, underwriting and field operations. Bush is on the board of directors of the National Council on Compensation Insurance.

National General Auto/RV Product Additions National General Insurance Company has announced that they have launched updated personal auto and RV products in Tennessee. The new personal auto and RV programs were designed based on feedback from independents agents across the nation who were seeking competitive rates and great coverage options. To help roll out the new products, National General has added webinars to give agents an overview of the coverage options and discounts. View the information or register for a webinar now at https://attendee.gototraining. com/r/5942158148059963905

Several Carriers Named to "Equality Index" Insurors Associate Members MetLife, The Hartford and QBE have been named to the 2018 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI) for the third consecutive year. Each has been named to the index for multiple years. To be considered for the index, companies voluntarily participated in a Bloomberg GEI survey that asks questions related to each of the four categories: gender statistics, company policies, product offerings and community engagement. The survey was designed to encourage disclosure and the aggregation of company-specific data about gender. Companies are scored based on the information provided, and those with scores high enough to meet a certain threshold are included in the index.

BSR's Harmon Featured as "Face of Success" Vickie Harmon of Bailey Special Risks was recently featured in the "Faces of Success" series by the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville. Harmon has been working with United Way’s VITA Free Tax Prep program for many years. Harmon has been working with United Way’s VITA Free Tax Prep program for 43

many years. She began as a site coordinator during college and got involved again when she relocated to Nashville.

Tennessee Captives Exceed $1B in Premium The state of Tennessee saw domestic captive insurance companies exceed $1 billion in written premiums in 2017 for the first time – a milestone for Tennessee’s burgeoning captive insurance marketplace. In addition to setting a new benchmark in premiums, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) approved 52 new risk-bearing entities (RBEs) in 2017, including licensing another captive insurance company that relocated to Tennessee from outside the U.S.

dent, Underwriting for Large/Complex Casualty business. In this role, Kirchgessner will be responsible for implementing underwriting strategies for CNA's Large/Complex Casualty business, and will report to Kevin Leidwinger, President and Chief Operating Officer, CNA Commercial. Chris Thurman has been appointed to senior vice president, Underwriting for Workers' Compensation. In this role, Thurman will lead the strategic direction for the Workers' Compensation product line, and will report to Julie Stephenson, Commercial Chief Underwriting Officer. Kelly Walsh has been appointed to senior vice president, Underwriting for General Liability. In this role, Walsh will manage the strategic direction of CNA's General Liability product line, and will also report to Stephenson.

A captive insurance company represents an option for many Pancoast Benefits Adds King corporations andAd groups wantingProperty to take financial control Generic for PPPʼs Manager Program and manage by underwriting their own insurance. TD7.25 xrisks 4.625 Pancoast Benefits has announced that KaiCI’s Insurance Division is responsible for properly regulating tlyn King joined their team in November Job #3343 Tennessee’s captive insurance industry. of 2017 as the Communications Associate

CNA Announces New Position Appointments CNA recently announced three leadership appointments within the Company's Commercial Insurance organization. Michael Kirchgessner has been appointed to senior vice presi-

where her wide array of skills are highlighted. She serves as a first point of contact for Pancoast’s guests and clients with responsibilities that include online and print media. The education she received in Communications from Arizona State University has led her to this position located in her hometown of Nashville. u

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Let’s Build Business Together MidSouth Mutual provides workers’ compensation insurance and services to agencies and their clients throughout the Southeast and beyond. Our market reach is expanding to better serve your clients. The states we serve are listed below. Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Oklahoma

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INSURANCE SYMPOSIUM March 21-22 · The Inn at Ole Miss SYMPOSIUM SPEAKERS Haley Barbour

Heather Davis

Laura Beth Beattie

Paul Dougherty

Former Governor of Mississippi Senior Account Executive, Zurich North America

Mike Chaney

Commissioner, Mississippi Insurance Department

Michael Chang

CEO Global Risk Solutions, Sompo International

SVP, Government Relations, CNA Financial

George Hilliard Managing Partner, Pete Mitchell and Associates

Past President, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

Robin Joines

Lance Ewing

Michael S. McGavick

EVP Global Risk Management, Cotton Holdings. Inc.

Joshua Gold

Shareholder and CoChair Financial Services, Anderson Kill, P.C.

SVP Risk Management, Sedgwick CEO, XL Group

Joe Ochipinti

President of the Southeast Region, United Healthcare

Kim Griffing Porter

President, Glynn Griffing & Associates

Ethan Sonnichsen

Managing Director, Government Relations, National Association of Insurance Commissioners

Charles Westmoreland Sales Consultant, Allstate Benefits

Joel Wood

SVP, Government Affairs, The Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers

The Symposium serves as the primary fund-raising event which benefits the Ole Miss Risk Management and Insurance program and the students.

Early bird registration: $175 • Registration after March 2: $200 Register at For more information contact: Kathy Shoalmire @ (662) 915-2830 or Refund/Credit issued for cancellations received before March 1, 2018.

The Tennessee Insuror


Defend Your Turf 3 Smart Reactions to Insurtech

written by Jacquelyn Connelly, IA senior editor

Rolling your eyes at the word “disruptors?” You’re not alone.

1. Specialize

But if you’ve got one eye on the future, chances are you’re already bracing for the massive change underway from the InsurTech movement. When EY (Ernst & Young's global research firm) recently surveyed 530 agents – 55% focused on property-casualty, 27% on small commercial and 15% on life – it found that:

Ellen Carney, principal analyst, digital business strategy at Forrester Research, Inc., says she notices a trend toward specialization among “smart agencies,” whether it’s a focus on multitenant housing, driver’s support logistics and delivery companies like FedEx, or churches, nonprofits and educational institutions.

• • • •

77% say they would value technology that would help them identify new opportunities to sell products in their existing book of business. 63% would value illustration tools to help them show clients what they’re buying. 50% believe there’s a need for new and innovative products so they can grow their business. 47% would value an app that assists them in a guided selling mode.

“What that tells us is that at least a significant share of insurance agents really want to compete in the new way,” says Bernhard Klein Wassink, partner, Global Insurance Customer & Growth Offering, EY. “We believe agents want to punch back and defend their turf—be modern, be with it, be digital. That’s an important counter-story.” Klein Wassink doesn’t believe we’re going to end up in a world with zero insurance agents – instead, he anticipates a hybrid world, similar to what happened with the banking industry. “Insurance is going through that same transformation with this attitude of agents, where they are willing to play in that omnichannel world,” he explains. “Don’t assume that business models that are often developed for urban millennials will dominate the whole U.S. or the world.”

“They’re specializing in a very particular line of coverage, and then based on the word-of-mouth factor, they’re becoming the solution those kinds of businesses gravitate toward,” Carney explains. “It’s going to be hard for a digital [InsurTech] broker to become that specialized.” Richard Kerr, CEO of MarketScout, believes specialization is so crucial to the future viability of independent agencies that he’s not very optimistic about the survival of those that don’t adopt this approach—and fast. “Until a year and a half ago, I was always saying, ‘Independent agents don’t have anything to worry about, because you create value.’ But now, if you’re not a specialist in a particular area, offering technical expertise about something like how to insure medical marijuana or auto parts—sell your company today,” Kerr says. “You’ll get a lot of money for it, and you’re going to get killed in the next five years.”

2. Provide High-Value Risk Management This one’s a no-brainer, and hopefully you’re already doing it. In the commercial space, “the larger and the more specialized

So what can you do to ensure your agency has a firm foothold in the new landscape? The following are three smart reactions to the InsurTech movement.


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Independent Insurance Agents Every day, you as independent agents put on a rocking show for your clients. We are proud to give you a standing ovation!

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you get, the more you need the kind of expertise and advice that a human intermediary is going to provide. You need an adviser in there, and will for a long time,” says Mark Breading, partner at Strategy Meets Action. Where InsurTechs will struggle, Carney says, is achieving “the degree of industry intimacy” an independent agent prides themselves on developing – "knowing what drives a particular industry, and how to make that customer successful in that industry. That ends up being a whole lot harder in a digitalonly channel.” But even lines where you’re accustomed to simply renewing on an annual basis will require more attention and risk management services in the future. “I’m not saying agents don’t provide advice today—especially in the more complex commercial lines, certainly they do,” Breading says. “But even in personal lines in the future, it’s going to be a more of an ongoing relationship where it’s really a risk management proposition, trying to help customers manage their risk better using real-time information from the Internet of Things (IoT).” Consider personal auto, which Breading says “is going to get more complicated as we move more and more toward telematics and autonomous vehicles. I expect that 10 years from now, there are still going to be independent agents selling auto insurance.” Same goes for homeowners: “The tech-savvy agent is going to understand the possibilities with a smart home, understand which insurers have options that give discounts or have packages for smart home devices or have risk management advice for homeowners,” Breading predicts. “If the agent is in the middle of that, helping folks understand it all, I just don’t think homeowners will be 100% digital direct, even 10 years down the line.” Across all lines of insurance, then, InsurTech will, by necessity, “change the character of what an agent does from salesperson to much more like what we see on the commercial lines side – the smart loss control person who’s going to be much more of a consultant around risk as opposed to a seller of a product,” Carney says. “They’re going to be not only selling insurance, but also providing non-insurance services – water leak detection, home surveillance, all kinds of cyber coverage.” “There’s a scale of providing access to products to providing advice. Where on that scale do you want to play?” Klein Wassink agrees. “There are many excellent agents that are far to the right—they provide excellent advice and help consumers cover themselves for risk they otherwise wouldn’t cover themselves for. But unfortunately, there are also agents that basically just provide access to a product and hope that you’ll buy it, and I don’t think that’s a value proposition.”

3. Leverage Tech Where Personal Touch Doesn't Matter Of course, all of the above does not give you an excuse to 48

ignore technology completely. “It’s not a binary thing where you’re either digital or you’re not,” Breading says. “The right attitude for an agent to have is that you should want every customer to go digital to some extent, because it’s a win-win situation.” That means providing digital capabilities for your clients to complete some basic transactions or inquiries online, thereby offloading some of the workload so your staff “can concentrate on the relationship and selling,” Breading says. “There’s a way you can do that where you keep the agent in the loop – it’s not that they don’t know what activities are occurring. It’s just that there’s an awful lot of administrative work going on, and why wouldn’t you want to give your clients better capabilities to do it in self-service way?” Traditionally, independent agencies have wanted to own the entire client relationship – "the sales, the servicing, everything,” Klein Wassink says. But according to EY’s survey, “that’s breaking down. The majority of agents report they would be willing to give up their role in servicing to free up more time to sell to be more with that client.” Of course, “it’s not 100%, and it shouldn’t be. There’s a role for advice, there’s a role for advisers. But they may have to act differently,” Klein Wassink suggests. “The paperwork the adviser handles for you when you finally sign up is completely value-free. The advice is where the value is – the conversation where they help you figure out what you need. That’s the value. So get rid of the paperwork. Digitize that.” Based on its survey results, EY reports that almost half of agents could be described as “agents of the future,” whereas 40% are on the fence – "agents who feel moderately positive about digital, but wouldn’t be the first to move,” Klein Wassink says. The remaining 13% appear to have “given up.” If you’re in one of the first two groups, the future could be bright. If you’re in the latter? Less so. “If you feel like, ‘It’s all manual and it’s all about my relationships, I’ll just fax in the app and I don’t really need a modern website, who needs mobile capability?’ Honestly, there might be some policyholders that are still fine with that, but that’s not going to last too long,” Breading cautions. “The world’s changing pretty fast. If you’re planning on being around for a while and growing, you’ve got to modernize your technology platform.” “There’s always a fighting chance,” Kerr agrees. “But my peers, the principals who are my age, saying ‘Oh, we don’t want those clients?' Those guys are out of their minds.” About the Author Jacquelyn Connelly is the senior editor of IA magazine. She has worked in media, SEO and content production since 2011, and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Writing from Illinois Wesleyan University. She may be contacted by email at u The Tennessee Insuror

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Springtime is Around the Corner Agency Growth Conference 2018 on 3/21-22 The 2018 Insurors Agency Growth Conference will take place March 21-22 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Murfreesboro. The event will feature two keynote sessions, including "An Introduction to the Dale Carnegie Business Relationships Course" and "Knuckle Sandwich: Knocking Out the Top Enemies of Success" featuring industry expert Jason Peacock. Breakout sessions during the event will include, "Agency Carrier Contracts: Things to Watch For," as well as an E&O Loss Control course that may make your agency eligible for loss control credit.* Save the date now, and look for more information – including event registration and room block details – soon on www. *talk with your E&O representative for more information

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Big "I" Legislative Conference April 18-20 The 2018 Big "I" Legislative Conference will be held on April 18-20 at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C. Attend this oneof-a-kind legislative event for the independent agency system and educate members of Congress on issues important to you and your clients. Registration includes an in-depth issues briefing, legislative breakfast with high-profile Congressional speakers, a general session and networking opportunities. Special guests will include Bret Baier, FOX News Channel's chief political anchor and anchor of “Special Report with Bret Baier."

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Despite the growth of both technology-based and direct-tocustomer sales channels in the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry, independent agents still control the lion's share of P&C premiums and represent a significant growth engine for insurers that get the independent agent satisfaction formula right. That's the key finding of the inaugural J.D. Power 2018 U.S. Independent Insurance Agent Satisfaction StudySM, released on January 25th. The new study, which was developed in alliance with the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), evaluates the independent P&C insurance agent's business outlook, management strategy and overall satisfaction with personal lines and commercial lines insurers in the United States. The following are key findings of the study: • • • •

Independent agents are trusted advisors of insurance customers yet face difficulty working with P&C insurers Independent agents looking for P&C insurers with broader risk appetite Huge cross-sell opportunities exist for insurers that get agency formula right Personal lines insurers with highest commission ratios also have highest satisfaction among independent agents and maintain the most profitable operating ratios

"The partnership between Trusted Choice independent insurance agents and insurers has never been more important," said Bob Rusbuldt, president & CEO of Big "I". "Competition is keen and growing, and carriers need to work with their agents in new and innovative ways. Agents also recognize the need to ensure they are doing business the way consumers want to do business, now and in the future. Carriers that understand their independent agency distribution force, work with their agents as true partners and provide resources to help address their needs are going to be the winners in the marketplace." Study Rankings Auto-Owners Insurance earns the top score among personal lines, with an overall satisfaction score of 795. Auto-Owners Insurance is followed by Safeco (742) and Travelers (700). Liberty Mutual performs highest among commercial lines, with an overall satisfaction score of 714, followed by The Hartford with 710 and Travelers with 705. u

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2 The Introductory Series is a good choice for those interested in finding out more about the industry and industry fundamentals. The Dynamics Series, offers career-changing sales training. Providing a variety of pertinent topics, the William T. Hold Seminars are invaluable for expanding your insurance knowledge. The Dynamics Series can be used to meet update requirements across the designations. WTH Seminars satisfy update requirements for CISRs and CSRMs.

The Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR) designation provides quality insurance education geared toward customer service representatives, account executives, servicing agents, new producers, and other professionals. The Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM) designation fills a need for quality risk management education for those associated with schools.


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We answer to main street, not Wall Street. time,made attention, resources on delivering superior financial strength and are with aand policyholder-first focus. stability, a comprehensive product portfolio, and most of all, on doing what’s right for policyholders. To us, policyholders are much more than

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The Tennessee Insuror Jan/Feb '18  

A trade publication for the members of Insurors of Tennessee

The Tennessee Insuror Jan/Feb '18  

A trade publication for the members of Insurors of Tennessee