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Kansas Insurance Agent & Broker May/June 2 0 1 2

National LegislativeConference

I’m celebrating our 100th year by planning for our next 100 years. Jason Bogart, CPCU, ARM, Vice President of Branch Operations Our future will be marked by the relationships we forge with you—the independent insurance agents who represent us. You’re the reason we’ll continue to investigate new market opportunities. Why we’ll develop competitive products. Why we’ll maximize the use of new technologies. Why we’ll emphasize ongoing professional development for our staff. By helping you profitably and efficiently grow your agency, EMC Insurance Companies will continue to serve you and your customers today and well into the future.

Wichita Branch: 800.223.0562 | Home Office: Des Moines, IA © Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2011 All rights reserved



Vol. 17, No. 3 The bimonthly magazine of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents


EDITOR Rebecca Spriggs OFFICERS OF KAIA President Lee Hays | President Elect Tim Tyner | Vice President/Treasurer Bob Wood | Secretary/Assistant Treasurer SueAnn Schultz | State National Director Greg Renn | Immediate Past President Mark Lowry |



BOARD OF DIRECTORS Zone I Director Jim Wilkinson | Zone II Director Rob Lessen | Zone III Director Lyle Davidson | Zone IV Director Lee Gleason | Zone V Director Lonny Claycamp | Zone VI Director Scott Strong | Director at Large Jim Runnebaum | Director at Large Ron Bolz | Director at Large Kristi Wilson | Director at Large Dusty Davis | YAC Chairperson Jo Erin Stuteville | K A I A P R O F E S S I O N A L S TA F F

F E AT U R E S 12 COVER STORY National Legislative Conference 16 New Era of Workers Compensation Chapter III 20 President’s Classic Golf Tournament

Executive Director | Kerri Spielman Vice President of Operations | Marcia Moore Director of Communications | Rebecca Spriggs Director of Education | Erin Lesser Director of Events | Beth Roybal Membership Services Rep | Deanna Dinwiddie Insurance Services Rep | Amanda Hanson

22 KAIA Awards 28 AScK Commercial Auto

d e pa r t m e n t s President’s Message 2 Industry Partner Programs 3 Agents Council For Technology 4 Commissioner’s Column 7 Young Agents Committee 8 Trusted Choice Committee 10 Technology Committee 11 Education Classes 30 Advertising Index 31 Kansas Filings of Interest 33

Insurance Services Team Leader | Lisa Parkhurst Public Relations Coordinator | Katie Hobson Director of Agency Operations | Bob Harris Accounting & Finance Assistant | Debby Cowan Insurance Services Rep | Kim Deever 815 SW Topeka Boulevard | Topeka, KS 66612 (785) 232-0561 | (800) 229-7048 w w w. k a i a . co m

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Kansas Insurance Agent & Broker c/o the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents, 815 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66612. (785) 232-0561. Kansas Insurance Agent & Broker (ISSN#1069-1847) is published bimonthly by Agency Services Corporation of Kansas (ASCK) a subsidiary of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents, 815 SW Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS. (785) 232-0561. Periodicals postage paid at Topeka, KS 66612. The Kansas Association of Insurance Agents was formed September 1, 1992, through the combination of the Professional Insurance Agents of Kansas (PIAK) and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kansas (IIAK). The Association was formerly affiliated with the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) and is currently affiliated with the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA).


Why are you a member of the KAIA? What specifically grabbed your attention when you first heard about the association? More importantly, what is the driving force that keeps you renewing your membership year after year?


f I could only offer one practical reason for my own membership, it would be the unmatched errors and omissions coverage. Just like you, our association has more than one company to offer coverage for its members. I would like to review just one of those companies we have available to us, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions (aka Westport). Nearly three quarters of the KAIA’s membership would agree. Last year, Agency Services Corporation of Kansas (AScK) had a retention ratio of better than 98% of E&O policy holders. The program clearly speaks for itself in its unmatched quality. E&O coverage through the KAIA is unique in that our endorsed provider, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, is in the business of prevention, which is why they practically bend over backwards in providing tools and resources to help you stop claims before they happen. Moreover, Swiss Re is dependable. You don’t have to worry about them pulling out of states, unlike other carriers who will leave you scrambling to find coverage. Its long-standing and rich relationship with our national association, the IIABA, has enabled agents and brokers to become major actors in creating policy language and coverage. A committee of IIABA member agents (the Professional Liability Committee) oversees and recommends enhancements to the program to meet the ever-changing needs of agents. The policy language is broad and viewed by many as an industry benchmark. The coverage form is constantly evolving to meet the needs of independent insurance agents like you.


For example “Digital Security” has become a major topic in the past two years because of the possibility of breaches in personal data by skilled hackers. The coverage is commonly called “Data Breach”. Personal data is all information, whether written or electronic which can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, including but not limited to, their name, social security number, biometric records, alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information which is linked or linkable to a specific individual, such as date and place of birth, or mother’s maiden name. Breach is any misappropriation or unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, publication, theft, disappearance, or destruction of PERSONAL DATA within the care, custody or control of any INSURED. Your policy with Swiss Re will automatically extend ‘1st party Breach of Personal Data’ coverage at nocost to you. You may also be covered for ‘3rd party Breach of Personal Data’ providing your digital transitions meet security requirements again at no cost to you. Beyond the great coverage, by holding E&O through the KAIA, you have access to a multitude of tools and resources to help you keep your E&O claims at bay. E&O Happens is a website maintained by the IIABA and Swiss Re Corporate Solutions with a broad array of risk management information, tools and educational resources. Articles are regularly published with examples of common claims and ways to avoid them. Should a claim occur, knock on wood, a dedicated claims team that works solely on insurance agency E&O claims is at your disposal. continued on page 32»




2012 Industry Partnership Program The Industry Partnership Program was initiated by the KAIA Board of Directors to give company partners greater recognition and more options in a single annual sponsorship. Our tiered program allows partners to decide which level of sponsorship is most appropriate. This one-time solicitation allows maximum exposure to the KAIA membership throughout the entire year at our most popular events. This year’s revamped program offers many beneďŹ ts that were not included before: paid membership dues, priority selection of booth placement at the Rural & Small Conference, special recognition on the online event registration pages and event/ education registration packets; not to mention a free ad in the KIA&B magazine.





Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland

Allied Insurance America First Insurance Columbia Insurance Group Continental Western Farmers Alliance Kansas Mutual Insurance Company

ACUITY Allstate Insurance AMERISAFE ARMTech Insurance Auto-Owners Insurance Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company Buckeye Insurance Group Capital Premium Finance Marysville Mutual Insurance Company MetLife Mid-Continent Group M.J. Kelly Rain & Hail, LLC State Auto TAS Insurance Upland Mutual Insurance, Inc.

NSI/West Bend Mutual Progressive Insurance




The Reality of Texting For Insurance Agencies By Pat Alexander

Clients are increasingly texting their agents and preferring to receive texts from their agents, creating the challenge as to how agencies manage this form of communication. In this article, the author discusses the challenges agencies face with texting, how agents can send texts to their email to document the conversation and how agents can use their email to send texts to their clients who prefer this method of communication. We are hopeful that more efficient ways to attach texts to agency management systems and to send texts from these systems will be developed in the future.


uring every meeting I have attended in the last few months, there have been questions and discussions on “should an agency allow texting by its clients and staff and if so, how do we control Errors & Omissions and documentation in our agency


management system?” Empowered clients are going to communicate with agents in the manner most convenient to them, so the real issue becomes how is the agency going to manage texting if the client prefers to use it? In this article, I discuss several concerns agen-


cies have with texting, current “best practices” for managing these communications, and the technology options for managing texts and importing them into your systems as I understand them. There may be other options and not everyone uses Microsoft Outlook. Your

technology professional should be able to assist you with the details. Agency Concerns 1. If clients are texting staff members on their personal phone, a number of issues come to my mind: a. What if your staff member is on vacation where their phone is not functioning or they are just too busy to take care of the issue? b. What if your staff member is ill and not able to pay attention to incoming messages on a real-time basis? c. What if the individual is actually no longer a staff member? d. What if the individual says they will take care of the request and does, but doesn’t document in the system and something is not correct? I have heard more than one agency principal flatly state that they weren’t going to allow any texting. Others don’t see any way to stop people from texting but don’t know what to do with it and how to set parameters. A number of people commented that it was seamless to attach an email, voicemail or other documentation in their agency management system, but not so texts. Since it is difficult to manage the capture of the text information, they want to ban receiving texts. We need to remember that capturing email information in an agency management system was not always easy. Once upon a time we copied the emails and pasted them into an activity or note since we couldn’t attach anything to our agency management systems. Through communication with the various agency management vendors from their user groups, the vendors enhanced their systems to handle email attachments. From this grew the ability to easily attach various other attachments and we hope vendors will create streamlined workflows for capturing texts as well, possibly as a part of their

mobile apps. The initial attachment functions were “clunky”, but as time and technology have progressed, this function has become more streamlined. In today’s world, texting is a reality. It is not only your young clients that are engaging in this act. Texting eliminates telephone tag, and results in an almost instant response. This is what many of us are programmed to want.

and implement the process to get this moved to an agency level as quickly as possible. I don’t see that there is any more of an errors & omissions exposure in receiving and responding to texts than there are in phone calls, emails or faceto-face conversations. The biggest issue I believe agencies have at this time is how to make this format work for them as seamlessly as possible.

Current “Best Practices” I recommend you consider taking the following approach with regard to texting: 1. Do you want to be relevant to you your client base? If so, then you must embrace this technology. 2. Set standards and best practices. These really are no different than handling face-to-face conversations, phone calls, emails, etc. Your standard should be that all conversations with the client or with others about the client’s account are to be documented in the agency management system or the system which you are using to collect client data. 3. Be pro-active and determine how to best receive texts at the agency level and educate your staff and clients. 4. If your client and someone in your agency are friends, inevitably there will be a text on a person phone. Define, train

Forwarding Texts to Email Here are some thoughts I have on this process that I have picked up from


continued on page 26 »


3. 4.






Wait and see. In a holding pattern. On the back burner. Those are all terms that we use to describe inaction on an upcoming decision or resolution. You might see that as the path many people have taken when it comes to national health care reform legislation that is currently the law of the land.


any state governments adopted this idea during the past few months, knowing that the U.S. Supreme Court was going to conduct oral hearings on the constitutionality of the individual mandate clause and other provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) that went into effect in March 2010. The court finished its public argument phase concerning the law in March. The justices are expected to issue a ruling in late June. Media attention was riveted for three days on the law’s merits (or demerits), with many pundits arguing that judicial skepticism concerning the law’s provisions signaled that justices were leaning toward voiding part or all of it. Whatever the outcome, expect a lot of phone calls and emails from your customers. People have been confused about PPACA from the beginning, even though many of them have taken advantage already or been the recipients of some of its benefits. Add to that the political strife that is the current mood across the United States, and it’s no wonder that people are divided about the law. They will continue to be following the court’s ruling and into the general election season this fall — and possibly much longer. Some of you probably have heard me say that at least part of this division could have been avoided if, during the legislative process, there had been a House-Senate conference committee

to iron out some of the problem areas in the legislation. Unfortunately, there wasn’t, and partisanship ruled the day. So what can you tell your clients when they call asking about the court’s ruling and how it will affect their own health insurance needs? If the court rules only against the individual mandate, other parts of the law could remain in play, at least until the next Congress is in session. The restrictions on lifetime and annual limits may stay, as well as preventive screening services. The ability for a child to remain on his/her parents’ health coverage until age 26, which has proved popular, could stay around. The tax credits for small businesses might still be in force. Rating for age, geography, tobacco use and family size (not gender) could still go into effect in 2014, as well as elimination of pre-existing conditions exclusions.

SANDY SANDY PRAEGER PRAEGER Kansas Kansas Insurance Insurance Commissioner Commissioner

And, implementing an exchange for consumer health insurance purchases could still go forward. Some of the methods to implement those provisions might have to be retooled, however. One idea in place of a mandate is installing an open enrollment period. That could prohibit late enrollees or put financial penalties on them if they enroll after the deadline. I would hope that approach would discourage people from purchasing insurance only if they are ill and then dropping it when they get better. You all know that drives up the cost of health insurance for everybody. Whatever happens with the court decision or in the general election this fall, the Kansas Insurance Department will continue to work for what’s best for Kansas consumers, Kansas agents and Kansas companies.

General Liability, Automobile, Umbrella, Inland Marine, Surety and Surplus Lines




I’m Just a Bill... JO ROSS ERINHENDRICKSON STUTEVILLE, CISR To say that the last few months have flown by would be the YAC Representative understatement of the year. I honestly think that once we get to about April the fast forward button gets pushed and stays on until mid August. Apparently I’ve covered a lot of ground since my last article so I will give you a quick snapshot of a few of the things I have been a part of in regard to the KAIA and my roll as the Young Agents Chair.


n April I traveled with fellow association members to Washington DC to participate in the National Legislative Conference. If you ever have the opportunity TAKE IT! It’s an amazing experience.

delegates. As a young person, I can only imagine the excitement that these young men and women feel when a bill is passed or shot down that they had a hand in. Hooray for youth!

In preparation for the trip I began brushing up on my episodes of School House Rocks and singing “I’m just a bill”. Anyone else remember this show and that song?

Again, I cannot say enough about what a great experience the national conference is. Make the trek at least once, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

While I would never consider myself “into politics” going to the NLC was a turning point for me. There are so many things to be learned from visiting our legislators… in their offices… in DC. Granted we didn’t’ get to meet with each of them personally, we met with staff and voiced our concerns to each Kansas delegate’s office. As we came and went from each office one thing was very clear, these senators and congressmen know the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents. While their weeks are filled with hundreds of visitors, they knew our association, most of them knew Kerri personally, as well as some of the association members that were present. That’s huge! To me that speaks leaps and bounds for our association. One of the standout things I noticed while visiting The Hill was the age of the staffers in each office. These staffers are in their 20’s and are feeding loads of information to their delegates each day. So in essence, our country’s decisions are largely based on info that these young staffers are relaying to their


Another great association event that I attended recently was the Open House of the new Larry Magill Education Center and the President’s Classic Golf Tournament. There was a great turnout at the open house and the education center looks great. If you haven’t seen it yet you need to check it out. Doing the “On the Green” contest at the golf tournament was a great success but it would never have been so successful without the donations so generously given by the golfers. We really do appreciate the support and plan on using the money to take our young agents group to the next level. The support and enthusiasm from the Not So Young Agents is truly appreciated and quite frankly I am constantly impressed with the giving nature of so many of you. While the young agents team at the tournament once again was named champion, I’m sure someone will figure out a way to change that in the future! As always, if you aren’t involved, what are you waiting for? Myself, as well as any of the members of the board, would be more than happy to see new faces and hear new ideas. The opportunity is there now you just have to take it.








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PROUD SUPPORTER OF Kansas Association of Insurance Agents

United Heartland is the marketing name of United Wisconsin Insurance Company and is underwritten by the insurance companies of Accident Fund Holdings, Inc.




Trusted Choice® Bleeds Purple & Crimson If there is one thing that Kansans can unite on, it’s college athletics. More specifically, the K-State vs. KU rivalry speaks to our hearts. This is especially evident when stories like that of the little girl who just could not find it within herself to color a Jayhawk in her elementary school class make headline news with all of the local news stations.


n Kansas you bleed crimson or purple whether you go to Pittsburgh State University or you are an adoring fan who never pursued a post-secondary education. This is the market to play in. If we want people to recognize Trusted Choice® as a value proposition of working with independent insurance agents, we need to reach as many people as possible. According to recent stats from Learfield Sports, about 1.2 million people watched K-State football on TV in 2011, up 29% from 2007; more than three hundred thousand listened on the radio, up 76% from 2007. Combined, that’s more than half of the state of Kansas – according to the 2010 census – tuning into K-State football at one time. While I am not surprised at all of the purple fans out there, those are significant numbers. Last season, KAIA made it possible for members to engage in the purple and crimson battles through co-op radio advertising with Trusted Choice®. KAIA purchased a network spot and allowed members to co-op the individual station towers at incredible pricing. My agency purchased three towers to get coverage in all of our branch locations. Between buying individual towers and having access to the local marketing reimbursement co-op, it was pretty much a no-brainer. The exposure you get through a ten second agent tag is complemented by live in-game sponsor reads as well as digital advertising.


The K-State program had commercials running through football and basketball season. While KU only had commercials during football season, KAIA secured an exclusive sponsorship of the @KUGameday Twitter page. Four sponsorship tags were included in every football and basketball game commentary all the way through the NCAA championship game in New Orleans, touching more than 11,500 followers.

Pledge Power Trusted Choice® is about much more than a logo. The heart of any brand—good or bad—is the customer’s experience with the product or service. If buyers have a poor customer experience, that memory will eclipse even the slickest ad campaign. On the flip side, a repeatedly positive experience will make those customers your fans for life, irrespective of your advertising (or lack thereof). Thus, the Trusted Choice® branding program provides a road map for agents to offer a consistently positive customer experience. We call it the Pledge of Performance. The Pledge—which is being used by Trusted Choice® members in their local marketing—responds to consumer demands for professionalism, choice, customization, 24/7 service, and advocacy. This is the message K-State and KU fans absorbed consistently from August 2011 through April of this year.


JIM RUNNEBAUM Trusted Choice Committee Chair

This is the message your agency needs to leverage and what better way than through two consistently solid athletic programs?

‘Ingredient’ Branding Is Proven Strategy What is an “ingredient-brand”? Consider a new Dell computer. On the box, and on the computer itself, are stickers that say “Intel Inside.” In consumers’ minds, that translates to a faster, more powerful device. As a brand, Intel doesn’t supersede the computer, just as Trusted Choice® won’t supersede an agency and its local brand identity—but it adds value, which is why it’s called a branding “ingredient.” To be effective, ingredient brands should be understood by consumers— which is why Intel advertises and why Trusted Choice® conducts national advertising and public relations campaigns. Our TV ads alone are reaching 120 million consumers a year. You can extend this value by joining in on campaigns like the K-State and KU Radio Advertising Co-op offered through KAIA. Call or email KAIA today and sign up before the towers in your area are gone. EMAW! If you are interested in advertising through the K-State and KU Radio Advertising Co-op, please contact info@ or call (800) 229-7048.


Virtual Risk Consultant Helps Make You a Consultant Explore wealth of materials available by category. Sometimes I’m amazed by the number of benefits I never utilize from my KAIA membership. As KAIA members we are also Trusted Choice® agents and members of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or Big I) and therefore have access to a myriad of more resources.


ast year I signed up for an incredibly useful tool that can make you an even better risk management consultant: the Virtual Risk Consultant. Following is an example of how you might use the VRC in your office. I would encourage you to follow up this article by checking into the tool on the IIABA website as well. Use the Virtual Risk Consultant (VRC) to help present yourself to clients as a risk manager, distinguishing you from all the other agents who are just focused on selling price. This approach can even apply to run of the mill BOP risks. Take for instance a typical prospect that would be eligible for the Travelers Select Account Store Pac product. While hundreds of classes are eligible, we’ll use a flower shop for this illustration. When logging into the VRC you’ll see the heading “risk exposure assessment tools” and then click on “commercial lines risk exposure evaluation system.” There is a large menu of lines of business to choose from. Pick retail stores and the VRC gives a general overview of the types of exposures most retail stores typically face. Retail stores are susceptible to premises liability claims because of customer traffic but large department and specialty stores are more susceptible than most. All retail stores have significant property exposures. The on-hand stock represents a considerable investment but the amount on hand fluctuates seasonally. For this reason, physical damage insurance on this property must be arranged carefully. When the insured occupies a non-owned building, insurance coverage must be arranged for the insured’s interest in extensive improvements and betterments made to the premises. Crime insurance, in the form of employee theft and money and securities coverage, is also very important. Then you are given a choice of selecting a specific type of retail store to learn more about. After clicking on the “Florists” tab you will see four steps needed to show up at a florists’ equipped to act as their risk consultant. Those steps are shown below.

LYLE DAVIDSON Technology Committee Chair

Category: Retail Stores Risk: Florists Step #1: Understanding the Risk – This section of the VRC provides a summary of operations and an explanation of areas of exposures to evaluate for the risk to be insured. Also included are minimum coverages to offer and other types of coverages to consider as well. Step #2: Exposure Identification Survey – You can then build a questionnaire to review with your customer designed to assist in revealing client exposures and uncover potential coverage gaps. The information serves as a guide in developing an insurance program to meet the client’s needs. The questionnaire is a supplement to the ACORD forms, not a replacement for them, so the ACORD forms must also be completed and used. Step #3: Proposal Assistant –The proposal assistant provides concise definitions for all coverages included in your customer proposal. The proposal assistant offers a comprehensive list of commercial lines coverages with succinct definitions to enhance customer understanding at the point of sale. It also offers links directly to the appropriate ACORD forms and more in-depth coverage analysis from PF&M. Step #4: Customer Coverage E&O Checklist/File Documentation – Get a printable coverage E&O checklist complete with a client/agent signature block to use with your customer to document coverages recommended and rejected by the customer. Important: Keep signed customer E&O coverage checklists with the client file as documentation should a claim occur. You might be thinking that a BOP isn’t worth getting that technical—but think again. The VRC does almost all of the work for you. It takes only a short time to do your homework with the VRC. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. You can learn more about the VRC by logging into www. with your KAIA username and password or AScK@




KAIA and the Big I Go BIG in Washington, D.C. One of the goals established by the KAIA Board of Directors is to increase agent participation in all advocacy efforts. This year, with the help of the Larry Magill National Legislative Conference Scholarship, Big I scholarships, and Young Agent scholarships, KAIA was able to send a total of ten agents to the Big I National Legislative Conference this April. The commitment from agents to participate in this conference could not have happened at a more strategic time.


hose Kansas agents lobbying the state’s Congressional delegation and U.S. Senators included: KAIA President Lee Hays (Capitol Agency), National Director Greg Renn (Renn & Company), KAIA President-Elect Tim Tyner (Tyner Insurance Agency), Government Affairs Committee Chair Rob Lessen (Fox Insurance Agency), Government Affairs Committee Member Tom Bryon (Colonial Life), Young Agents Committee Chair Jo Erin Stuteville (Elliott Insurance Group), National Trusted Choice Board Chair Bob Fee (Fee Insurance Group), KAIA Government Affairs member Scott Strong (Strong’s Insurance, Inc.), KAIA Board Member Lyle Davidson (The Davidson Agency), and Young Agent Committee Member Ryan Murry (ICI). Several family members, many of whom are involved in the family businesses, also joined the Kansas delegation. The Kansas contingent carried the independent insurance agent message: advocacy, choice, and customization = value.

The following are some of the issues we discussed: CROP INSURANCE The devastating changes that the Risk Management Agency (RMA) has made in the SRA topped the agenda this year. Every single meeting with the Kansas delegates was used to educate staff and the elected officials


regarding the steps that RMA is taking to squeeze agents out of business and out of the public-private delivery system that has worked so well to protect farmers and Americans’ food supply. Independent insurance agents have been the sales force of the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP) for more than 25 years. The partnership has successfully protected America’s crops and farmers. Consider that program on the “endangered species” list – right up there with the squeeze play that the Federal Government and HHS have put on health insurance agents. This year, KAIA went prepared to do battle. Kansas Crop Insurance Agents were well represented by highly experienced agents Chair Lyle Davidson, Chair of KAIA’s Crop Insurance Subcommittee, Scott Strong, and Jo Erin Stuteville. In every meeting, the elected representatives heard about the “covenant not to sue” that agents have been forced to sign; the hard and soft caps that are squeezing agents out of business; the uncertainty of payments to agents and the job losses that are affecting local communities; the reduced services to farmers; and the list continued. The Kansas delegation expressed their support for the program and for the private delivery system – inde-


pendent agents. The Big I followed up with more information to those in positions to help independent agents. In addition, every year, the Big “I” coordinates a meeting with the RMA Director while the National Legislative Conference is taking place. Each year, several agents join voices to explain the consequences of the cuts being made to the program. This year, when agents explained that the cuts have started to affect the market place in loss of access for small farmers and agents closing their doors, the RMA Director indicated that he was unaware that payments to agents had been cut and standardized. He stated that companies still had the ability to negotiate commission with agents and that making those uniform was not a requirement of the changes made in the SRA. He remained adamant that agents could not have a voice at the negotiation table. In addition to the consistent resistance from the RMA to respectfully consider agents’ input, they continue to refuse to release information that has been requested repeatedly by the Big “I” under the Freedom of Information Act. They continue to argue that the information is protected though it has been shown unequivocally that those arguments are invalid. Words cannot express the frustration level of agents who were in the meeting. It became abundantly clear that no help for agents would be found in that building. It became even clearer that independent insurance agents, the local community folks who have made the crop insurance program successful, would have to rely on their elected representatives to help preserve the viability of the program and protect farmers and our food supply. HEALTH CARE REFORM Health care remained at the top of the agenda. As time passes, more of the problems and deficit incurring changes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act become evident. As time passes, more of the changes are reconsidered to neutralize the devastating effect on healthcare in America as well as on independent insurance agents – the consumers’ advocates. For agents, the interpretation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that agent commission is part of the insurance company administrative costs and thus included in the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) formula has become the most devastating. Companies have taken advantage of the situation and cut agent commissions in half or more – and in some cases, completely. Companies did NOT let consumers know of these changes – nor did consumers get wonderful letters telling them they would



SLUGGISH SALES? HIGH E&O EXPOSURE? We prescribe the Big I Advantage


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 Commercial and personal risk assessment tools (Exposure identification surveys and coverage checklists)  Coverage reference resources and proposal tools (PF&M, ACORD forms, insurance glossary)  Marketing and prospecting tools (Client letter templates and web site content) Use: Use liberally for relief of lethargic agency sales and lack of producer confidence. Dosage: Subscribe annually (or get four years for the price of three). Available online 24/7. Side effects:

 Dizzying improvement in knowledge and professionalism of agency staff.  Innoculation against E&O claims from failing to offer proper coverage or identify customer exposure.  Rejuvenated content to market your agency’s services. Warning: Prolonged exposure to VRC will result in agency success.

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not get rate increases due to “the middleman being cut out”. No, consumers still got increases and they lost their agent advocate in some instances. Agent commission is (or was, depending on the company) a pass through payment to agents. It should not have been included in the MLR and that would have been made clear had the bill ever gone to conference. Since the Democrats were desperate to get the bill passed after the game-changing election of Scott Brown (R – Mass), the clarifying language was not adopted. Now, due to companies prematurely slashing and eliminating contracted payments to their delivery force (agents), agents everywhere are struggling to keep their doors open and continue to serve their clients. The Big I continues to advocate for legislation that clarifies that the MLR should not include agent commissions. The Kansas elected delegation was very supportive of the role that agents play in the delivery of health insurance. They understand that there is no advocate on the side of the consumer like the agent who helps consumers navigate the system and look out for their unique needs (customization, advocacy, and choice). TAXES The PPACA includes many new taxes and fee increases to help pay for the cost of the new law. The impact of these new taxes has the potential to damage IIABA member businesses. The majority of Big “I” member companies are organized as pass through entities such as S Corporations, Partnerships or Sole Proprietorships, and therefore pay taxes at the individual rate. The Big “I” remains opposed to the implementation of these looming tax

increases, as well as any additional tax increases on small businesses in the future. Also on the radar is the expiration of many of the Bush Tax cuts – scheduled to expire in December of this year. If those cuts are not extended, the American economy will continue to be sluggish as small business owners will have less cash to add jobs. KAIA will continue to keep you informed should an opportunity arise to repeal these tax increases. FLOOD INSURANCE REFORM Once again, the flood insurance program has been given a short extension. But this year one major change was adopted thanks to the lobbying efforts of your KAIA team and the Big I. Second homes are no longer subsidized in the program. This will help the National Flood Insurance Program become more actuarially sound and bring in the premium dollars to pay down the debt that still looms from Hurricane Katrina and others. Your KAIA team worked hard to educate each of the elected officials about the need for reform and the need to keep and extend the program. KAIA and the Big I will continue to work for reform and update you as progress is made. POLITICAL CLIMATE CONTROL – INSURE YOUR FUTURE Ultimately, agents should keep one thing in mind. The Federal Government continues to grow and make power grabs. The Securities Commission is still trying to find a way to take over the regulation of all annuities. The national life insurance companies continue to advocate for federal regulation.

Health and Human Services continues to prop up the PPACA with tax dollars. And now the federal government is taking aim at crop insurance agents. Divide and conquer? Next in their sights . . . the P&C insurance market is coming up on the radar. NOW IS THE TIME TO INSURE YOUR FUTURE. InsurPac is the largest P & C insurance industry PAC and is one of the reasons why the Big “I” is routinely rated in Fortune magazine’s top-25 list of most successful lobbying groups in Washington D.C. By pooling individual contributions, InsurPac helps elect candidates and re-elect members of the U.S. Congress who share the business philosophy of independent agents. The Big “I” contributions help build relationships with our elected officials simultaneously giving us an opportunity to educate them on our issues. Help us make sure the voice of the independent agent is heard loud and clear in Congress. Insure your future and contribute to InsurPac today. You can access a contribution form at You may also help insure your future by getting involved. If you’ve ever wondered about or considered attending the National Legislative Conference, we strongly encourage your participation. There are several scholarship opportunities to offset the expense including: the Larry Magill National Legislative Conference Scholarship, National Legislative Scholarship, and Young Agent Scholarships. So mark your calendars for 2013 – the National Legislative Conference will be April 17-19. We look forward to having you join us.



r e t p a h C l a Fin A New Era of

By Matthew S. Crowley, Larson & Blumreich, Chartered

Workers Compensation Continued...

This is the final installment of a series of articles which reviews certain aspects of the recent amendments to the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Act brought about by the passage of HB 2134 and HB 2139. These articles address changes to the Kansas Workers Compensation Act which are significant to how employers and insurance carriers are now required to handle work injuries as well as how they can avail themselves to certain defenses now available to them. This article will address the new maximum level of compensation benefits, the new average weekly wage computation, how future medical treatment is determined, eligibility for temporary disability compensation, and work disability.

A. Maximum Levels of Compensation Benefits:


The amendments to the Kansas Workers Compensation Act increase the maximum compensation benefits available for permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, permanent partial disability when functional impairment only is available, and death benefits. These new levels are as follows: 1. Permanent Total Disability om m $125,000.00 to $155,000.00. From

$75,000.00 and changed to be applicable in claims where temporary total disability had been paid where before this section was not applicable if temporary total disability had been paid. 4. Death Benefits - From $250 $250,000.00 to $300,000.00 and includes the requirement that the employer/insurance carrier pay for a court-appointed conservator, where necessary, up to $1,000.00.

2. Permanent Partial Disability - From $100,000.00 to $130,000.00

B. Average Weekly Wage:

3. Permanent Partial Disability Funct (Functional Only) - From $50,000.00 to

Prior to this amendment, the average weekly wage computation


under the Kansas Act resulted in substantial confusion in that the employee reaches maximum medical improvement. The it relied upon “theoretical earnings” from the standpoint of presumption is rebutted by medical evidence establishing that relying upon hours usually worked, hours expected to work “it is more probably true than not” that additional medical and customary hours worked. The use of this standard usually treatment will be necessary. This amendment is also included resulted in inflated average weekly wages for employees who continued on page 18» were otherwise considered less than full-time workers. In an effort to bring uniformity into the computation, the amendments have adopted the scheme of using the employees’ wages actually earned. Under the amendments, the amount of wages are computed IT’S CON TAGIOUS by adding together the total wages (straight-time and overtime), bonuses and gratuities actually earned by the employee for the 26 week period prior to the date of accident and then dividing that amount by 26. As under the “My hobby as a fitness previous scheme, “fringe benefits” paid for, in whole or in part by the eminstructor allows me to ployer, are added to the wage amount help people—similar to as of the date that such benefits are my position at J.M. Wilson. discontinued. This new wage calculaI love being able to assist tion is simple and more closely reflects our agents and our an employee’s earnings by eliminating companies in finding “theoretical” earnings.


C: Future Medical Treatment: Under the prior law an injured worker was automatically guaranteed the right to seek future medical treatment in all compensable cases regardless of whether any health care provider had offered an opinion on the need for such treatment in the underlying claim. The amendments clarify a workers’ eligibility for future medical benefits with the inclusion of new requirements. First, the amendments create a rebuttable presumption that the employers’ obligation to provide medical treatment terminates when

a solution when a loss occurs.”

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in K.S.A. 44-525 governing the content of an award. Under this change, the award cannot grant future medical unless there is evidence which rebuts the presumption against future medical. This change applies to the required evidence for settlements as well. In addition to creating the rebuttable presumption, the amendment also requires that the underlying work injury be the “prevailing factor” for the need for additional medical treatment. No longer does the work injury only have to be one factor for such need. Rather, it must be the primary factor amongst all factors before future medical treatment under the workers compensation system will be granted. Finally, the amendments create a rebuttable presumption for permanent termination of future medical care. If an injured worker is granted the right to seek future medical care, either through an award or settlement, the employer/insurance carrier can seek permanent termination of future medical care if the injured worker has not received future medical treatment during the two year period following the award or settlement or for two years after the injured worker last received future care subsequent to the award or settlement. The amendments affecting future medical benefits will have a direct impact on the costs of settlements. Under the old law employers/ insurance carriers usually paid additional monies to injured workers to close out future medical rights whether or not there was any expectation that the worker would exercise such rights. Under the amendments, payment of additional monies will likely not be so readily offered due to the rebuttable


presumptions denying or terminating such benefits.

D. Eligibility for Temporary Disability Compensation: The amendments clarify an injured workers entitlement to temporary disability compensation under certain scenarios which have been problematic for employers/insurance carriers in the past. One of those problematic scenarios occurred when the authorized doctor releases the worker back to work but the employee or the employee’s doctor disagrees with such release. Under the amendments, a release by the authorized treating physician shall be presumptive on the employee’s ability to engage in substantial and gainful employment. This would include those situations where the injured worker is released with temporary restrictions which the employer can accommodate. Argument can be made that since the authorized treating physician’s opinion is “presumed” then the injured worker has the right to rebut such presumption. Whether the amendment will be interpreted in such a fashion and allow an injured worker to present evidence for a rebuttal or whether the employer has to extend a written offer of work in an accommodative position has not yet been determined by the Division or Courts. Another clarification brought about by the amendments concerns situations where the authorized treating physician places temporary restrictions on the injured worker but the employer cannot accommodate those restrictions to return the worker back to work. Under the amendments, the injured worker would still be entitled


to the payment of temporary total disability compensation. This applies only in those situations where the worker remains employed by the employer against which the claim was filed. The amendments provide that if the worker quits or is terminated for cause and the employer could have accommodated the restrictions. Then the worker is not eligible for temporary disability benefits. The amendments also clarify that if the injured worker is receiving unemployment compensation benefits temporary total disability is not payable. The amendment further clarifies that temporary partial disability compensation is payable for scheduled injuries. Under the old law it was not. Finally, the amendments clarify that if the employer pays unearned wages to an injured worker in excess of the workers temporary disability benefits, the amount of such excess payments can be deducted from any settlement or can be withheld from the employee’s wages on a weekly basis if the employee’s wages exceed 125% of the state’s average weekly wage.

E. Work Disability: The issue of work disability and decisions from the appellate court’s which substantially impacted the entitlement to compensation under a work disability claim was a major factor in bringing about the amendments to the Kansas Workers Compensation Act. The goal behind the adoption of amendments to the work disability statute, K.S.A. 44-510e, was to realign the requirements for the establishment and proof of a work disability claim with the historical intentions of the Act.

A few new requirements for the establishment of a work disability claim were put into place. First, a threshold has been established under which a minimal functional whole body impairment of 7.5% caused solely by the work injury is required even to be eligible to assert a work disability claim. In the event that the injured worker had a pre-existing impairment, this threshold requires that the overall whole body impairment must exceed 10%. Another change under the amendments concerned the proof needed for a job task loss. Under the old law the applicable period for identifying job tasks was 15 years prior to the date of accident. This has been reduced to 5 years under the new law. Further, any task loss must be shown to have been caused by the work injury and permanent restrictions issued by a physician be used. Finally, job task loss caused by pre-existing permanent restrictions will be excluded from the calculation. For the wage loss calculation the amendments were much more significant. The amendments replace the post-injury earnings test with the earning capacity test. This means that an injured workers post-injury earnings for purposes of calculating work disability will be determined not solely upon what the injured worker earned post-injury but also upon the workers capacity to earn wages based upon the facts of the claim such as age, education, experience, physical capacity or the worker. As with many of the new requirements under the amendments, wage loss must now be shown to be directly related to the work injury.

The amendments also include other provisions which address and/ or clarify what the legislature intended under a work disability claim. No longer can a worker unilaterally decide to no longer work and be guaranteed at least a 50% work disability. Under the amendments voluntary resignation or termination for cause will not be considered a wage loss directly attributable to the work injury. The employer now has the opportunity to defend against a work disability claim by extending an offer of accommodated employment paying at least 90% of the applicable average weekly wage. By extending such offer, a rebuttable presumption against work disability is establish if the worker refuses such accommodated job offer. Furthermore, the amendments now require that the injured worker have the legal capacity to enter into a valid contract for employment to establish a wage loss. Finally, the amendments entitle the employer to include employer paid fringe benefits to any post-injury wage loss calculation.

CONCLUSION The amendments reviewed in this series of articles do have the potential to benefit employers and carriers in defending workers compensation claims. Time will tell if the application of the amendments have the intended result of leveling the playing field between the employer and employees. For the time being, educating employers and working with the claims professionals will ensure that employers obtain the full benefit of the changes to the workers compensation system, which in the end are intended to reduce risks and exposure for claims.


About the Author Matthew S. Crowley is a partner in the firm of Larson & Blumreich, Chartered in Topeka, Kansas. He has practiced in the area of workers compensation defense for more than 24 years representing both insurance carriers and self-insured employers. In addition, Mr. Crowley is a frequent speaker on workers compensation law and has consulted with individual employers and associations in the development of workers compensation legislation and internal claims handling procedures. Mr. Crowley can be contacted at (785) 273-7722 or

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President’s Classic Golf Tournament Mr. Carriker, This was the second year I participated in the Big I National Championship. Both tournaments were two of the greatest experiences of my junior golf years. I will compete for the University of Kansas beginning this fall and the Big I helped me prepare for college golf. Everything about the tournament was first class including our state qualifying tournament run by Mr. Chad Fuqua. I have met many wonderful people and enjoyed a lot of great competition at the Big I. I wish you future success with the championship. I wouldn’t change a thing. It was an honor to represent the state of Kansas in 2010 and 2011. Regards, David Auer August 8, 2011 It is for players like David Auer that the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents (KAIA) and its members get together every spring for the annual President’s Classic golf outing. The President’s Classic, named as such in honor of the men and women who have served as KAIA Board President, is designed to raise funds that offset costs for Kansas junior golfers to compete in the Trusted Choice® Big I State Qualifier. The tournament draws junior golfers from across the state of Kansas who will compete for spots to the Trusted Choice® Big I National Championship. The goal of the Big “I” is to provide the youth of America an opportunity to channel their energies into a positive experience, and to compete in a sportsmanlike atmosphere through an event that culminates in a true national championship. Each summer more than 2,000 junior boys and girls nationally vie to earn a place in the finals—a 72-hole, stroke-play tournament. More than 200 state and local qualifying events every year determine a field of 156 young men and women for the National Championship. This year additional hole and beverage cart sponsorships as well as silent auction contributions helped raise almost $5,000 for the Trusted Choice Big “I” State Qualifier to be held at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, KS.


The young agent ringers, or as they prefer to be called SOB’s: Sons of Bosses, once again took first place. Other teams are able to challenge the young agent team for bragging rights and possession of the winners’ trophy, a sight to see in and of itself. “We started the challenge last year as a way to help raise funds for InsurPAC. We were not sure how it would go over, but it seems to have become a popular addition to the tournament. I’m looking forward to next year’s tournament. We plan to take the gold again,” says Austin Renn, as he gives a wink to the cameras. In an effort to offset the competitive climate, events were held at several holes, including best video testimonial, longest drive, a “Hit the Green” contest, longest putt, closest to the pin contest, best team name, and a drawing for Navrat’s Office Products apparel. Benjamin Viets, Newkirk, Dennis & Buckles, took the award for best video testimonial with his endorsement of Agency Services Corporation of Kansas (AScK). He attests that AScK is best known for being “problem solvers: If there is a problem in the market, they are usually very good at addressing that problem and taking care of it for all of the agents in Kansas so it’s very beneficial for everybody.”

The day concluded with a much deserved and hearty meal of meat and potatoes in the Larry Magill Education


Center. KAIA Board President Lee Hays, Capitol Agency, said, “I want to thank all who partnered with us on this event. Your generous sponsorships and contributions will help provide a positive opportunity for young Kansas golfers. I was very pleased with the turn-out and look forward to sending five Kansans to the Trusted Choice Big “I” National Championship to be held in Texas in August.” If you know of any young golfers interested in competing in the Trusted Choice Big “I” State Qualifier held at Prairie Dunes Country Club on July 9-10, 2012, please send them to The Trusted Choice® Big “I” is open to qualified male and female amateur golfers who have not started college and will not reach their 19th birthday on or before August 10, 2012. All male golfers will play the same tees at approximately 6,500 yards, and female golfers at approximately 5,800 yards. Three boys and two girls will qualify for the National Championship hosted by The University of Texas Golf Club in Austin, TX, August 7-10, 2012. The KAIA will provide a travel stipend for each national qualifier.



Nominations are now being accepted for the prestigious KAIA Awards. For more information, go to the Management Conference section of our website: COMPANY REPRESE OF THE YE NATIVE AR 

Nominatio The Compan n Form y proponent of Person of the Year Aw ard is given KAIA and its to honor an industry as ag en cy me well as ass individual wh mbers, enha isted in pro o has been nced the open to all moting the a significan KAIA independent ideals and reputation t during the 20 company members. of the insura insurance ag The winner 12 Manage nce ency brand will be anno me nt . This award Co nfe unced at the rence, Octob rm is industry De t Fo ad Le n an er lin ad io fic 3-5 e ers for receipt at the Overl hip Banque so signi Nominat of nominatio and Park Ma t ard is al answers be made a ns is Septe rriott Hotel. low. who has industry. The aw s or her mber 1, 20 dividual hi e 12. Please rvice to e nor an in insuranc use addition ven to ho putation of the itting time and se announced at th gi is al d pages for an rk ar Awar e ideals and re by comm e winner will be e Overland Pa y th t of the Ye th Th example Candidate The Agen and/or enhanced s set a stellar ent members. , October 3-5 at Nominee Na Information ag me: ______ ce o ha ion ____ contribut an individual wh open to all KAIA ement Conferen _ ________ y ny an __________ for given to . This award is Full address 12 Manag riott Hotel. __ _____ l pages _ ________ ity g the 20 : ________ Mar additiona __________ ____ commun uet durin _________ se use __________ ip Banq __________ 12. Plea ____ Phone: ____ Leadersh _________ ber 1, 20 em __________ __ pt __ __________ __________ ns is Se io __ at __ in __ __________ __ _________ of nom t Ag ip Em en ce cy ail : ________ : __ _ ________ _ __ __ __ e for re __________ __________ rmation Deadlin . ________ _ ________ __ __________ ate Info s below ________ __________ Candid ___ City/ST/Zip: answer ___ __ ________ __ __________ _ __ __________ __ ________ __________ ______ ____ __ __ _ __ __ __ __ __ __ __________ __________ ____ ____ __ __ __ __ ___ __ Or __ _ __ __ ga __ __ nizations/o __ __ __ __ ____ ____ _ __ __________ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ ffic __ __ es __ __ held: ____ __________ ________ ____ ________ __________ Name: __ _________ ________ ________ __ __________ __________ __ Nominee __ __ __ _ __ __ __________ __________ __ __ ____ ____ __________ ________ Email: __ _________ ________ __________ ess: __ __________ ________ ________ __________ _ _________ Full addr ________ ________ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ Nom __ __ __ __ __ ________ ination Form __________ __ __ ____ _________ The Distinguish __________ ________ ________ ________ __________ ed Service Aw ____ ________ __________ Phone: ________ _________ ard is given to call of duty to __________ __________ ________ _____ ________ __ __ hon __ pro __ or __ mo __ an __ __ __ te, __ indi __ __ assist and/or par __________ _________ vidual who has ____ ______ enhancing ass : ______ __________ ________ tner with KAIAc gone above and ________ ociation memb ________ Agency _________ A by hievolu beyond the veme _ ntent( __ ership or operati ________ company memb erin __ _ __________ __ s)g,inadv ________ __ __ __ buoca sin ting __behalf ons. This awa ers. The winner ________ __________ ______ ________ ______of__ rd is open to all ess:on will be announ __________ Zip: ____ ________ _or Management __________ ________ __ __ KAI ced __ __ A City/ST/ __ __ at age __ the __ __ Con nt __________ Lea ______ and _ ference, Octobe __ __ ship ld: __ __ ______ ____ __ Ban __ __ __________ quet __ ____ r 3-5 at the Ove der dur ffices he ing ______ ________ ___ __________ __the 201 Deadline for rland Park Ma __ ations/o ________ ________ receipt of nom _____ rriott Hotel. ______2___________ __________ Organiz __ ________ inations is Sep __ ________ __ ans __ __ __ __________ __ _________ tember 1, 201 ________ wers below. ________ ________ __ __ __ __ __________ __ __ __ __ _ __ 2. __ __ __ __ Ple __________ __ ase use additio __________ ____ ______ __ __ __ __ __ nal __ __ ________ __ _ __ pag __ __ __________ __________ es for any ____ ______ ___ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __________ ____ ____ _________ ____ ________ __________ Candidate Info __________ ________ ________ __ ________ _________ rmation ________ _ inee Nam ________ Nom __ __ __ ___  __ __________ __ __ __ e: _________ ________ __ ________ __ __________ ____________ ________ ________ ________ __ 1 1 ________ __ __ ___ __ ___ __ __ ________ ___ ____________ ____ : ____ Ful __l address: __ ss __ __ ne ___ __ si __ ___ __ ____________ Bu ____________ ____ ______ ____________ ______ ent(s) in ________ ________ ____________ Achievem ________ ________ ____________ ____ne: _________ ____________ ____Pho ________ ________ ____________ ________ ________ ________ ________ ____________ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ _ Email: ______ __ ______ ______ _ : ___ __ Age __ __ ____________ ncy __ __ __ __ ____________ ________ ________ __ __ ____________ __ ____________ ______ ________ ________ ___ ____________ ________ ________ ________ ____________ City/ST/Zip: ___ ________ ________ __ __ ____________ __ __ ___ __ __ ____________ __________ ____ ______ __ __ ___ __ ___ __ __ ___ __ ____________ ____ ______ ____________ Organization 1 ________ s/offices held: ____________ ____________ _______ ________ ____________ ________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ _________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________  ____________ ____________ ________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ________ ____________ ____________ ___ Achievement ____________ (s) in business: ____________ ____________ _____ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ _______ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ________ ____________ ____________ ____________ ____________  ________ 1





Thank you for attending the Open House and Dedication Ceremony of the Larry Magill Education Center



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THE REALITY OF TEXTING continued from page 5

users who have already addressed this issue: 1. As soon as the initial text is received on a personal phone, forward it to your business email address. Text a response back to the client from your business Outlook account. The client’s text response will come back into the email which will let you accumulate the stream of the conversation which can then be attached to the agency management system. 2. Some phones will allow you to capture an entire text conversation. In this case it could be acceptable that the conversation continue on that phone and then be captured and sent to the business email address for attachment into the agency management system. This would be the best approach when the conversation is just a question and answer session. 3. It is important for everyone in the agency to learn how their specific phone works for text forwarding: a. iPhone –


“We are hopeful that more efficient ways to attach texts to agency management systems and to send texts from these systems will be developed in the future.” ; Another approach is to take a picture of your iPhone screen when the text is showing, by pressing the on/off button on the top of the phone simultaneously with the application change button on the bottom front of the phone. This approach creates an image of the entire text message and the picture can then be emailed to your Outlook account. b. Android Phones - Each manufacturer handles this in a different way and I find even some differences within a manufacturer between their phones. It is best to check the operating information for your specific phone for this function. Sending Texts from Email Microsoft Outlook can be used as a tool to manage text


messaging with your client. There are several steps to setting up and implementing the use of Microsoft Outlook. However, like anything else that you do, if you invest the time to research, implement and train a process, the rewards will be great. The best place to start the research is on the web at Set Up text messaging (SMS) in Outlook. http:// en-us/outlook-help/sendand-receive-text-messagessms-HA101823438.aspx#_ Toc261416088 Microsoft has done a really good job here of explaining the options available for using Outlook and providing lots of screen shots.

Implementing an Agency Text Address I also recommend that the agency implement a way to receive text messages directly. I understand from my tech friends that many VoiP phone systems can have a number set up for receipt of text messages. I am also advised that this works differently with every system and that you will need to work with your phone system provider to get this set up and implemented. Once set up, someone in your agency will need to monitor this number during business hours so that the expected immediate response can be managed. If your agency does not have a VoiP system, another

option available for receiving texts at a number that you control is to set up a Google Voice number at voice . In the Settings section of your Google Voice account, you will find a place to show the email address for Text Forwarding. When you receive these text messages, they should then be forwarded to the Outlook email address of the individual in your agency who will be handling this client. Once the number is set up, you should promote it to your clients, so that those who want to communicate in this manner can do so. When agency employees receive text messages on their phones, they should let that

individual also know there is a number that is attended during business hours and would get attention even when the employee is not available. Finally, some important points about texting to keep in mind: 1. If the client texted you, that is how they would like to communicate, so at least your initial response should be in a text. 2. If the client texted you, they expect an immediate response as that is what the common expectation is with texting. 3. Your employees should know the agency’s procedures for documenting text messages in the agency’s system, just as they would other communications from clients and business partners.

Patricia Alexander, CIC is a consultant, coach and mentor with many years of experience in retail agency and MGA settings. She may be reached at pat@ Alexander developed this article for the Agents Council for Technology (ACT), part of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America. ACT’s Web site is act. This article reflects the views of the author and should not be construed as an official statement by ACT.



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hen the first U.S. automobile insurance policy was purchased in 1898, there were barely 100 cars nationwide. Horses and carriages ruled the roads and the main concern for both insurers and auto drivers was any injury those noisy new machines might cause to horses. Today, a motor vehicle accident occurs every second. Auto accidents cause an injury every 14 seconds, and every 13 minutes a car accident results in a fatality. More than 31 million accidents occur annually at a cost of more than $100 billion. Theft and vandalism are other major perils— a vehicle is stolen every 20 seconds. With more than 150 million drivers and registered vehicles on the road, auto insurance is the most widely purchased of all property-casualty insurance, yet few drivers are familiar with the details of their particular policy. As Trusted Choice® insurance professionals it’s your job to understand


your clients’ insurance needs and the many options available to them. AScK us about our complete commercial auto product. There are no radius or unit count restrictions and broad cargo coverage is available. Our online rater can give you an indication of coverage availability within minutes. Direct billing is available and through Simply EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) the installment fee (when applicable) is eliminated, lowering your client’s bill. Our appetite spans public auto like taxis, prisoner transport, visiting nurses, athlete buses and more. Trucking options include custom harvestors, mobile home toters, waste oil haulers, trucking for hire and others. We can also help with special types including bookmobiles, bloodmobiles, rescue squads, and driver training auto to name a few. Exposures you should avoid include coal haulers, anhydrous hauling, explosives haulers, trucking brokerage, physical damage on milk haulers, multistate movers (ICC, Ice cream vendors, and risks hauling to landfills.


Automobile liability insurance – required by most states – covers medical expenses for injured persons and damages to the property of other individuals as a result of a motor vehicle accident caused by the insured’s negligence. Typically, commercial auto insurance policies have higher liability limits than a personal auto insurance policy. They also may have provisions that cover rented and other non-owned vehicles, including employees’ cars driven for company business. » Here are a few things to check in your auto insurance policy: • If you are relying on either a personal auto insurance or personal umbrella liability policy to provide you with protection for your company’s use of vehicles, look closely at the provisions, as business-related liability may be excluded. • Is your policy up-to-date on all business vehicles? Does the policy reflect up-to-date information on: where you garage the vehicle, who drives it, your liability limits and deductibles? These factors can all affect your premium, so if anything has changed, be sure to contact your insurance agent or company for a policy review. • You might want to consider increasing insurance on the vehicles to cover permanently attached items, such as a generator or storage unit that could be damaged or lost in a disaster. • If you have a business umbrella policy, be sure to review the policy to see if it has auto coverage. Know your liability limits and check to see if the policy places limitations on the vehicles’ drivers. Information provided by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

Sales Success Ideas: 5 Tips for Staying Motivated Every Day

These days there are a lot of negatives flying around out there. Unemployment, the economy, and a plethora of other items are lurking around every corner in the form of newspapers, television, and negative people, and they are waiting to pounce on you and sap your energy and your morale. In addition to that, there are the personal issues that occasionally arise in life from a simple flat tire to major issues such as those related to job, health, and relationships. You know the key to your sales success lies in your ability to show up every day, put your game face on, and get the job done, regardless of what’s going on in your life. With that in mind, how can you best ensure you stay on track and don’t let outside issues and problems hit you hard internally and derail your success?


or you stop them. In life, you’re either the windshield or the bug, and you decide which you will be. If you do get knocked down, get up as soon as possible. Studies have shown that the amount of time someone stays down after a personal crisis relates directly to how happy and financially successful someone is, the shorter the time, the more happy and successful the person is. continued on page 32

Ringwalt & Liesche

5 Steps to Stay Positive at All Times Step 1: Insulate yourself from the negatives. The first way to insulate yourself from negatives is to limit the amount of them that go into your brain. Specifically, avoid as much negative news and as many negative people as you can. The second way to insulate yourself from negatives is to put lots of positives into your brain and to hang out with positive people. Studies have shown that a positive thought and a negative thought can’t occupy your brain at the same time. We also develop habitual ways of thinking, either positive or negative. In this case you can’t get too much of a good thing. Read, watch, and listen to all the positive, up-beat information you can. Also remember, you are who you hang out with.

Step 2: Accept that there will be problems. Yes, there will be days when life will try to run you over. Problems are a part of life, you will have problems, and some of them will be big. While you don’t want to dwell on what problems could arise, you do want to mentally prepare by accepting that you will run into them. See your problems as a challenge. It’s simple, either your problems steam-roll you, or you steamroll your problems. Your problems either stop you,

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5 TIPS FOR STAYING MOTIVATED continued from page 29

Step 3: Have a support system in place.

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You have to have people that you can talk to both in good times and in bad. While you don’t want to “dump” negatives on people, it’s good to have a friend or two who are positive and upbeat and will first listen to you and then help you turn around a tough day. Also, “people” are really what life and happiness are all about. You want to have some good, solid relationships and have a decent social life outside of work. We must have balance in life with work, play, health, etc., in order to feel good and be truly happy. From a professional standpoint, it’s good to be a member of a mastermind group, have a mentor or two, and ultimately have someone who will hold accountable for your goals and dreams.

Step 4: Have a powerful WHY.


It’s simple, if you know where you are headed in life for yourself and for your friends and family, and you have powerful reasons WHY you must get there, you’ll get there, nothing will stop you. If you don’t know why you do what you do, you just roll out of bed in the morning and go through the motions


all day, you won’t be motivated. If you need a powerful WHY, decide what you really want out of life. What do you want your life to ultimately look like? What do you want for your family and your kids? What do you want to be able to do? Motivation is different for everyone, work hard at determining YOUR personal motivation, finding your highest levels of motivation will pay huge benefits. With a powerful enough WHY, you will endure through anything.

Step 5: Take 100% responsibility for everything in your life. Take 100% responsibility for your health: what goes in your mouth, how much exercise you get, for relationships: 95% of the people you run into during the day will be a reflection of you, if you don’t like someone’s response or reaction to you, change your response or reaction to them, 95% will change. 100% responsibility for your business: how many calls you make, how many leads you get, how many sales you make. To be truly successful and to keep moving forward no matter what, you must take 100% responsibility for everything in your life because where you ultimately end up with have nothing to do with the economy, the job market, who’s president, or anything else, it will come down to: Did you show up every day and do what needed to be done regardless of what was going on in your life? John Chapin’s specialty is helping salespeople and sales teams double sales in 12 months. He is an award-winning sales speaker, trainer and coach, a number one sales rep in three industries, and the primary author of the gold-medal winning “Sales Encyclopedia”. In his 24 years of sales, customer service and management experience, he has sold in some of the toughest markets and economies. If you would like access to John’s free white paper on what it takes to be successful in sales along with a monthly newsletter, you can visit John’s website at For permission to reprint, or to reach John, email him at




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American Bankers Insurance Company of FL Argonaut-Midwest Insurance Company Bituminous Casualty Corporation Cincinnati Casualty Company Cincinnati Indemnity Company Cincinnati Insurance Companies Cincinnati Insurance Companies Cincinnati Insurance Companies Cincinnati Insurance Companies Cincinnati Insurance Companies Cincinnati Insurance Company Cincinnati Insurance Company Cincinnati Insurance Company Cincinnati Insurance Company Continental Western Insurance Company Continental Western Insurance Company Employers Insurance Company of Wausau Farmers Insurance Company Inc Farmers Insurance Group Foremost Insurance Co Grand Rapids, MI Foremost Insurance Co Grand Rapids, MI General Casualty Company of Wisconsin Great American P & C Insurance Grp Hanover Insurance Company HDI-Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG Indiana Lumbermens Mutual Insurance Co Insurance Services Office Insurance Services Office Insurance Services Office Insurance Services Office Kemper Property & Casualty Group Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies Liberty Mutual Insurance Companies LM General Insurance Company LM Insurance Corporation Lone Star National Insurance Company Markel Insurance Company Medical Protective Company Nationwide Group Nationwide Group Nationwide Group Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company Old Republic Insurance Company Pharmacists Mutual Insurance Company Regent Insurance Company Shelter Mutual Insurance Company Shelter Mutual Insurance Company Shelter Mutual Insurance Company Shelter Mutual Insurance Company Swiss Re Ltd The Hanover Insurance Grp Prop & Cas Cos The Hanover Insurance Grp Prop & Cas Cos Travelers Group Travelers Group Travelers Group Travelers Group Travelers Indemnity Company Travelers Property Casualty Co of Amer United Services Automobile Association USAA Group USAA Group Utica National Insurance Group W. R. Berkley Group W. R. Berkley Group W. R. Berkley Group Wausau Business Insurance Company Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company Zurich Insurance Group Ltd

06/01/2012 05/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 05/15/2012 05/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/16/2012 06/16/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 05/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/18/2012 06/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 05/01/2012 06/01/2012 05/24/2012 05/24/2012 05/24/2012 05/24/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/30/2012 05/30/2012 05/30/2012 06/01/2012 05/01/2012 05/15/2012 05/15/2012 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 05/01/2012

10.10 % 3.00 % -10.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 3.40 % 1.50 % 2.80 % 1.10 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 4.40 % 0.00 % -7.60 % 3.00 % 3.00 % 19.30 % 7.41 % -3.86 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 0.00 % 8.05 % -8.20 % -3.00 % 12.50 % -20.00 % 9.60 % -9.20 % -7.20 % 0.00 % -9.10 % 0.00 % -15.40 % -12.60 % 1.40 % -3.00 % 0.00 % 19.40 % 0.00 % -3.90 % 0.00 % 6.20 % 7.10 % 9.70 % 11.90 % 15.50 % -12.70 % -33.30 % 44.50 % 8.20 % 6.10 % -40.00 % 6.60 % 60.40 % 11.30 % 11.10 % 10.70 % 20.40 % 0.00 % 4.20 % 3.90 % -7.70 % -8.40 % 0.00 %



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KIA&B May/June 2012  

The official publication of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents.

KIA&B May/June 2012  

The official publication of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents.