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Kansas Insurance Agent & Broker Novemb er/D e ce mb e r 2 0 1 1

We’re celebrating our 100th year by planning for our next 100 years. Tanya Wentzel, Des Moines Branch Marketing Manager Troy Boysen, Minneapolis Branch Commercial Underwriter Connie Jarzynka, Omaha Branch Claims Adjuster Emails and teleconferencing may be time-savers, but there is no substitute for the one-to-one relationships with insurance professionals who know you and your community. Early on, EMC Insurance Companies realized the value of being close to agents and policyholders. That value continues to pay off in products and services tailored to individual market needs. Whatever the future holds, insurance will always be a relationship business and EMC will continue to keep those relationships as close to your office as possible.

Home Office: Des Moines, IA | 800.447.2295 © Copyright Employers Mutual Casualty Company 2011 All rights reserved

TABLE OF CONTENTS November/December 2011


Vol. 16, No. 6 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 Christine Teagarden | 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 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 Insurance Services Team Leader | Lisa Parkhurst

F E AT U R E S 12 COVER STORY A Balancing Act of Victims, Villains, Heroes, Work Comp and the Alamo 14 KAIA Leadership 16 Kansas Companies- the Backbone of Kansas Markets 22 Part II: New Era of Workers Comp

Next Issue...the political climate surrounding the federal crop insurance program

d e pa r t m e n t s President’s Message 2 Industry Partner Programs 3 New Members 3

25 What Type of Offers Do You Get By Mail? 28 AScK Gets Divorced

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

Public Relations Coordinator | Katie Hobson Director of Agency Operations | Bob Harris Accounting & Finance Assistant | Debby Cowan Agency Web Development | Emily Wood 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).


5 Primary Areas I want to thank all of you for giving me the opportunity to serve as your Association’s President. I have been a member of KAIA longer than I care to admit and have used a number of the Association’s services over the years.


started serving on committees in 2002 and began serving on the Board in 2004. This journey has been an eye opening experience for me. I have learned more than I thought possible, networked a ton, been introduced to some of the brightest people in our business and all of this has been profoundly enjoyable. I want to acknowledge a rock solid employer that has been very supportive of my efforts to serve the KAIA from day one. Without their support and the support of a terrific staff, it would just be impossible for me to be involved at this level with the KAIA. Most importantly, I want to assure you that I would not be able to serve the KAIA at this pace without the love and support of my wife, Sue. Sue, I truly owe you a debt of gratitude for your support. I would now like to spend a few minutes reviewing the value of your membership in KAIA. Over the next 5 issues of KIA&B, I will discuss five areas that I think are drivers of your dues investment. These areas come up over and over again in our surveys and annual planning sessions. I believe that these five primary areas will allow all of us more time to focus on our sales and service priorities.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.


Advocacy- This is your voice amplified. Access to E&O insurance and Markets. Continuing Education- don’t you just love CE. Branding- you are not in this alone. Lead Generation- a new environment.


Almost everyone on the Board will tell you I probably have a marginal propensity to tell you how the watch was built when you really just want to know the time. I like breaking things down to a common denominator so they can be compared pretty easily. It is not any secret that the dues investment that you need to make to belong to the KAIA is based on property and casualty premium volume written in the state of Kansas. About 60% of KAIA’s members are paying the minimum and the rest are somewhere in-between. So, if you break that down to an investment per day using 365 days per year you get an investment of about 96 Cents per day at the minimum dues level and about $8.77 a day at the very largest agencies for the above mentioned benefits. Looking at it another way, based on an 8 hour day of work our member agencies are paying between 8 cents per hour to about $1.10 per hour for their dues investment. Can you find anything worth much value between 8 Cents and $1.10 per hour? Yet you are getting all of the top five benefits from KAIA for exactly that. There is probably another 10 or 15 benefits I could list, but I just did not have the time to cover them. In closing I would like to acknowledge all the great people of the past who have helped make KAIA what it is today. There are 100’s if not thousands that have served on committees, sub committees, boards and special groups and on and on. We are here because of all the past efforts of these dedicate insurance professionals have provided of the years. We are truly blessed because of these efforts.

Here’s to another great year!

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011


2011 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.





NSI/West Bend Mutual


Cornerstone National Insurance Company

Allied Insurance

Accident Fund Insurance Company of America and United Heartland Progressive Insurance

America First Insurance Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies

Goodville Mutual Casualty Company Marysville Mutual Insurance Company State Auto Insurance Companies

Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company

Upland Mutual Insurance, Inc.

Continental Western Group


Columbia Insurance Group


Farmers Alliance Insurance Companies

Capital Premium Financing

Kansas Mutual Insurance Company

MJ Kelly

Mid-Continent Group

TAS Insurance Buckeye Insurance Group MetLife Auto & Home


IIA Mobile Gilbert, AZ

ProAg Olathe, KS

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER



Using Social Media to Enhance Disaster Communications | BY Rick Morgan, ACT Social Web Work Group

Several agencies, carriers and associations did an outstanding job keeping their clients and members informed in the East Coast disasters using social media and e-newsletters. This article discusses what these agencies and associations did and also outlines the opportunity the Independent Agency System has to build on what has been done to-date by creating a national disaster communications plan and resources, perhaps through Trusted Choice®, to deliver a coordinated approach and messages that agencies and state agent associations across the country could access during disaster situations.


It is not unusual to hear agents who are not yet actively participating in social networking question its value and/or its return on investment (ROI). Despite clear evidence to the contrary, they consider social networking a fad and/or a waste of time. When I speak of clear evidence, I think of the way our industry used social networking in response to the earthquake, hurricane Irene, tropical storm Lee and severe flooding that plagued much of the East coast the past summer. During these events, agents, carriers and associations effectively used social networking to connect with their followers and communicate valuable information.

e-newsletters and blogs to Twitter and YouTube to post information on how to contact carriers, storm updates, emergency shelters locations, road closings, office hours, FEMA info, tips on cleaning, preparing a disaster supply kit, storm surge maps, “thank you’s” to emergency responders, photos of local flooding, and insurance policy coverage information. In short, they provided valuable information and kept their customers informed prior to, during and after the disasters. Several carriers also did a great job posting storm-related risk management information on their websites and Facebook pages. Travelers and Harleysville would be two good examples. I also

Agencies used everything from

found our industry actively involved in Twitter conversations and followed them using the hashtags #irene, #hurricaneirene and #insurance. State agent associations and IIABA’s Trusted Choice® team also provided valuable information and updates that agencies could take and incorporate into their client communications. Social Media’s Unique Value As Cindy Donaldson, Founders Insurance Group, Inc., put it: “The great thing about the social media is the “live updates” – which I continually posted. So if it helped one person – it was a win!” Carol Reese, CIC, CRM, from the Henry D. Young Insurance Agency, adds: “I feel that social media is a great

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KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

way to get information out to many people immediately to help them deal with disasters and their aftermath. It also shows the community that we care about what may be happening to them and are here to help them get through the claim process and disaster recovery.” Agencies Stand Out with their Communications It was one thing for me to be here in Colorado watching and commenting on our industry’s disaster response, but it is quite another to hear from those who were actually living through the experience. I wondered not only why they used particular social tools, how effective they were, and most importantly, how their customers reacted. To find out, I posted these questions on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In their own words, here are some of the responses I received: Carol Y Reese, CIC, CRM, Henry D Young Inc Insurance Agency: “We mainly posted information on our Facebook page and blog. We posted information such as how to contact us during and after hours, where to find claim reporting information on our website and how to file a claim online or at our service center if we were closed. We also posted useful links to local, state and national information to help people through the disaster, cleanup and claims process. “We are a small town of 5000 people, so we see many of our customers on the street and do a lot of walk-in business. They verbally told us how appreciative they were for the information when we would see them around town. I also think it’s important to post other things about thanking our first responders for being there for all of us and the photo of our t-ball field. It makes our Facebook page more interesting, I feel, not just totally informational.”

Ryan M. Hanley, The Murray Group Insurance Services, Inc: “I used video. I think video is more relatable and actionable than text at this point: 6 Hurricane Preparedness Tips for Homeowners and Putting in Insurance Claims after Hurricane Irene. I uploaded the videos to YouTube and created blog posts around the videos and sent them out to all my (social) networks. We also did an email to all our clients (that did not include the video).” Cindy Donaldson, Director of Marketing and Sales, Founders Insurance Group, Inc.: “I used our blog, Twitter and Facebook, posting information on how to contact carriers, updates on storms, emergency shelters, road closings, flooding etc. “We also updated our Website with that information. The biggest response came from our e-newsletter – where we posted all the emergency contact information. It is easier to see the response there AND it also goes to all of our insureds who have given me their email addresses vs. the smaller number that follow us on social media.”

through rate. The e-newsletter also brought replies to my email address simply thanking us for the information, as well as phone calls to the agency with questions sparked from the newsletter. “Although we did use vehicles like Facebook, etc. to post information it certainly is a much more difficult thing to judge. These posts quite possibly could have been viewed by many; however, my analytics only revealed a few visits to our site in this time frame, from each of these platforms. “We are continuing to keep the communication going even after the continued on page 26 »

Pauline Handy, Marketing Director, V.F. McNeil Insurance: “Our biggest response came from our enewsletters. In fact, the first e-blast about Irene yielded the highest open rate we’ve ever seen since we’ve been using e-marketing. In addition, this blast also had the highest click-

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER




KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011


“Sticking Around” with KID “Sticking around” at KID is not a new concept by any stretch. We have 28 current employees with 15 years of service or more, spanning several commissioners in their duties as regulators.


arlyn Burch has definitely seen “Life” (as in department changes) come and go.

Marlyn, the Kansas Insurance Department’s Life Division Director, has worked for five different Kansas insurance commissioners in three different buildings, spanning a period of 50 years of state service in Topeka.

happened we went on high alert, and the Capitol Police were setting up barricades and monitoring who came and went from the Capitol grounds,” Marlyn told me. “I think the constant security presence in the building is indicative of the increasing violence of the general public. Back then we had a feeling of security while being at work that doesn’t exist anymore.” Life insurance has also undergone major changes since Marlyn began at KID.

He is celebrating his golden MARLYN BURCH, KID LIFE DIVISION DIRECTOR “In 1961 there were anniversary basically two kinds of with KID this life insurance sold: Whole life and term fall. He began working as a life insurlife. Now we have annuities and a large ance policy examiner in September variety of products to analyze,” he said. 1961, and became director of the Life Division in 1963. Structural revisions to the state agency have also been a part of Marlyn’s 50 During his tenure, he has served five years here. elected commissioners — Frank Sullivan, Fletcher Bell, Ron Todd, Kathleen Sebelius and me.

SANDY SANDY PRAEGER PRAEGER Kansas Kansas Insurance Insurance Commissioner Commissioner

“The fundamental goals of the department haven’t changed, but the structure certainly has,” he said. “Fletcher Bell (commissioner from 1970-1991) brought in the Consumers Division, now the biggest division in the department. I also remember doing some work dealing with agents before the department had a Producers (agents and agencies) Division.” Marlyn has witnessed many personnel changes too, a few of them rather poignant. “When I first started as director I hired three young men straight out of college to work as policy examiners,” he said. “A few years ago I watched them all retire.” Asked about his own plans to retire, Marlyn still has some items to accomplish around the office.

Marlyn has seen many national events during his tenure at KID that left lasting impressions, including the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Challenger space shuttle explosion and the events of 9/11. He said that the everyday interactions of the department altered dramatically after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

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

“I remember right after September 11

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER



A Great Group of Professionals When I joined Elliott Insurance Group seven years ago, I knew that I ERINHENDRICKSON STUTEVILLE, CISR enjoyed insurance and I knew that being in the industry gave me the JOROSS YAC Representative opportunity of limitless growth and success. What I didn’t know was what a great group of professionals and friends I’d meet along the way.


even years ago I knew only the people I worked with. That was my extent of the industry. Today I could write a list a mile long of friends I have made in the insurance industry – but only because of my involvement in the KAIA. The professional insurance people I have met never cease to amaze me. Not just on a professional level, but a civic level as well. As involved as everyone is in their agencies it always blows me away how many agents

are so fully devoted to their churches and communities. These are the great people I have gotten the opportunity to surround myself with, because I chose to get involved in the association.

Being the Chairman of the YAC this year is a great honor. I am thrilled to be a part of this great committee that has such huge potential to be something really special. In years past we’ve struggled on occasion to find our purpose but I think in the year to come the YAC will become more visible to all members of KAIA.

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KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

In late October our committee decided to start building a succession plan. Along with having a chairman, we now have a vice chair, a secretary and a treasurer. I will continue to build the suspense of the great folks taking these roles for my next article! Let’s just say there was no lack of willingness to help out in the group! Along with building a succession plan we’ve also decided to revamp the Young Agents Conference – so stay tuned for more info on that in the near future!

That’s just the short list of things the Young Agents Committee is working on for the coming year. One item I would add, if you are reading this and are 40 and under, or have been in the insurance business less than five years, get involved. Look up our committee in January in Salina or send me an email. Trust me when I tell you that you will not be disappointed in the benefits of being involved.

Dear Editor, Recently at the annual meeting of KAIA the membership committee brought a recommendation to update the KAIA bylaws. This recommendation was discussed, voted and approved. The amendment is intended to strengthen KAIA’s position to support the independent insurance agency system, and make sure our membership is made up of true independent insurance agencies. The cause of this amendment was the changing times. Over the years a number of direct or captive writers have changed the way they work with their agents. Some have allowed them to take on secondary contracts while maintaining their direct writer status, while some direct or captive agencies have created another insurance agency to try and access independent insurance agency carriers. A number of these direct writers have applied for membership to KAIA and the number of inquiries has increased in recent years. While I support the competitive nature of our business I also feel that it is the responsibility of KAIA to protect our distribution system as much as possible from their position as our state association. If direct writers, or agencies with an affiliation with a direct writer, were allowed membership to KAIA it would provide them with full access to all KAIA resources

and relationships. This would include ASCK, IIABA including Big I Markets, and it would also give them the ability to become Trusted Choice Agencies. This brings us to the mission of KAIA: The mission of the Kansas Association of Insurance Agents is to meet the professional development and business needs of independent agents in Kansas; to represent their interests before government and regulatory bodies; to encourage integrity and high ethical standards; to inform our members and the public through a private, non-profit, member-driven association. I support the KAIA, its Board of Directors, and membership committee for their action to protect our state association and the independent insurance agency distribution system. If you are impacted by the adoption of this amendment I would encourage you to work with KAIA to become an independent insurance agent. Proud to be an Independent Insurance Agent and member of KAIA. Mark Lowry Heritage Insurance Group, Inc. Stockton, KS

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER



Starbucks & Trusted Choice “Starbucks.” One word just conjured a dozen different JIM RUNNEBAUM thoughts in your mind. If we were robots that could only speak Trusted Choice Committee Chair one syllable, “Starbucks” would probably carry more meaning than “coffee”. Moreover, you understand that you can practically “find one on every corner” in large cities, even within grocery stores and hotels.


Something you probably didn’t know about the internationally recognized company is that Starbucks actually has ten thousand fewer retail locations than Trusted Choice®. Surprised? It’s a bit of a shocker at first, and then quite empowering. As of September 1, all members of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America are considered Trusted Choice® agencies, putting us at twenty-seven thousand locations nationwide. The Trusted Choice® brand is not necessarily about helping your agency find leads, but more importantly, it has been designed to help consumers understand the difference between an independent insurance agent and a direct writer. Trusted Choice® is not a logo, but a value statement about the kind of service to be received when a person walks into an independent insurance agency. How many of you operate within walking distance of a captive agent? How many of your clients know the difference between that agent’s office and yours? In smaller communities, it can be difficult to imagine why such a large scale branding effort is needed. You’ve probably known most of the people in your community since you were a young child. If everyone knows who you are, you don’t need to sell them on your value, right?


Not really. We have come upon an age in which everything is being converted to digital processes. You no longer have to print out boarding passes to fly on an airplane; rather, you can choose to have them sent to your mobile device, from which you scan the pass under a small scanner before boarding the plane. You can order your pizza to be delivered without ever having to make contact with a person (who may not remember the order anyway) until it shows up at your home. Over 70% of the world’s population now have a mobile phone, and 160,000 Android OS devices are activated daily. John Doe’s 20-year old college kid who has his heart set on taking over the local law office is more likely to google “insurance” than he is to walk into your office and ask you for a quote. You are no longer competing with one captive writer down the street, but also with every captive company that allows consumers to purchase insurance online. It’s easy, quick, and almost effortless to do so. Imagine the impact the Trusted Choice® brand could have if each of the twentyseven thousand independent insurance agencies co-branded in their marketing efforts.

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

If each agency could contribute one thousand dollars to marketing with Trusted Choice® (The Marketing Reimbursement Program [MRP] will match your budget dollar for dollar up to five hundred dollars), together, we would have a budget of 27 million dollars; five thousand each, and we would be at 135 million, which would just get us into the competition. State Farm’s media budget is 300 million dollars; Geico operates on an 800 million dollar budget. Are you starting to see the picture we’re painting? One agency against that kind of force is not even in the same galaxy. By working together and co-branding under a single effort, Trusted Choice®, we can maintain our own identities, and at the same time, compete with direct writers. Has anyone seen the latest Three Musketeers film? Christoph Waltz makes a rather terrifying Cardinal Richelieu, especially after his appearance in the unruly Inglorious Basterds. Yet, even he and his cronies cannot withstand the effect of a “one for all, all for one” strategy. Of course, my drive here is not to get you to go and spend five thousand dollars on a Trusted Choice® campaign (then again, if you can, that’s awesome). Budgets do not always allow for such extravagant marketing. The point is that we don’t have to work solo. You’ve got 26, 999 other agencies representing the same interests as you are to the masses. Seems like a no-brainer to me.


The Next Few Years “As long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think BIG.” –Donald Trump. Meetings. Need I say more? Honestly, who really wants to go and sit in a cold room, just long enough for your legs to get stiff, your eyes to glaze over, and your mind to wander off to all the things you think you should be doing instead?


ou know you’ve done it. I have been there too, but I have to admit, the meetings I attended during the National Fall Leadership Conference were phenomenal.

There was a big focus on where the industry is headed in terms of technology, and I have to say, I am truly excited to see what rolls out in the next few years. Our keynote speaker, James McQuivey from Forrester Research, stressed that independent insurance agents have the edge in many facets because of our emphasis on relationships. You, like me, are probably wondering how you can possibly build a relationship with someone when you’ve never interacted. The truth is, every time you “like” a post your client has contributed to your Facebook Fan Page, or share an event that the local high school is hosting, you are interacting with your customers on a personal level. I understand that many agencies have policies against social media use in the office, because there is this underlying fear that the agency or the brand will in some way be misrepresented. The simple solution is to create a social media plan and have your employees sign off on it. If something unfortunate happens, deal with it then; but, please, do not miss out on this incredible chance to not only reach your customers, but to also have them reach you in turn. A major discussion during the ACT meetings was how we should be communicating with our clients. Some of them want to email their claims, some want to stop by the office and swap stories, still others want zero interaction if possible.

How do we handle the everchanging forms of communication?

LYLE DAVIDSON Technology Committee Chair

you the same way. Those are called robots. They come from factories; they’re shiny and clean, and they give bone-crushing handshakes every time.

Don’t reach for the Excedrin just yet. Communication doesn’t have to be a headache. Networking and relating to people is what we do best, right? That’s why we’re in this business. Just keep it simple. When you sign a new customer, take a couple minutes and find out how they want you to reach them and how often. Store the answers in your database, and make a habit of checking their preferences before you let them know about any upcoming changes to their policy. The extra couple minutes will not only help you get in touch faster, but in a more meaningful fashion. Your customers will appreciate your willingness to work with them on their level.

Next question: how do you keep up with all the different forms of communication? Quick answer is to get a smartphone. I can make a phone call, send a text, catch my email, make a post on Facebook, see my new connections on Linked In, and add a colleague to my Google+ Circles all from one device. Just change your settings to allow for notifications, and you’ll instantly be aware if someone is attempting to reach you.

Do you have to respond right away? That’s a bit of a loaded question. You will be a better judge of whether or not the need is pressing or if it can wait twenty-four hours. The point is not to necessarily be available twent-four-seven, but to be accessible. The more accessible you are, the more personal you can be in building relationships with your clients.

Is there one way that works best? The simple answer is, no, you cannot expect all of your customers to relate to

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


A Balancing Act of Victims, Villains, Heroes


nce upon a time in a land not so far away, there was a conference that drew hundreds of independent insurance agents and company representatives from all over the land of Kansas and surrounding communities. Once a year in the fall, they gathered to learn the keys to success; not to mention play a round of golf and be entertained by a set of dueling pianos.


This year, however, something different was in the air. This wasn’t the typical Management Conference of the past. True, the format had evolved over the years, but this year, attendees were dared to challenge themselves in ways they had never experienced and to look deep within in order to become better professionals and people.

Many felt up to the challenge…

The first task set before these noblemen (and women) was the annual golf tournament at Ironhorse Golf Club. The scramble competition was played in some of the most beautiful weather the event had ever seen. Twelve groups of four fought to the bitter end until the foursome of Bob Wood, Lonny Claycamp, Trent Moser and Brian Walker shot a 58 to win by merely one stroke. The group’s prizes were bestowed upon them at the Welcoming Reception later in the evening where other attendees partook in the consumption of various shall we say, adult refreshments. Several Past Presidents attended their annual dinner where Immediate Past President, Mark Lowry was inducted into the prestigious Past Presidents Club. Thursday arrived and with it, many new tasks set before attendees. Before the conference, members were invited to a breakfast with a man simply known as “The Voice” (The Voice of the Kansas City Chiefs, Mitch Holthus). To complete the task and attend the breakfast, a donation of $250 toward InsurPAC was required. Ten agents attempted and were successful in their venture.

After breakfast, “The Voice” spoke to a large group of agents and company people and showed them that there were lots of reasons to be afraid – to fear change, fear commitment, fear losing, fear accountability – but it was up to each and every one of us to overcome those fears. He stated, “It is a decision to live a life of impact and courage instead of a life surrounded by fear or indifference. (We must) eradicate the cancer of conformity, of complacency.” “The Voice” gave an example of overcoming fear by showing clips from the movie “The Alamo” – depicting one of the most famous events in American history in 185 Texan soldiers overcame their fears and fought against 3,000 Mexican troops led by the famous tyrant, Santa Ana. Although the battle lasted 13 days and the Texans were defeated easily, the battle at the Alamo lives on as a pivotal moment in the development of The United States. “The Voice” challenged the group to stop being crippled by fear and to “Cross the Line” and make a difference in our world. Don Phin continued with the theme of self-reflection where he dared attendees to classify themselves as “Victims, Villains or Heroes.” Cinematic examples were in high fashion as Don referred to classics such as “Glengarry GlenRoss” and “Boiler Room” for effect. Don stated that the key to avoid falling into a victim, villain or negative hero scenario is to “manage our emotional energy and own 100% of (one’s) self.” The noon hour brought forth a bevy of bountiful foods and

2011 Management Conference gave agency managers tools they need to run a successful business.


KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

s, Work Comp and the Alamo?

a bit of business. At the annual business meeting, a new slate of board members, including new President, Lee Hays from Capitol Agency were nominated. A motion was made, seconded and passed to redefine KAIA’s membership by-laws. Rick Elliott of Elliott Insurance Group in Louisburg became auctioneer as agents Dusty Davis and Lee Gleason battled in an attempt to outbid each other for a set of KU-KSU football tickets to the October 22 game. The money was put toward Insurpac. To wrap up the education portion of the day, Steve Anderson urged the class to examine the effectiveness of their agency’s marketing plan. Steve not only encouraged attendees to take “A Balanced Approach to Agency Marketing,” he also touted the latest practices in electronic marketing including social media advertising and mobile apps. In the evening, amid an elegantly dressed crowd, Immediate Past President, Mark Lowry was granted several gifts for his service over the last year. Newly elected president, Lee Hays as well as IIABA Executive Committee member, David Walker addressed the group. The new slate of KAIA officers were installed and a slew of awards were given: • KIA/1752 Agent of Merit

Award: Mark Lowry, Heritage Insurance Group, Inc. • KAIA Distinguished Service Award: Dan Deener, United Agency, Inc. • KAIA Company Person of the Year: Trent Moser, Marysville Mutual Insurance, Co. • KAIA Agent of the Year: Kent Anthony, First Group Insurance, Inc. As the banquet wrapped up, the group kicked off their shoes and sang the night away with entertainment provided by Howl at the Moon Dueling Pianos. An early morning Thursday was highlighted by the annual Eggs and Issues panel discussion. This year’s topic was work comp and an expert panel was assembled to address the latest developments. As the Management Conference wrapped up, so did the gauntlet of tasks set before agency managers and principals. The conference is and always has been catered towards this group of individuals but this year, professionals at any level would have gained insight on how to challenge themselves and colleagues in their office. There is never a bad time to reflect upon the work we do and raise the bar to which we perform at work and in life.

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER



Lee Hays, Jr. LUTC, CSA Capitol Agency PO Box 678 Shawnee Mission, KS 66201-0678 (913) 652-2248 Fax: (913) 652-2340

President-Elect Tim Tyner

Tyner Insurance Group 226 W. Main St. Council Grove, KS 66846-0316 (620) 767-6313 Fax: (620) 767-5714

Treasurer Bob Wood

Wood-Dulohery Insurance, Inc. PO Box 933 Parsons, KS 67357-0933 (620) 421-6900 Fax: (620) 421-6861

2011 -2012 KAIA B

Secretary/Asst. Treasurer SueAnne Schultz

IMA of Kansas 3024 SW Wanamaker Rd., Ste 203 Topeka, KS 66614 (785) 232-2202 Fax: (785) 231-2680

Immediate Past President

Zone 1- Director Jim Wilkinson, CIC

Cretcher Heartland LLC 4551 West 107th St., 3rd Floor Overland Park, KS 66207 (913) 341-8998 Fax: (913) 341-2923

Zone 2 Director

Mark Lowry, CIC

Heritage Ins. Group, LLC/Stockton PO Box 533/ 416 Main Stockton, KS 67669-0533 (785) 425-6734 Fax: (785) 425-6132

Fox Insurance Agency 420 E. Washington Arma, KS 66712 (620) 347-8679 Fax: (620) 347-4807

State National Director

Zone 3 Director

Renn & Company, Inc. P.O. Box 40 Wellington, KS 67152 (620) 326-2271 Fax: (620) 326-7320

The Davidson Agency P.O. Box 307 Delphos, KS 67436 (785) 523-4202 Fax: (785) 523-4126

Greg Renn, AAI


Rob Lessen

Lyle Davidson, AFIS

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

Zone 5 Director Lonny Claycamp, CIC Insurance Planning, Inc. 3109 Tam O’shanter Hays, KS 67601 (785) 625-0802 Fax: (785) 625-8366

Zone 6 Director

Scott Strong, CIC, ARM, AAI, CPCU Strong’s Insurance, Inc. Nashville PO Drawer 160 Nashville, KS 67112 (620) 246-5222 Fax: (620) 246-5265

Director at Large Dusty Davis, CIC

Board Of Directors Zone 4 Director Lee Gleason

Kansas Farmers Service Asso. 10 E. 5th Ave. Hutchinson, KS 67501-6295 (620) 662-0517 Fax: (620) 662-0504

Insurance Center, Inc. P.O. Box 981 El Dorado, KS 67042-0981 (316) 321-5600 Fax: (316) 321-5625

Director at Large

Kristy Wilson, CISR, CIC Kellerman Insurance, Inc. PO Box 1012 Holton, KS 66436 (785) 364-2921 Fax: (785) 364-3225

Director at Large

Director at Large

SBS Insurance Agency 502 Main Seneca, KS 66538 (785) 336-2821 Fax: (785) 336-2393

Bolz Insurance PO Box 486 Lyndon, KS 66451 (785) 828-4428 Fax: (785) 828-3405

Ron Bolz

Jim Runnebaum

YAC Representative

Executive Director

Elliott Insurance Group 205 S. Pearl Paola, KS 66071 (913) 294-2110 Fax: (913) 294-2128

Kansas Assoc. of Insurance Agents 815 SW Topeka Blvd Topeka, KS 66612 (800) 229-7048 Fax: (785) 232-6817

Jo Erin Stuteville, CISR

Kerri Spielman

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


Kansas Companies

By Kerri Spielman, KAIA Executive Director

The Backbone of Kansas Markets

The KAIA leadership resumed annual company visits this year. In three separate days and a lot of highway miles, meetings were held with the top executives in seven insurance companies in Kansas.


s with many businesses, carriers have cut expenses through the recession and very slow “recovery”. The generosity of the companies hosting us and taking time to visit was greatly appreciated and demonstrated their strong commitment to Kansas. The seven companies were Bremen Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company, Marysville Mutual Insurance Company, Upland Mutual Insurance Company, EMC, Farmers Alliance, Farmers’ Mutual Insurance Company, and Kansas Mutual Insurance Company. The Kansas delegation varied from company to company as business demands would prevent one or two from attending the meetings. Those visiting companies included Mark Lowry, Past President of KAIA, Lee Hays, President of KAIA, Tim Tyner, President-Elect of KAIA, Bob Wood, Vice-President/Treasurer of KAIA, and KAIA staff Bob Harris and Kerri Spielman. At times, our caravan was long and made a statement as we filled up parking in the streets outside of the offices of carriers. At other times, we were piling out of just one vehicle looking as if a flash mob had arrived. Of all the things discussed and learned from our visits, what stood out most was the companies’ enduring commitment to Kansas and independent agents. In spite of the last couple of rough, high volume claims years, these carriers are committed to offering agents competitive markets, finding solutions to challenges, and advancing the use of technology to streamline business practices. If you had any questions about Kansas Companies, we hope you find this information useful. KAIA maintains an extremely valuable Agency Guide to Company Appointments for members-only on our website as well which has contact information on every independent agency market doing business in Kansas on an admitted basis. This is a unique KAIA member benefit – take advantage of it.

Bremen Going Digital

The roots of the Bremen Farmers Mutual Insurance Company go back to 1878 when a group of Northeast Kansas Lutherans banded together to help one of their own who had suffered a devastating loss from a storm. The name of the organization was the Friendly Fire Society. Bremen Farmers’ Insurance Company, which sits just a few miles south of the Nebraska border in the middle of rich Kansas farmland, began doing business in 1888. KAIA met with Gary Holle, Curtis Holle and Steve Meier, the leadership team of Bremen. These same executives had just


finished meeting with agents from across the state, so we greatly appreciate the additional time taken to visit with us. As with all of the Kansas companies, the storm losses have had an impact on Bremen. Bremen will increase its wind and hail deductible to $1,000. They are also in the middle of conducting “E2 Value” valuations of properties to be sure they are adequately insured. This process should be complete in 2012. With just 15 employees, years with high claims volume can be challenging. Even with recent high claims years, Bremen continues working towards building its new website and upgrading its on-line rating system for independent agents. In addition, they foresee offering download capability. KAIA discussed our efforts to build brand recognition for independent agents as the Trusted Choice for insurance advisors. We encouraged Bremen to check out the new KAIA mobile application to offer feedback to us and to encourage them to have a mobile friendly website or mobile application for ease of business when agents are out of the office meeting with clients. We also reviewed the CAP (Consumer Agent Portal) project currently under development by the Big I to give independent agents the same advantages that captive agents have with consumers doing their insurance shopping online. Bremen is working hard for agents – to offer competitive products, to streamline and ease the process of doing business, and to maintain opportunities for agents to benefit with profit sharing. We look forward to continuing to tell Bremen’s story as they advance technologically and continue to partner with agents to protect Kansans.

Marysville Mutual – Small Town Based, Big Town Business

On December 28, 1888 a group formed a company for the purpose of providing themselves and the Marysville community with better fire insurance facilities. It was agreed to call the newly formed company The Marshall County Farmers Mutual Fire and Lightning Insurance Association. A couple of name changes and several years later, Marysville Mutual Insurance Company has grown to include 230 agencies over the entire state of Kansas writing 17.7 million in premiums. They offer Homeowner; Farmowner; Dwelling Fire; Farm Fire; Umbrella & Inland Marine coverage.

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

The KAIA caravan pulled into Marysville shortly before lunch. Though the size of the town does not demand GPS navigation, the streets were very busy. Marysville is a rural town that proudly maintains brick roads at the same time it embraces 21st century technology to grow business. Marysville Mutual is a great example of the success a company can achieve when balancing small town values (the personal touch) with advancing technology. KAIA met with President Trent Moser, Sue Fitzgerald, and Lori Scheibe. Trent was recently recognized by KAIA as the Company Representative of the Year. Following are examples of why Trent is a leader and a great independent insurance agent advocate. Marysville Mutual is in the process of reconstructing its online rating process. They have listened to input offered by the users (agents) and are working to make it more user friendly. The company has been a leader in utilizing technology – they have more than 50% of their agents using downloads; with the exception of new policies, they are paperless; they accept electronic payments; and they are utilizing several forms of technology to allow their field adjusters to be more efficient as well as their office and remote staff. Marysville Mutual did not escape the impact of the weatherrelated losses the last several years. In fact, the largest gross losses have been in three of the last five years. The Company has adjusted deductibles and rates to counter some of the loss, but having the wrath of Mother Nature go on vacation would be the best thing for all. Even with the large volume of claims, Marysville Mutual staff has continued working to improve and grow. The Company continues to appoint new agents where there is room for growth. Trent works closely with agents to resolve challenges created by weather related losses as well as other companies. He places great value on supporting the independent agency system. KAIA discussed the mobile application that is available for agents to offer their clients, as well as the CAP project. Marysville Mutual is a leader in utilizing technology and is well positioned for becoming mobile device friendly and taking full advantage of the Consumer Agent Portal opportunities.

Upland Mutual Insurance, Inc. – Moving Up Upland Mutual Insurance, Inc. was established in 1896 to provide Fire and Lightning Insurance to local farmers in the community of Upland, Kansas. From the beginning, Upland Mutual has worked to broaden its insurance products and is now represented by over 200 Independent Insurance Agencies throughout the state of Kansas. Upland Mutual is the only Kansas domiciled company that is a Trusted Choice Company. KAIA thanks Upland Mutual for their support of Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agents. KAIA was welcomed into the Upland Mutual office at the end of the first day of visits. In spite of the late hour of the day, the hospitality was first rate. Both President Chris Brown and Rich Gillispie stayed late to visit with us about the company and the insurance climate in Kansas. As you can imagine, Upland Mutual has experienced the same weather related claims that other Kansas companies have

seen. They have increased deductibles and rates, along with reviewing valuations in order to be sure that properties are adequately covered. Can you say “second verse, same as the first”? An overwhelming 75 to 80% of losses were due to wind and hail. Mother Nature’s wrath needs to go on vacation and the market needs to harden. But Kansas companies are Kansas tough and Upland Mutual is a Trusted Choice for agents. Upland Mutual is still growing, especially in niche markets that they have targeted. They are also growing in traditional areas such as auto and dwelling fire. Upland Mutual is also utilizing technology to gain efficiencies and improve ease of business. More than 85% of their applications are submitted electronically. They currently offer download capability, including commissions; and they are offering electronic payment of premiums. As a Trusted Choice company partner, Upland Mutual is well positioned to participate in the CAP project and help agents get new leads in their doors as consumers shop insurance BREMEN FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY online. The Consumer Agent Portal will be a game changer, and agents appointed with Upland Mutual will be able to take advantage of having more competition for consumers to consider. KAIA also reviewed the mobile app that agents are beginning to use with their clients. We asked for any input they may have regarding the app itself, as well MARYSVILLE MUTUAL INSURANCE as other ideas for KAIA to consider to help agents and companies reach clients. KAIA will soon have a mobile friendly website in order for agents to more easily access the information they need while on the go. As the number of agents utilizing mobile devices grows, companies will need mobile friendly websites or mobile apps to remain competiUPLAND MUTUAL INSURANCE, INC.

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


tive. We want Kansas companies to stay competitive.

EMC Celebrates its 100th Anniversary

When we visited the Wichita branch of EMC, we walked into a company

that is a leader in partnering with communities and learned about all of the monetary support that has flowed into non-profits from EMC in its celebration of its 100th Anniversary. Their campaign was called 100 Ways of Giving and resulted in significant support for Kansas non-porofits. Founded in 1911, EMC Insurance Companies is financially solid, built on 100 years of serving policyholders and independent insurance agents. Today, EMC employs more than 2,100 employees in 16 locations across the country. EMC Insurance Companies ranks among the top 60 insurance organizations in the United States. Its products are sold solely through independent insurance agencies in more than 40 states. They believe their partnership with independent agents brings a superior level of personalized service to the insurance process. KAIA met with Vice President Bernie Zalaznik, Marketing Manager John Sprague, and Underwriting Manager Bob Guse. Like other companies, EMC has experienced high losses on personal lines with wind and hail claims. The good news is the Wichita branch has experienced at least 30% less loss than the country as a whole. Even so, EMC has also begun to raise rates due to those large losses. Maybe a hardening of the market is in the wind. EMC also writes a lot of workers compensation. The extensive changes


made to Kansas law in the last legislative session have already begun to help with workers compensation rates. Scheduled rating has provided much needed flexibility for companies to adjust premiums to more accurately reflect risks while remaining competitive. EMC is also a great partner to agents with regards to their investments in technology. They offer agents the opportunity to download, including commissions, but more significantly, they are one of the few companies offering Real ha not yet tried Time rating. If you have g, you really need nee to the Real Time rating, of business busine busi ness ss is still check it out. The speed of eal Tim me will wililll help heelp you h increasing and Real Time keep pace. A would wo b neglectneg egle lect le ctFinally, we at KAIA be ghlilig ght EMC’ EM MC C’’s part p artful if we didn’t also hig highlight EMC’s partAIA. Ass a Diamond Diam amon o d Level Levvell Le nership with KAIA. er, their sup pport of K AA AI Industry Partner, support KAIA educatio on, n, and nd legislative leg eg gis isla atitive v ve events, agent education, cy iss a huge h gee benefit hu benef efititt and technicall advocacy greeatlyy appreciated. app pre reciiated ed. to members and greatly

Farmers rm merss A Alliance lliance Mutual tua al Insurance e– Based sed d in in Tradition Tradition

Farmers Alliance began in 1888 1888 in in Pherthe small, rural community of McPher-

son, Kansas. Started as a fire insurance company to share the mutual exposures of local farmers in the county, Farmers Alliance has grown to an organization that writes more than $130 million of premium across an eight-state region. Insurance products are oriented to a predominately rural market, and more than 50% of the total business is written in the farm insurance area. As a regional insurer, Farmers Alliance is represented by more than 600 Independent Insurance Agencies in the following states:

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota. KAIA met with a team of leaders at Farmers Alliance, including President Keith Birkhead, Executive Vice President Jack Rader, General Counsel Jess Arbuckle, CIO Andy Edwardson, Underwriting Manager Janis Sigle, Vice-President of Claims John Foster, and Marketing and Communications manager Teri Russell. The company prides itself on being a good community partner and supporting tradition. Take their building as an exam example. Many other businesses when looking for new space sp and room to grow would have built new facilities. Farmers Alliance instead gave a historic building in M in cPPhe h rs rson o a complete renovation on McPherson th he inside. in nsi side de. The The he facilities fac a ililities are are top of the the lin ne ffor orr em mplo mp oyees yees es. The The he company com mpa pany ny even even n line employees. o offe f ers a w o kou or kout cen enter wi with th llocker ockker rooms oc roo ro omss offers workout center to the the staff sta aff a nd ttheir heeirr families. fam miliie ies. s and Far Fa rmers Alliancee has has embraced em mb bra raced ced adadFarmers vanc va nceemen nc emen nts iin n te tech chno ch n logy. They currently no cu urr r en entltlly vancements technology. o ffer fee ag agen entts tthe en he a billity bi li y tto o download, down down wnlo l ad,, use usse offer agents ability an a no n-lline nee comparative com om mpa parratiive rater, rater ater,, and and are an ar in on-line deve de velo lopm p en nt of a mobile mob obililee website. web we bs e. bsite development F arm rmer erss Al Alli lian ance ce continues con ntiinu nues es to to apap pFarmers Alliance po poin ointt a limited lilimi mite ted d number nu umber er of of new new agencies a en ag ncies cii s point in areas w here he re they the heyy currently curr cu rren entltlyy do not have havve where t tion. Though Though h Farmers Far arme mers ers Alliance Allllia ianc ncee representation. ther related d loss los osss has had the same weather d great challenges as others, they have had experience in all lines of business when the weather losses are not setting records. They are a leader in writing Farm Insurance, and have the largest volume of farm business written through independent agents in our state. Farmers Alliance is another valued and committed Kansas company that cares about the community, independent agents, and Kansans.

Farmers Mutual Insurance Company Realigns

Farmers Mutual Insurance Company was organized on April 12, 1896. The company is located in Ellinwood, Kansas which is a town of about 2,500 located in Barton County in the heart of Kansas. The statutes of the organization, as pub-

lished in 1899, recorded that the organization was called the “Union of German Farmers of Barton County and Vicinity, Kansas”. The purpose of the organization was to “Support, instruct, and promote custom in cooperation with the Farmers in a mutual way”. Over the years the company has adopted as its motto, “The Mutual Way.” Today the company operates throughout the state of Kansas through a network of over 125 independent agencies in almost every county of Kansas. We are no longer a company limited strictly to the farm market or to a single geographic area. The company provides property insurance in all counties of Kansas primarily through the independent insurance agency system. They provide Homeowner, Farmowner, City Fire and Farm Fire insurance coverages. KAIA had the opportunity to visit with CE CEO Justin Lear and tour the building. Th The offices of the company are adjacent to the offices of the agency owned by tthe company – Jensen Associates Inc. Insurance. Justin has led the company through some financially difficult times to a more stable position. In 2009, Farmers Mutual Insurancee o increase inc ncre nc reas re asee their as theiir th Company took action to re edu duce ce ttheir h ir written premium he surplus and redu reduce with wi th a result that realigned the exposure of the company, as well as enabling g them them m to focus on the products prod duc ucts t and ts and d coverage theyy truly truly ru uly w anted to offer. Ess sen entititial ial ally ly, the ly th wanted Essentially, company “got “g got back bac ackk to o their the heiir core” cor ore” e and focu fo cuse cu use sed d on their niche.. focused Mutu tual tu al Ins sur u an ance cee ccono on Farmers Mu Mutual Insurance tittinues nues nu es tto o write writitee basic wr basi ba sicc and and broad b oa br oad d actual acctu t al cash ca sh vvalue alue al uee p olic ol icie ic ies. The ie ey acc ccep ept vacant vaca ant n policies. They accept an nd seasonal dwelling applications ap ppliccat atio ons and and wo w oodstoves if underwriting g ccriteria riteria i is met. woodstoves The Th eir success in reposition the company compan anyy Their is seen in their continued growth. gro rowt wth. wt h. n sshared hare ha red re d wi with th uss th thee vi visi i ion he Justin vision hass fo ha forr Fa Farm rmer rm erss Mu er M tual tu a Insurance which h Farmers Mutual eembraces mbr b aces their slogan “small “ssma malllll enough eno n ugh h to care, larg rg ge enough enou en ough ou gh to t serve, because ‘It’s large Alw Al wa SSomething’”. To that end, they Always have launched online quoting in conjunction with other technologies to better serve their agents and their customers. They have gone to Actual Cash Value policies with a mandatory $1,000 Wind

and Hail deductible. It seems a great success story and KAIA looks forward to continuing to work with Farmers Mutual Insurance Company in the future.

Kansas Mutual Insurance Company – A Different Take

Kansas Mutual was founded in 1895 under the name of Alliance Coopera-

tive Insurance Company to help Kansas farmers who were faced with unaffordable prices if and when insurance was prop available to them. Only farm property rstt. Th Then en in in 1905 19 a was covered at first. Town wn Property Pro rope pert pe rty department rt department wass added. add d e TToday, oday, the company continues to actively act ac insure farms, homeowners,, re rent nttal p ntal ro ro rental properties, mobi bile lee homes hom omes and inland marine marr ma mobile po poli olicies. i policies. Kans Ka ans n as Mutual Mut utua ua al works through thee Kansas Ind In dep nden depe nt Agency Agenccy system and writess Independent insu in surancce in all of th the 105 counties insurance in K a sa an as. s Ass a property prop perty and casualty Kansas. in nsura ranc n e com mpany w ith its home office insurance company with in K ansa an s s,, the company compa any understands thee Kansas, insu ura ranc n en eed ds of K ansans. insurance needs Kansans. KAI KA IA met with President Presid id den entt Dan Dan Scott Sc KAIA and Vice-President Vicee-PPresideentt Paul Paull Shields Sh hie ield ds who who deli de l veere red d to us us a very verry positive outlook. ve delivered Kan Ka nsas Mutual has focused d mo more re Kansas on having adeq qua uate te rates rat ates es during d adequate the curr cu r en rr entt so soft ft market than trying to have current a high retention rate using inadequate rates. This attitude has helped them maintain an A. M. Best Company rating of A – (Excellent) throughout the prolonged soft market. Kansas Mutual has developed a ground-breaking approach to providing replacement cost coverage on partial losses to rental dwelling without over insuring the dwelling and

causing a moral hazard. You should contact Dan or Paul and they can explain this innovative approach to you. Kansas Mutual has also embraced technology and is preparing to begin download capability soon. They already offer online rating for their agents. The company continues to look for opportunities to appoint new agents and grow in certain areas of the state. With business in all 105 counties, Kansas Mutual is another great Kansas company whose value to independent agents and all Kansans is, well, priceless. KAIA thanks each and every company for visiting with us this year. We look forward to growing our working relationship to benefit independent agents and all Kansans.

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By Matthew S. Crowley, Larson & Blumreich, Chartered

Workers Compensation Continued...

This is a continuation of a previous article which reviewed certain aspects of the recent amendments to the Kansas Workers’ Compensation Act brought about by the passage 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 changes to the notice of accident requirement and the impact of the “prevailing factor” standard will have on compensability and entitlement to benefits.

A. Notice Requirement Before the recent amendments there were specific deadlines which needed to be met by the worker to bring and maintain his/her workers’ compensation claim. Under that old law, the workers had to provide a written claim for compensation within 200 days of the date of injury or from the date of the last payment of compensation, whichever was


later. In addition, the injured worker had to notify the employer of the accident within 10 days of the date of accident. That period could be extended to 75 days for “good cause’. Passage of HB 2134 has eliminated the written claim requirement and revised the notice requirement. Under the amendments to K.S.A. 44-520 the injured worker must now give notice of injury by accident or repetitive trauma by the earliest of the following applicable dates: 1) 30 calendar days from the date ate of accident or the date of injury byy repetitive r trauma; or 2) if the employee is still working for f the employer against whom the benefi b ts are being sought and such employee seeks medical treatment for any injury by accident or repetitive trauma, 20 calendar days from the date such medical treatment is sought; or

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

3) if the employee no longer works for the employer against work whom benefits are being sought, 20 calendar days after the employee’s last day of actual work for the employer. Under this arrangement, the worker is to provide notice of injury by accident or repetitive trauma no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of injury. This period is shortened under two scenarios. First, if the employee is still working for the employer against whom the claim is filed and has sought medical treatment for the injury by accident or repetitive trauma, then the deadline for providing notice is the earliest of twenty(20) days from the date of such treatment, otherwise the thirty (30) calendar day deadline applies. The second scenario is applicable when the employee is no longer working for the employer against whom the claim is brought.

In that situation the notice deadline is the earlier date of either twenty (20) calendar days from the last date of actual work for the employer or the thirty (30) calendar day deadline applies. It is important to note the subtle changes in the statutory language which have significance on determining whether notice was timely made. The term “calendar days” means that weekends will be included in calculating the applicable period. The term “injury by accident or repetitive trauma” is a change from the old language where notice of accident, whether or not it resulted in injury, was all that was required. Under the new scheme, notice will have to include the date, time, place, person injured and circumstances concerning the injury. The amendment specifically provides that it must be apparent from the notice that the injured worker is claiming workers compensation benefits or has suffered a work related injury. It should be noted that this amendment does not relieve an employer from the duty of reporting an accident to the Division as required under K.S.A. 44-557. Under the amendment notice can be provided orally or in writing as was allowed under the previous statute. However, different rules apply when notice is given orally and when it is given in writing. When notice is given orally, the amendments provide that the employer can designation to whom such oral notice is to be provided so long as that designation has been communicated in writing to the worker. If the employer has complied with the requirements of the designation, oral notice to any other individual or department will be insufficient. If the employer has not made the statutory designation on oral notice, the amendments provide that oral notice must be given to a supervisor or manager.

If notice is provided in writing, the amendment requires that it must be provided to a supervisor or manager at the employee’s principal location of employment. It is the employees’ burden of proving that notice was actually received by the employer.

Finally, the amendments to the notice requirements also provide a waiver of the requirement if the worker can prove 1) that the employer or the employer’s duly authorized agent had actual knowledge of the injury or; 2) that the employer or the employer’s duly authorized agent was unavailable during the applicable

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November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


period or; 3) that the worker was physically unable to give such notice. These exceptions are not new from a litigation standpoint. However, it is now mandated that the worker has the burden of proving either that notice was provided properly or that one of the waiver provisions is applicable. The amendments to the notice requirement are designed to streamline the process as well as provide some added guarantee to the employer that it will actually be provided and receive the notice. Sometimes litigated workers compensation claims arise from employment disputes between the worker and employer. These amendments appear to be intended to discourage the use of the workers compensation system as a means of leverage or retaliation in those disputes. Employers should review their individual procedures for reporting work accidents to insure that they conform to the new notice procedures. Employers should also consider implementing written policies providing which individual(s) or department(s) is designated to receive oral notice of accident or injury by repetitive trauma. If such policies are implemented, it is important to note that they will have to be communicated in writing to the employee before they will be deemed effective under the workers compensation system. As with most amendments, the new law will be subject to some level of interpretation and, in turn, refinement by future judicial decisions. As such, employers should be cautioned against affirming the sufficiency of any notice received so as not to inadvertently waive the lack of proper notice defense.

B. Prevailing Factor One of the most significant changes brought about by the amendments was the adoption of the “prevailing factor” standard. This standard, for the most part, was bor-


rowed from the Missouri system. It replaces the old standard which held employers liable for any work injury which aggravated, accelerated or exacerbated a pre-existing condition to any degree. In essence, under the old standard, employers were routinely held to be responsible for paying benefits for pre-existing conditions even if the alleged work injury only remotely aggravated a pre-existing condition. The new standard is intended to address that inequality by

“...most employers will have to become proactive in order to obtain any benefit from these amendments by implementing new policies and/or procedures.” mandating that the work injury must be the “prevailing factor” of all of the factors involved before the worker would be entitled to benefits. To implement the prevailing factor standard, the Legislature defined the term “prevailing factor” as the primary factor, in relation to any other factor. This definition also specifies that what constitutes a prevailing factor will be determined on a case by case basis with the administrative law judge considering all relevant evidence submitted. The Legislature specifically includes the prevailing factor term in other provisions of the Act as a means of implementing the standard. The definitions of “Accident” and “Repetitive trauma” now make the prevailing factor required finding. The definition of what is a covered injury also incorporates the prevailing factor term as a required

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

finding. Under this standard, when a work-related accident or repetitive trauma is alleged to have resulted in injury, it is the burden of the worker to prove that it is more probably true than not that the accident or repetitive trauma and the resulting injury are the prevailing factor in causing both the medical condition and resulting disability/impairment. As the determination of what is, the prevailing factor is fact driven, medical opinion will carry significant weight in determining the issue. In addition to medical opinions, or more importantly as a basis for such opinions, a workers’ prior accident and medical history will be relevant. A workers’ activities outside of work may also have bearing on the determination of the prevailing factor issue. Employers should be cognizant of the importance of information concerning the claimant’s medical history and activities and implement means to document such information so that it can be utilized in the event that a worker does file a claim. Experience has shown that workers routinely talk about personal health conditions or complaints, as well as their activities outside of work with co-workers and supervisors. An astute employer can create notes or otherwise document such information which can be utilized as part of the defense to questionable workers compensation claims. In addition an employer can take affirmative steps to acquire information through post-employment medical screenings, mandated drug/alcohol tests and physical examinations required as part of employment. Under the prevailing factor standard it is now beneficial for an employer to know the worker as well as the worker knows the employer.

To be Continued . . .

What Type of Offers do You Get by Mail? The amendments reviewed in the article do have the potential to benefit employers and carriers in defending workers com-

By Mark Lowry, Owner of Heritage Insurance Group in Stockton, KS and KAIA Immediate Past President

pensation claims. However, most employers will have to become proactive in order to obtain any benefit from these amendments by implementing new policies and/ or procedures. In upcoming issues reviews of other provisions of the new legislation will be made which will include changes to the rules on causation; work disability and medical care. All of these changes will have some impact on workers compensation claims. Some of these changes will be beneficial to employers and insurance carriers and some that will not. Regardless of the changes, educating employers and carriers on the changes will allow them to implement and/or update their policies and procedures and avoid costly errors and be better prepared to manage their risks. _________________________________________

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 23 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

I opened the mailbox and there they were again. More offers from auto insurance companies wanting me to contact them directly because they can save me money. It seems like an almost daily occurrence that I receive offers making promises they can save me money and that I don’t need a local agent. I determined today is the day I will satisfy my curiosity and find out if these promises were real, or if they were shallow sales tools used by clever marketing companies. Today I received two offers, one from a carrier telling me that since I own a pet I was a perfect candidate for their insurance company and they can save me money as a responsible pet owner. The other offer was a promise to save me money because of my fraternity membership from when I attended college. (more than a few years ago) I logged on and completed both quotes online in only a few minutes. However, the results were less than impressive when comparing them to my current coverages. I wanted to provide comparable quotes to my personal auto policy so I entered exactly the same limits and deductibles. Both carriers ran credit and verified MVRs for the drivers in my household so I am assuming both were offering firm quotes. However, when comparing annual premiums one quote was $850.84 higher and the other was $1,017.04 higher than my current coverages through my own agency. But that is where both offers really get interesting. Both of these direct writers offered me the limits I requested, but then both showed me how to “save even more” and a plan called “most popular”. These plans were for lower liability limits than my requested quote. Both carriers were making me the pitch to lower my limits to write my auto insurance. Needless to say as a professional independent insurance agent I understand this pitch. But as an agent with a lot of years of experience I can tell you that very few consumers would understand the difference. While I work hard at educating potential clients most still do not understand liability limits. How many times when you ask the questions about liability limits do prospects say my deductible is $500? Needless to say I first felt relieved, then proud of how competitive we are at our agency, then I felt frustration. Frustration that these clever marketing campaigns that hit my mailbox so regularly make me question the value of my agency and my advice as an independent insurance agent. I logged off firmly convinced the independent agency system is alive continued on page 25»

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


DISASTER COMMUNICATIONS continued from page 5 storm. Our upcoming newsletter will touch upon two things: first, the unusual weather patterns in CT as a whole in 2011 and what we’ve learned about planning, preparedness, and staying informed; second, the topic of flood will be addressed with a blog about flood insurance.” Nancy Nicklow, President, owner, Huff Insurance: “Our agency posted a lot on Facebook – what worked the best for us were the preventive tips we offered on the Facebook page. Those got people talking.” Michael Honig, CIC, Partner - Honig Conte Porrino Insurance Agency, Inc.: “We posted information/tips to help people prepare prior to the hurricane. We also posted a current list of most of our major insurance carriers, along with the special hurricane claim contact phone numbers they had established. We changed all of our voice mail messages directing clients to our Facebook page for the most up-to-date information on claims reporting. I think our efforts made claims handling, post storm, much easier as numerous clients were able to report their claims directly to the carriers as a result of the information we posted.”

“Our agency posted a lot on Facebook – what worked the best for us were the preventive tips we offered on the Facebook page. Those got people talking.”

Michael McMahon, Account Manager & Advertising at McMahon Agency, Inc.: “Our agency posted info following the earthquake & leading up to the Hurricane to both our Twitter& Facebook. I stayed on the island that was mostly evacuated & rode out the storm. Since we never lost power, I was able to post updates to Twitter throughout the event. We got a lot of new followers and lots of RT’s from people who had evacuated the area & were trying to get info on what was going on. Also, I posted pictures to our Picasa account throughout the storm.” Marie Stahlman, HR Manager at DGK Insurance : “Our agency used Facebook to advise people of our office hours as we had to stay closed during the state of emergency and how to reach people for assistance, i.e., Google phone. Also, we utilized our website for clients with FEMA info and tips on cleaning. We informed clients where to go for cleaning supplies,

M. J. Kelly is celebrating 35 years of business. We’re proud to serve independent agents. Our growth is steady; our company is strong. Our service is superior.

This Thanksgiving, may hope shine in our homes, in our hearts, and in our world. God’s abundant blessings to you and yours.

DON’T FORGET TO FINANCE WITH M. J. KELLY • 800-725-7211 or 26

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

clothes, toiletries, etc.; and those not affected, where they could go to help and what to donate. We adopted a daycare to help them with restocking toys, books, furniture etc., and we “facebooked” our friends for donations and had an overwhelming response.” Donna Eller Freeman, The Baxter Insurance Group: “We posted items on our web site that feeds to the notes on our FB page a week prior to the hurricane. We also posted directly to our FB page. Then afterward, we posted to our FB page numbers for them to use if they needed to contact people. For the earthquake, we posted questions and answers regarding earthquakes – that they are

not typically covered and that on most policies it is optional. As for responses, there were only a few who actually posted. A few others said things in person. I am not really sure how effective social media is. We have a ton of followers, so unless they blocked the content, they are seeing our posts to FB. It’s easy to do, so we will keep doing it for now at the TheBaxterGroup on FB.” State Associations & Trusted Choice® Step Up to Support Members Paul C. Banuski, Marketing & Communications Coordinator, Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York: “In advance of the storm we did both traditional outreach as well as social media.

Our Situation Room is a blast email alert we send to all members and we used it to send an alert on Irene on August 26. We followed up with post-storm update on September 6th & 8th. Prior to the storm, Tim Dodge, our Director of Research, also shared the Situation Room update on his blog& released a short video on preparedness as part of his “Two Minutes with Tim” series. Both went out via his Twitter account. Also on August 26th we began sharing preparedness information on our page on Facebook and our Twitter account. “After the storm we set up a dedicated “Response & Recovery” page on our website (which continued on page 32 »

and well and that nothing beats the advice and choices offered by a local Trusted Choice agency. It will be a long time until a clever amphibian can talk me into getting another auto insurance quote online.

Yet another offer…I recently received yet another pre-approved offer from American Family Insurance. My understanding is that some insurance companies solicit business by running credit scores by zip code. Everyone who receives a credit score high enough is sent a pre-approved offer for insurance. My banker shared a story with me where a local State Farm agent walked up to him and shook his hand, introduced himself and congratulated him on his excellent credit score. My banker hit the roof and questioned the insurance agent why he had access to his credit score without approval. The agent shared that it is common practice for their company to run scores to solicit new business leads. I am sure there are some good reasons for written offers for credit or insurance, but I don’t feel this is a business practice I would use in my agency. My feeling is that it is an invasion of my privacy for you to send me unsolicited offers based on my unapproved use of my credit. I went to the website on the letter at www. and removed myself from receiving these offers. Jim Newins, the Property and Casualty Division Director with the Kansas Insurance Department, provided another site where consumers can better control what goes into their mailboxes. DMAchoice™ is an online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail. This site is part of a larger program designed to respond to consumers’ concerns over the amount of mail they receive, and it is the evolution of the DMA’s Mail Preference Service created in 1971. For more information, go to Mark Lowry may be reached at mlowry@ or by phone at (785) 4256734.

November/December 2011 :: KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER


ASck Gets DivorcedParker Haskins Insurance celebrates success in diversifying income through AScK


By Katie Hobson, KAIA Public Relations Coordinator

just believe in the association one hundred percent, and I feel like they’ve been a partner in the agency ever since we started.” -- Donna Haskins Trusted Choice® Agent Parker-Haskins Insurance, Inc, Dodge City, KS

“Divorce” and “celebrate” would not seem likely words to mix with one another. In fact, most often, the parties involved spend countless hours sorting out the muckiness that comes with shared income, whereas the entire existence of Agency Services Corporation of Kansas (AScK) is geared toward providing services to members of KAIA that help them to diversify and grow their income. Expect no mucky separation or extensive law fees in this relationship, whatsoever. The best ROI that AScK can measure is when an agency is ready and able to take on its own contract.


country, Dodge City, KS, boasts a rich history of Great Western characters such as Bat Masterson, and of course, the unforgettable Sherriff Wyatt Earp, who proudly stands at the center of the city, his protecting eye still guarding his citizens.

Parker-Haskins Insurance Inc, Dodge City, KS, orce is celebrating its second divorce ency cy from AScK. In 2010, the agency boo ook had grown a large enough book of business to obtain its own al contract with MetLife personal cattl attlee lines. Nestled in the heart of cattle

KANSAS INSURANCE AGENT & BROKER :: November/December 2011

A few miles down the road you will find ParkerHaskins Insurance, Inc, where our story begins. The agency was opened in 1986. Principal and owner, Donna Haskins says, “Right from the beginning, I knew I didn’t want to do it without KAIA;” nor did she have to, as Haskins became a member

of the association with the opening of her agency. The association provides benefits that far outweigh the investment in membership dues, including superior continuing education programs, unparalleled advocacy and many other rich and valuable resources. Haskins recognized the potential for her agency early on in her career and has not only reaped bountiful rewards, but shared her passion and tenacity with others through active participation on KAIA committees. When Parker-Haskins first started, the agency had group health and E&O through AScK. By 2002, they were also using AScK to access commercial and personal lines contracts. Just two years ago, they had grown enough business in the MetLife program to obtain their own contract. When asked about the transition from AScK to using their own contract, Sadie Wideman, a Trusted ChoiceŽ agent for Parker-Haskins, responded, “For the most part it went smoothly.� Wideman and Haskins realized that they had started acquiring a substantial premium volume on their MetLife personal lines, and decided to discuss the potential for a direct contract with their company representative, Ruth Wright. “It’s [AScK] a great avenue for agencies who want to check out our products,� says Ruth. Both Sadie and Donna said that Ruth made everything beyond easy for them. MetLife was very open and receptive to the whole idea, and took the brunt of the background work. Together, they worked out a process to handle the renewals. While Parker-Haskins did not experience any push back from AScK or MetLife, Sadie admitted that they did have to make sure the commissions were going to the right place – but hey, what divorce doesn’t experience minor hiccups? AScK has only been divorced a handful of times, so a small learning curve is to be expected. Wideman adds that the hiccups were taken care of as soon as the right parties were notified. Everyone involved did their part to make the transition as smooth as possible. As Bob Harris, KAIA Director of Agency Operations, points out, “The goal of KAIA is to help perpetuate the independent agency system. We want you to continue to grow and diversify your income.� The purpose of AScK is to give you access

to markets and companies that you may not be able to get on your own. Moreover, unlike other brokers, AScK allows you to own your own book of business, so that when the time comes, your divorce can be just as effortless. “We really value AScK, and hope that we add value to them as well,� says Ruth. The real advantage to the partnership for agents lies in the fact that there are no minimum production requirements, making the program ideal for agencies that are just getting started, but also for those agencies that are looking to spice up their markets with more variety. So if you are seeking alternative for

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